Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Behind the scenes with . . .

better-meme Me! (Yikes!) As you can see, I’m not good at taking selfies. 😀 Here’s a tiny corner of my office. I especially like the thingy with all the drawers, because a dear friend gave it to me not too long before her death. deskish But I don’t write in my office anymore. Most of the time I write in my recliner in the family room. When I look up, I see this picture. viewI won this picture and I love it, because it reminds me of my Small Town World. (Funny how that works.) When I got my new hip, I wrote here– writers-couchand if you can see above the couch, those are my kiddos looking on. My first desk that I claimed all for myself was this one– 2nd-deskIf you think it looks like an old vanity table that’s lost it’s mirror, you’re right. Back then it didn’t have the game boards or the kids book on it, but it did have a big monitor and keyboard. Not an ideal place to write, but I learned a lot on that mini-desk. (Thank you, Grandma Reeves!) While I wrote there, I read through Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict several times. And I still keep it handy. Now I want to introduce you to my muse. I don’t think any of the women I’ve interviewed have mentioned their muses yet, so maybe I’m the only writer with one. My sisters gave me Minerva for my birthday the month before we lost our mom. museMinerva is an Attic Baby. She’s wearing a housecoat and slippers and in her basket she has cleaning equipment and a mop and tucked in one corner is a Romance Novel called True Romance. I love her! Once in a while, Minerva just takes over and writes for me. muse-writesThat’s okay, too. 🙂 IMG_0724When the weather’s right and it gets light early enough, I like to take my laptop outside. And yes, Linda, I have that “Oh! A Squirrel!” problem, too. I’m trying to get over it. When I’m outside here’s my view– lakeWe live on Keystone Lake, and this is the prettiest part! So, the questions I make everyone else answer. (I’ve probably answered them already, but just in case . . .) Question: Do you write in your office? If not, where else do you write.

Me: Never.

Question: Why not?

Me: Don’t ask. It’s not pretty.

Question-Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever written?

 Me: We had a retreat once at a place on Grand Lake and I loved writing there. I don’t know why, either. I might have been because I was with other writers, it might have been because our speaker did a fantastic job, or it might have been because each time we had a few free moments, my roomie went straight to her computer and went to work. So I did, too.

Question-Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written?

Me: I don’t think there is a weird place to write. I haven’t written at work (really! I haven’t!!!) and I’ve never written anything during a funeral, but I usually have stories going on in my head. I’m afraid I’ll never have time to write all of them.

Question-Do you do anything before you write? Light a candle? Talk to Minerva?

Me: I write best in the early morning, so I make coffee before I write. Wish I did something more interesting.

Question-Do you write every day?

Me: As much as possible, unless I oversleep. I have more time on weekends, so I love writing then. Sometimes I take Christmas off.

Question-What’s the atmosphere in your office?

Me: Easy going. The kitchen’s right over my left shoulder, so I refill my coffee as often as possible. My writing partner sometimes interrupts to go outside, then to come back in. But until G-Man wakes up, it’s pretty quiet.

Writing Partner

Bossy Writing Partner

Question: Do you play music while you write? If so, how do you choose the music?

 Me: I tried to. But I found myself singing along with the music instead of writing. Silence is best for me.

Question-If you could have your dream office, what would it be?

Me: I used to think I wanted an office off by itself, but I know better now. I’d never go out there to write. And I don’t play the guitar to get my juices flowing. (Wish I could, though.) Since the kids are all married and living somewhere else, I have the entire house to write in. So my dream office is where ever me and my laptop are.

Question- How did you get started writing?

 Me: Well, it’s not because I made straight A’s in English. The truth is, I’m a huge reader. If I don’t have something to read, I’ll go nuts. And when I can’t read, I’ve always made up stories in my head to entertain myself. I found out writing them down is even more fun than just thinking them, because you get to find out how the story ends. Good stuff!

Question- Are there any how-to books you recommend for writers?

 Me: Deb Dixon’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict and just about any of James Scott Bell’s how-to books.

Question- What’s your process for starting a new book?

Me: I wish I could say, I do this and this and this, but sadly, I can’t. Sometimes I play the What If game and sometimes a character takes shape in my head and won’t leave me alone until I write her story. That’s what’s happening to me this time. I wish I knew where this story was going, but I don’t. I do think it’s a Christian Suspense, though.  Maybe.

Question- Did you struggle as a new writer or were you blessed with sales from the word go?

Me: I wish you hadn’t asked that question. The truth is, I struggled. And I’m still struggling. I sold lots of short stories, but I can’t tell you how many novels I learned on before I started selling.

Question- I know you write in more than one genre. Can you tell us a little about that?

Me: My first book was To School a Cowboy, a straight romance. The second one was Blind Sight, romantic suspense, and the third one was Make Me Howl, which is a werewolf story. Those three were published by The Wild Rose Press and under my name, Susan Shay. I just finished a manuscript called Jordan Valley that I call Christian Women’s Fiction. The new one I’m working on is also set in Jordan Valley and is (hopefully) going to be a suspense. I plan to write those as either Susan Spess or Susan Spess Shay, unless someone changes my mind for me.

Question- What piece of advice do you have for a newbie struggling writer?

Me: The best advice I can give anyone is stick with it. Find a good critique group. And read. I met a guy once who had written a long, long book he wanted to get published, so I asked him what he liked to read. He told me he didn’t read. I was shocked. Writers read. Maybe not all the time, and maybe not in the genre they write, but if a person doesn’t like to read, why would he want to write? And don’t take yourself too seriously. Look for the glee in life and laugh as often as possible, especially at yourself. After all, you know the inside story. You know how funny you really are.

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We Have a Winner!

We have a winner from the Halloween Party!

Karen Boyington won the drawing for MAKE ME HOWL and a Halloween surprise!

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Congratulations, Karen!

Hope you enjoy the HOWL and the surprise!

If y’all haven’t liked my Susan Shay, Author Facebook page, please come by and click the LIKE just below the Scarecrow. Let’s have some fun!


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Help Celebrate the Big Three!

Guess what? I’m game!! Well, Jazzy’s game, or part of one. 🙂

We’re helping Romance Reviews celebrate their third (3!) anniversary by giving away a digital download of my book, MAKE ME HOWL!

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Click on the 3 right there and it’ll take you to the party.

 

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All you have to do once you get there is answer the questions for a chance to win. It’s multiple choice, so easy-peasy. Right?

If you have the time and like to play games, pop on over. I hope you win big time! 

BTW: I’m #1 in the questions today! (Woohoo!!!) 

Here’s my question: In Make Me Howl, why is she (Jazzy) in deep trouble?

Do you know the answer?

 

 


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I’m 65! (Not My Age.)

Just picked myself up off the floor.

I don’t believe it! This is so cool. Really, cool!

This morning in the Kindle Free Book Store, MAKE ME HOWL is #65. NUMBER SIXTY FIVE!!! I’m in total shock, and doing a Scooby dance. (I’m not sure I can manage a Snoopy Dance this early in the morning.)

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That means out of about  56,844 free books on Kindle I’m #65. WOOHOO!

And I’m #3 in Romantic Comedy. #4 in humor. YAY!

MAKE ME HOWL is a fun book (and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so.) I can’t take all the credit for it, though. I have a great bunch of critiquers who point out my mistakes, and my editor, Lara Parker, was a great help! (Wow, the things you learn in edits!)

Anyway, wanna see it in ink?? (And so I can remember this miracle.)

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

If you haven’t picked up your free copy, do it now! You can always buy the “real” book later.

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Leave me some bloggy love today? (IOW: please comment): I’ll give you a choice.

#1- Do you think it’s stupid to give my book away or do you think it’ll translate later into higher sales?

If you don’t have an opinion about book sales, answer me this–

#2- Should I print out the Amazon page and frame it? 🙂


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Reviewed by Marilyn Pappano!

I got my first review on Amazon and guess what! It’s by Marilyn Pappano.

SQUEEEEEEE!

What’s a newish writer supposed to do when a she gets a fantastic (FIVE STARS!) review from a New York Times bestselling as well as a Rita ™ winning author?

I don’t know what she’s supposed to do, but I’m screaming it from the roof tops. 🙂

YEAAAAAAAAA!

Pop over to Amazon and read her review. Go ahead, I’ll wait. (If you want to buy it while you’re there, that’s okay, too.) 🙂

So did you read it? Is that cool or what???

In case there’s anyone in the reading world who doesn’t know Marilyn Pappano, she’s a fantastic author who has published 80+ fantastic novels. (She has a new Copper Lake story out called, “Copper Lake Encounter,” which will grab you by the throat! It snatched the breath right out of my lungs with the first four words, “Welcome to my dream.”)

So  . . . I’m using Marilyn’s review the best way I can. I’m sharing it. I made a new header and put it up here (above) and used her words this time.

And I used part of her review on the MAKE ME HOWL Facebook page.  Pop over there and “like” Jazzy’s page if you haven’t. She’ll love it.

BTW: I’m getting ready to do that drawing. If you haven’t signed up to win the prize, comment here about what critter you’d like to shape shift to, given the choice.

Oh, about Jazzy’s story . . . I think you’ll like it. She has quite a “tail!” 🙂


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BIG! SURPRISE!

Guess what!

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MAKE ME HOWL (my werewolf book) is going to be available, exclusively on Kindle, on July 26, 2013. JULY 26th! That’s this Friday!!! (I found out yesterday.)

Wow. Wow, WOW, WOW.  That’s four days from now.

I’m kind of in shock.

Okay, I’m really in shock. Big time!

I keep wondering if it’s a mistake. 🙂

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If MMH was a real book with pages (and it won’t be until November) this is what the back cover would say:

When Chase Holliday’s gaze first met mine, something tingled on my end. He was hot. Dark blue eyes, a square jaw, hair that was just a little too long, and this way of focusing that made me wonder if I should attack or run.

 And I never run.

 Together we’d make a pair anyone would sit up and notice–at least that’s what I thought. Then I learned that he planned to wipe werewolves from the face of the planet. And since I was born with an active werewolf gene, well, let’s just say our twain could never meet.

 Until a Blood Moon occurred while I was in heat and all my hard earned control went slamming out the window with me right behind it. That’s when I learned that, like wolves in nature, werewolves mate for life.

 I’m in deep trouble.

Not your normal shape shifter story. But Jazzy isn’t your normal werewolf, either. Like her grandmother, she was born with an active werewolf gene. (Her twin sister got the gene for straight hair, so it all evens out.)

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I set up a Facebook page for MMH. Please take a moment to pop over there and “like” it. Or pretend you like it. Either one. Here’s the page.

BTW: This is the last manuscript I finished before I started trying to write Christian Women’s Fiction. (aka: Inspirational Romance.) I’m working on and praying about that now.

So (please!) come see me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MakeMeHowl

Thanks, guys. (I need all the help I can get.)

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And, no. That’s not me on the cover. 😉