What inspired you to become an author?
When I was in fourth grade, we had this open-ended assignment where most of the kids chose some kind of visual art or craft project. I asked my teacher if I could write a book instead—I can’t remember why I wanted to, except that it sounded more fun than what the other kids were doing. (I’ve never been very good at drawing or crafts.) She said yes, so I wrote this multi-chapter saga about children who got into a magical land and helped a royal family of talking horses reclaim their kingdom from an evil usurper. My teacher and parents were all impressed, so it planted the idea in my head that I could be an author.
Years later, when I was just out of college, I was idly playing around with a story idea. I mentioned some aspect of it to my roommate. She said it was so creative, and how did I think of things like that? I replied that it was just a story I was telling myself whenever I had a idle moment, and doesn’t everyone do that? She blinked and said, “No.” It was literally the first time it had ever occurred to me that not everyone sits around telling themselves stories—and that not only could I be an author, it was probably what I was supposed to do.
Do you write in different genres?
I do! Christmas Past is my first paranormal. Though since the time travel aspect is technological rather than magical, it might be more accurate to call it a science fiction romance.
My previous releases are all historical romances, and my “book under the bed” is fantasy (alternative history, to be specific). I plan to write more in all three genres going forward.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
I have to have a working title before I can start writing, but I’ve yet to publish a book under its original title. If I don’t change it, my publisher will!
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sydney, my time-traveling heroine, is from my adopted hometown of Seattle, and she’s a PhD student at the University of Washington, where I work for my day job. Since my “home” setting is the Regency/Napoleonic Era, decades before Seattle was founded, this was the first time I’ve been able to put a touch of my everyday life into a story.
What books/authors have influenced your life?
Too many to count! To name a few of the key ones, that fourth grade story with the talking horses was directly inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia, and Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley were my gateway authors for romance.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
These days I especially admire Lois McMaster Bujold. Her characters come alive for me as a reader, and her writing style is elegant and smooth without being too showy. And I love how her science fiction and fantasy novels seamlessly integrate romance, mystery, and adventure plots. Why should any writer (or reader) be limited to one genre, after all?
What book are you reading now?
I’m actually reading a biography at the moment, The Black Count, by Tom Reiss. It’s about Alex Dumas (father of the author Alexandre Dumas), the son of a French aristocrat and a black slave, who rose to the rank of general in the army of the French Revolution, but has been almost forgotten to history since his death in 1806—at least in part because Napoleon didn’t want him remembered.
What books are in your to read pile?
Probably at least a hundred! Between now and Christmas I’m planning to read Julia Spencer-Fleming’s new mystery, Through the Evil Days, Jim C. Hines’ fantasy novel Codex Born, and romances by Jeannie Lin, Courtney Milan, and Sarah Morgan that await me on my Kindle.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I’m in the midst of edits for next year’s Christmas novella from Carina Press—a Regency historical with star-crossed lovers reunited on Christmas Eve. The title remains TBD, but it will release November 24, 2014.
I’m also working on two historical manuscripts, both “road” romances. One is set in the aftermath of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, the other during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. And I’m starting to play with ideas for a sequel to Christmas Past involving Sydney’s friend Cody and his efforts to find out why she never made it back to 2013.
Entangled Ever After
Release Date: November 25, 2013
Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.
Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.
About the Author:
Susanna Fraser wrote her first novel in fourth grade. It starred a family of talking horses who ruled a magical land. In high school she started, but never finished, a succession of tales of girls who were just like her, only with long, naturally curly and often unusually colored hair, who, perhaps because of the hair, had much greater success with boys than she ever did.
Along the way she read her hometown library’s entire collection of Regency romance, fell in love with the works of Jane Austen, and discovered in Patrick O’Brian’s and Bernard Cornwell’s novels another side of the opening decades of the 19th century. When she started to write again as an adult, she knew exactly where she wanted to set her books. Her writing has come a long way from her youthful efforts, but she still gives her heroines great hair.
Susanna grew up in rural Alabama. After high school she left home for the University of Pennsylvania and has been a city girl ever since. She worked in England for a year after college, using her days off to explore history from ancient stone circles to Jane Austen’s Bath.
Susanna lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter. When not writing or reading, she goes to baseball games, sings alto in a local choir and watches cooking competition shows.
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