Spotlight On...

Susie Sheehey

by Gina Lee Nelson

After spending six years in healthcare sales, Susie’s true passion wouldn't let go and she's been writing ever since. With several manuscripts shoved in a drawer (and permanently locked away), her third one sold to the Wild Rose Press in March 2013.

Susie, who influenced you to become a writer?

The voices in my head that would never shut up until I put them on a page.

Writing, editing, plotting, or the dreaded synopsis, what’s your favorite part of the writing process?

I’m a plotter (have to be, otherwise I’d have nothing but blank pages), and I’ve always enjoyed plotting as much as the writing. Stems from my hobby of creating alternate endings to movies and figuring out the twists and turns of a great flick. This is also my research period, and I learn a lot of new stuff essential for my stories. I’ve always been a sucker for research. Editing is NOT fun for me, but I’d prefer it versus the dreaded synopsis. Cramming an entire novel into a one-page (or two paragraph) summary is like crushing my fingers with a hammer.

What challenges do you have to overcome to write?

Time management. It’s always been my biggest challenge, and still is. Although, self-doubt was a huge challenge in the beginning, the writing groups have helped me greatly. But forcing myself to sit in the chair and write (or type) is not always easy. My special-needs son has an impossibly full schedule and requires a lot of attention. Finding the time to write is not always convenient. Though now that he’s in preschool, I’ve found at least a small chunk of time to finish my stories.

What led to your first sale?

Four years of practice manuscripts, critique groups, workshops, reading books on writing, and a full year of querying the one that finally sold. Not to mention a bajillion rejections, a couple hundred tears, and a lot of paper.

Tell us about your new release, Audrey’s Promise.

Audrey’s Promise is my debut novel, a contemporary romance set in East Texas about a promising political candidate with a tragic past and a talented journalist with an unforgiving edge. When he goes home with her over Thanksgiving (for an insider’s scoop), things go haywire and steamy all at once. The e-book was released Aug 1st on Kindle, and will be available in paperback on Nov 1st through most retailers.

Where did your story idea come from?

The idea for Audrey’s Promise stemmed from the 2008 Presidential Elections, with how blistering the campaign ads were on all sides. That spawned thoughts of what kind of person would get into politics and put up with all the hate and media bias, and what would motivate a truly genuine and honest person to enter politics. But more importantly, the best stories I read are of those where the two main characters would never seem the type to mesh, their jobs or talents would automatically put them at odds. But despite the delicious external conflicts, they just can’t resist each other.

Finding the right publisher can be overwhelming. How did you make your decision?

The Wild Rose Press was recommended by a friend who’d submitted there, and the reviews online about this publisher were excellent. Also, several writers at NTRWA gave me their opinion of going through their editing process and I knew they were definitely worth submitting to.

Now you’ve sold, what’s your next goal?

I’m hoping to sell my romantic suspense trilogy and make the PAN program with RWA. I’m also saving funds in hopes to attend the next RWA National Conference and RT Conference in 2014. But more than anything, I’m still waiting for November, to see my debut novel, Audrey’s Promise, physically in my hands with my name across the top.

Tell us about your work in progress.

It’s a romantic suspense trilogy about a Royal Family on an island in the South Pacific. The first book is Prince of Solana, about the eldest son, exiled after years of scandalous behavior and a wasteful lifestyle. The book starts with him drowning his shame in Vegas casinos when he receives word that the Royal Palace in Solana has been attacked by terrorists and his family murdered (except for his sister, now missing—she’s book 2). He’s forced into hiding with one of his bodyguard’s on a remote Texas horse and cattle ranch. But a beautiful ranch hand doesn’t know he’s royalty and treats him like a stuck-up pretty boy who’s never known a hard day’s work. Their massive egos battle with intense attraction. But when assassins from the terrorist group find him, chaos and vengeance reigns.

Don’t forget to support Susie by buying her book and finding her online.

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