07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Swimmingly nice author from Nevada, Sue Ward Drake

By Diana McCollum

Author Sue Ward Drake lives in Reno, NV. I met her on an online loop through Rose City Romance Writers. She has a good sense of humor and is a dedicated writer. I'm delighted to introduce this talented lady to all of you. Let's give Sue a warm welcome.

Here are a few questions, that I wanted to know, and I thought you might too.

      1)  Is Romantic Suspense the only genre you write?

I have dabbled a bit in contemporary romance, or more specifically romantic comedy. I have 1-1/2 stories done on a “Three Scots in Search of True Love” trilogy which definitely uses my personal experiences visiting different areas of Scotland. The first story of this series needs some modification, though, before I can submit it to any publishers.

If you find some extra hours in the day, please let me know and I can get this done.

2) Have you traveled to a lot of different locations and do any of them play a part in your writing?

I love to travel and have visited some places in this country specifically for research. I’m always curious about what’s over the hill and studied languages in college.

I have visited Greece several times. The first time was for a month purely to see the ancient sites while on vacation from studying in Spain for a year. Three years later a friend from college and I took advantage of an airlines fare sale to go to Italy, Yugoslavia (Croatia, now), and Greece.

That summer/fall was probably the closest to a “gap” year since I had no job to come back to. Someone told me about an art school on one of the islands in the Cycladic group. I investigated that and wound up living in a little farmhouse outside of town. Many of my experiences there found their way into HEAR NO EVIL.

2    3)    What gave you the idea for "Hear No Evil"?

To be honest at the time I was looking for something unique that might snag an editor’s eye. I had already written and submitted two stories to Harlequin.  I was lucky the editors at Silhouette books (which later became part of Harlequin) agreed to buy my hearing-impaired heroine.

It was fun to use some of my own experiences adapting to a loss of hearing in that story. A story with a disabled heroine would make it easy for the villain to put something over on her, and I loved writing woman-in-jeopardy suspense, anyway. As a teen I read Helen MacInnis (Decision at Delphi, Ride a Pale Horse, etc.), who wrote these types of stories.

When I came back to the States from Greece and subsequently Germany, I was interested in doing any writing I could. I remember reading an article in the local paper about Janet Dailey who wrote for Harlequin, but I couldn’t figure out who I would contact about that. There was no Internet then. It wasn’t until a few years and a couple of failed efforts at a detective story later that I found the address for Romance Writers of America in the back of a book on writing and selling popular fiction. There was a local chapter and I joined.

4) What is your favorite genre to read?

Adventure/suspense. And if there’s humor, that’s an extra bonus. I love the movie Romancing the Stone.

5) Can you share with us a typical writing day for you? From Dawn to Dusk?

I can give you a typical Tues/Thurs/Sunday because those are the days I have better control over my mornings.

I get up and go to the health club to swim for an hour, come home and eat breakfast. I am so not a coffee and toast person. I need fuel. Then I come into my office and start work on my latest story.

My dad used to read the newspaper at breakfast and sometimes lunch. I’ve followed in his footsteps and now I’ve got a book or my iPad with downloaded books always at hand.
If I’m lucky and have no shopping to do, I come back into the office and work another 3-4 hours in the afternoon.

I find I have to really focus on the story and get it down, once I spend hours figuring out the plot. I hate the plotting/suspense part because it takes so many days. I’m always looking for ways to focus and sharpen my ideas. I try to write a logline and a synopsis to jell the story before I start, or at least after the first 3 chapters.

The drafting process is a lot like that of a potter throwing clay on a wheel. Then the real writing (revising) begins.

If I’m lucky, the other days of the week follow this scenario with some other type of exercise. I’m a happy camper if I get my blood moving early.

6) What are you working on now?

Thanks for asking, Diana. I am on the second draft of what I thought was going to be a novella, but the story may work out to be about 55K words. It’s a companion story to Stefanos and Molly’s story (HEAR NO EVIL) in which the child Nikos is all grown up. Though I did not make up the Greek settings in HEAR NO EVIL, Nikos goes back to his home island and I’m doing a bit of imaginaneering to adapt the setting to the needs of the story.

A short story with Stefanos and Molly set in the years following HEAR NO EVIL is on the backburner (thinking/wondering stage).

But I like to enter contests. If I get a story in front of one of finalists judges, this may change the what-to-write-when schedule. Nothing is poured in concrete.

        Thanks for having me, Diana. I like nothing better than discussing writing. Feel free to come chat with me at @SueWardDrake on Twitter or SueWardDrake Books on Facebook. You can find out about my new releases onSueWardDrake.com.

For Molly Light, painting is her path out of a silent, solitary world. Awarded a once-in-a-lifetime trip to paint under the blue Grecian skies, she must accompany the handsome, enigmatic stranger who granted the prize. Sensual sparks fly, but when their journey plunges her into a chilling conspiracy, she suspects he’s not the man he pretends to be.

Bent on revenge for the brutal torture he’d once endured, guilt-ridden loner Stefanos Metadorakis believes Molly is sharing top-secret military plans with the enemy. His instructions are to escort her, watch her every move and mood—not fall in lust with her. But he’s inexplicably drawn to this beautiful, damaged woman and before long their passions explode. 

As distrust mixes with desire, dangerous enemy forces are closing in, their sights set on Molly. With their lives in the balance, can the lovers trust each other enough to foil a deadly espionage plot?

Thanks for the interview, Sue. I really enjoyed interviewing you. Best of luck on sales! "Hear No Evil" is available at Amazon.


Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for joining us today, Sue! I love your writing routine. Swimming is wonderful exercise and I'm sure gets you motivated for your work day. Your book "Hear No Evil" sounds intriguing. Have a wonderful day.

juliana said...
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Deb Noone said...

It is so fun hearing about all your travels. The book settings sound fascinating! I have your book on Kindle and I am waiting for a day when I can read all day - I am one of those scaredy cats when it comes to reading suspense at night :-) Love, love, love the cover!

SusanD said...

My story isn't THAT scary. I don't write dark except for the characters' pasts.
It's funny that I'm writing suspense because as a kid, I used to scare myself at night. The house was turn of the century (1904) and there were no switchplates on the wall. I had to walk past whoever (I was sure) was hiding under the bed to get to the pull string to turn the light on.

I hope you enjoy Stefanos and Molly's story.

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

No wonder you had so many wonderful details about Greece in your book! You've definitely gleaned a lot from your travels. I wish I could go to Greece. That country fascinates me. Hmm. I do my exercising after I do my writing for the morning. Good luck with the second story in the series.


SusanD said...

Thanks, Barb, I wound up spending (over three different trips) about eight months there in one place or another.

Modern Greek is as fascinating as the country. I remember taking some lessons while there from a school girl. It was always a triumph just to translate the street signs written in Greek letters.

Evelyn Hill said...

I'm late to the party, but I wanted to say that I am enjoying HEAR NO EVIL. I love the way the heroine sees the world as an artist would, such as when she describes the trees as being phthalo green.