Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interview with author Susan Lyons

Today we have with us erotic romance author Susan Lyons.

Welcome to RomFan Reviews Susan it is a great pleasure to have you with us today.

Thanks, Annette. I’m delighted to be here.

1. Tell us a little about your new book Sex on the Slopes which was released on December 7th (which by the way I loved).

Thank you so much! This is the second Berkley Heat I’ve set around a destination wedding (the first being Sex on the Beach, set in Belize – and there’s another to come in July, Heat Waves set in the Greek islands). With Sex on the Slopes, I’ve moved from the sunny beach to the slopes of Whistler in winter, where the bride and groom aren’t the only ones steaming up those winter nights! Three couples get their own sexy romances in three interwoven stories. Wedding planner Andi wants to be a man’s “first and only,” yet can’t keep her hands off sexy firefighter Jared, a widower who’s loved and lost. Brianna, the host of a TV talk show, is career driven. Can Zack, a hot Aussie ski instructor, seduce her over to the sexy side? Maddie always had a thing for her brother’s bad boy friend Logan. She wants to prove she’s grown up, and find out how a good a bad boy Logan really is!

2. You also have a book coming out in February His Unexpectedly under your other name Susan Fox. Can you tell us a little about that story?

His, Unexpectedly is the third book in my sexy “planes, trains, automobiles, and a cruise ship” Wild Ride to Love series from Brava. In the series, three older sisters each travel home to their baby sister’s wedding. (The first two books are Sex Drive and Love, Unexpectedly.) His, Unexpectedly features the third sister, free spirit Jenna Fallon, who avoids commitment of any sort. When her car breaks down en route from California to Vancouver, what fun to hitch a ride with a sexy marine biologist, and show him one wild road trip. Globe-trotting Mark Chambers isn’t about to say no. Jenna bewitches and bedazzles him as they make their way up the Pacific Coast. For the first time ever, he wants commitment – with a woman who shuns the concept. Can Jenna overcome deep-seated insecurity and believe what her heart tells her – that this wild ride has an unexpected and very special destination: love?

3. With two degrees, one in law the other in psychology, what made you decide to start writing and how did you get your start writing?

I was working as a legal editor at the time. I’d always loved reading (as an only child, the characters in books were often my only companions, and they were terrific ones) but I didn’t think I was a creative person. Then a friend gave me a book on writing, and it resonated with me and led me into taking a night school course, then one Christmas holiday I started writing a novel, and I was hooked. I wrote short stories and novels, then started selling my short stories, which was encouraging. It took me way longer to sell my first book, but I was absolutely committed (or maybe should have been committed – LOL) and I hung in there. My sweetie had a bottle of Dom Perignon hidden away that he’d bought years earlier, not realizing how very, very long it was going to take me! Anyhow, now I’ve sold more than 2 dozen short stories (including 3 Spice Briefs), 11 books, and 5 novellas for anthologies.

4. I know it seems these two questions are always asked but readers and future writers like to know. What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike about it?

My favorite things are the characters and the readers. I love bringing characters to life and seeing how their stories develop and how they grow as human beings and eventually win the love they deserve. And I love thinking of readers out there, because I’m such a huge reader myself. It’s wonderful to know that readers are finding companionship, escape, laughter, and “touch your heart” moments in my stories.

I dislike the business side, and especially right now. The publishing industry is really tough for everyone involved in it. The economy is harsh and so many readers are having to tighten their belts and cut down on the number of books they buy. When sales numbers go down, publishers buy fewer books from authors, and authors have to quit writing and go back to their day jobs. So far, I’m hanging on, which thrills me no end, but every day I hear sad stories from wonderful authors. As is true with many writers, I’d like to just write, somehow magically get my books in the hands of readers without having to worry about the business side, and make a modest living doing it. But that’s definitely not today’s reality.

5. I think this is every woman’s question: how do you research your books? Some of the love scenes can get pretty racy.

No, I haven’t done all the things in my books. Some of them, though. LOL. Often, the ideas come out of a particular heroine and hero’s personalities and interaction. For example, in Hot in Here, Jenny and Scott’s “rules to have sex by” are that they’ll act out each other’s fantasies. So I thought about the two of them, and what they were likely to fantasize about. Or the ideas come out of setting, as with the Wild Ride to Love books that involve sexy modes of travel, or Sex on the Slopes, where it’s winter and the couples aren’t going to frolic on the beach. I do some internet research on things like sexual fantasies. Cosmo magazine is always good for ideas, and the “how to” mechanics. But mostly, as with all my writing, it’s a combination of having a good knowledge of my characters, then imagining them together.

6. When you get some down time what would you be doing?

Down time? What’s that? Well, every day I do make some time for reading, because I’m addicted. Other than that, in very rare bits of R&R time: having long dinners with friends (and wine!), walking outside, photographing nature. I do some travel – e.g., to Belize, where Sex on the Beach was set, or just up the highway to Whistler, to research Sex on the Slopes. (For those who read the book, no, the scene in the cross country ski hut didn’t happen to me personally! A hot tub in the snow, though…)

7. Who are some fellow authors you enjoy reading?

There are so many. Three “must read” authors for me are Luanne Rice, Kristin Hannah, and Barbara O’Neal.

8. Any advice you would like to give to future authors?

First, be realistic. If your motivation is to get rich, this is definitely not the easiest way. But if there are characters and stories in your head that you want to share with readers, then hurray for you. Work on the craft, read widely, be part of the writing community, be professional, persist, and believe in yourself. Also, save your money, pay down your mortgage, etc., because if you do get published, your income is likely to go down. I made it my goal to pay off my mortgage before I was published, and when I sold that made it possible for me to reduce day job hours and devote more time to my writing.

9. How can readers learn more about you and your books?

Drop by my website http://www.susanlyons.ca/  I have blurbs, excerpts, behind-the-scenes notes, discussion guides, recipes, and a monthly contest. I also have a monthly e-newsletter readers can subscribe to.

Thank you so much Susan for spending some time with us it was a pleasure having you here and we hope you come back again real soon.

Thanks for having me, Annette. It’s been a pleasure.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Sex on the Slopes a review was  posted earlier on RomFan Reviews http://www.romfanreviews.com/2010/11/review-sex-on-slopes-by-susan-lyons.html

Now for a nice giveaway from Susan one lucky person will win a copy of her book Sex on the Slopes so leave a comment with your email address and we will be drawing a winner on Sunday, January 2nd.  Contest open to US and Canada residents.


  1. Wow! These books sound awesome!
    Are there more books planned in each series?

  2. Reading books set in different places is almost as good as visiting! Okay, maybe not really, but it's fun to read of tropical settings in the winter time or vice versa.


  3. Hi Estella, and thanks! In the exotic wedding series, the next book is Heat Waves (July 2011). In the Wild Ride to Love series, the fourth and final book is tentatively scheduled for December 2010 and is as yet untitled. I am just finishing it off right now, for a December 31 deadline.

    By the way, I'm delighted to announce that His, Unexpectedly got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. They said, "Well-crafted story lines and richly observed characters bolster a strong erotic element in this delightful, memorable romance." Very cool!

  4. Sheree, I'm with you. Every book is a mini holiday from real life, and it's especially great when they're in a fun setting.

  5. Susan Lyons/Fox always writes a delightful story. I'm looking forward to both of these,


  6. Thank you, Sue. That's very sweet of you.

  7. I like the Sex on series names. I'll bet they sold as soon as the reader read the title. Plus it's such a wide open series, Sex in the Jungle, Sex on the Prairie, Sex on Antarctica!

  8. Hey Laurel how true just the title should get interest but the cover oh yeah I'll take one of him please lol....


  9. Laurel, that was my thinking too. And for the 3rd book (the Greek islands cruise), I had the title Sex on the Sea. But Berkley disagreed with our theory and didn't want a "Sex on the..." title, so it's Heat Waves.

    This is my third "series" that hasn't been series branded by the publisher. The Awesome Foursome series wasn't branded as a series and nor was the Wild Ride to Love series. This is where I have to figure, the publishers' marketing and editorial people know this business way better than I do, so I'll rely on their judgment.

  10. Annette, I'm glad you think the cover's effective. Here's hoping that guy leaps off the shelves (be they bricks and mortar or electronic shelves) into lots of readers' hands!