"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Publisher Spotlight: Mardi Gras Publishing
RITA winner Susan Grant blasted into the romance-writing world at warp speed when she created an entirely new sub genre: aviation romance. As one of the first women in history to attend the US Air Force Academy, a former Air Force instructor pilot, and currently a 747 jumbo jet pilot for United Airlines, this New York Times best-seller loves writing about what she knows -- flying, action- adventure, and the delicious interaction between the sexes.
PNR: We last spoke with you in March 2003, and you have been very busy; can you tell readers what you have been up to?
Susan G.: Parenting and flying aside, I have been busy getting situated with my two new publishers! That means after a few short breaks to pump up the muse, I've been writing like crazy.
PNR: Let's talk about your new release, YOUR PLANET or MINE?. Your heroine, Jana, is lovable and somewhat quirky, and I was instantly drawn into the story on an emotional level. How did the idea for this story emerge? The characters?
Susan G.: The story grew out of a 'what if'. What if you found out your imaginary childhood friend wasn't imaginary? Then as I began to write the story, Jana's family emerged and I loved them all! Seeing this big, loving extended family all involved in each other's lives...for better or for worse, I knew I'd have to write about Jana's brother Jared and sister Evie. Jared's story is MY FAVORITE EARTHLING and will be out in March 2007. Evie's book is HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS but I don't have a pub date for it yet.
PNR: In YOUR PLANET or MINE? you revisit the alien theme seen in CONTACT. Why do you feel the alien sub-genre is so appealing to readers? The paranormal genre in general?
Susan G.: I think it's the 'fish out of water' concept that is so appealing to many readers of paranormal. I know it is for me! Take someone and plunge them into a strange world where the rules they once knew are all scrambled, then throw in an exotic love interest while their emotions are still raw and exposed and it makes for a story I can't resist!
PNR: YOUR PLANET or MINE? is your first release with publisher, HQN, are there any additional projects in the works?
Susan G.: Oh, yeah--lots! Besides the ones I just mentioned, I sold three more books to HQN. I'd like to do Mysteria II, and there's a fantasy anthology, and a straight suspense anthology in the works, but since all of those are under contract consideration, I can't discuss details yet.
PNR: You are revered for your strong, competent and feisty heroines. What is your inspiration for these characters? Do you have a favorite heroine you have written?
Susan G.: My life and the women I've known are the inspiration. My favorite heroine is Cameron Tucker from The Scarlet Empress. I also loved writing Queen Keira from My Favorite Earthling. She was a blast to write--and so different from Cam.
PNR: And we cannot forget your trademark sexy alpha heroes, Cavin comes to mind immediately; can you give us a peek at their development? Can you tell us where to find one of these men?
Susan G.: I wish I knew how to find men like them! I am an optimist, so I always hope that someday I will! I love confident, take-charge men WHO RESPECT WOMEN. Any condescending attitudes are out the door--hate that. As a strong, successful woman, I am attracted to a man who's confident enough in his abilities not to be intimidated by me but who still gets the fact I love to feel protected, enclosed in his strong arms.
PNR: Your writing is infused with witty humor and clever dialogue which often offsets the tension and danger in the storyline. Do you feel humor is an essential element in your writing?
Susan G.: Shoot, humor is an essential element in my LIFE, let alone my books, so yes, it has to be there! I have written more serious stuff, like CONTACT, but bits of humor always slip in, just like in my real life. Maybe that comes from the dark humor pilots and soldiers use to get us through the 'scary parts'.
PNR: You have teamed up with a host of today's most popular romance authors to give readers BEWITCHED, BOTHERED & BEVAMPYRED, Season 1, with proceeds benefiting the Red Cross. BEWITCHED, BOTHERED & BEVAMPYRED, Season 2 will be released in October, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer research. How did you become involved in this project? Could you tell us about your story contributions to these projects?
Susan G.: I was on an author loop with Terey Ramin, the creator, when she first started talking about ways we could help the victims of the tsunami. I'd felt so helpless to be able to do anything besides donating money so that when she came to me and asked if I'd be part of it, I was grateful to have something concrete I could do. My story for BBB1 was about a demon lord who is sentenced to mortality for committing 'crimes' of kindness. He lands naked in the flowerbed of Harmony Faithfull, the town pastor. My story for BBB2 is about an alien with a certain...deformity that any woman would wish their man had. Heh. It pairs up with Gena Showalter's novelette in the project and we had lots of fun with the little stories.
PNR: MYSTERIA is a spin off of sorts from your Bewitched, Bothered & BeVampyred project. Could you tell us how this came about?
Susan G.: So, after being in touch with Terey, I was invited to contribute a short story for a project to aid the victims of the tsumani tragedy in Asia and later the Katrina victims. A full 100% percent of my earnings for Bewitched, Bothered, and Bevampyred went to the Red Cross, and continues to do so. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bevampyred was released in paper and electronic format in early March, with each chapter penned by a different author in an episode format resembling a television series. Four of us authors loved our characters so much that we thought they deserved longer stories, so we got together and created an anthology: Mysteria. Talk about an instance of something good coming out of something good!
PNR: The 2176 series, a collaborative effort with authors Kathleen Nance, Liz Maverick, and Patti O'Shea, seemed to strike an emotional cord with readers and was a very popular series. Can you tell us about the development of this series? Did the themes explored hold any special significance to you personally?
Susan G.: I created the 2176 series after learning of Silhouette's new Bombshell line. Since I wasn't free to write for another publisher at that time, I decided to create my own series. The original plan was for 6 books, the first and last by me and the middle four by other authors. I put out a private invitation and that's how I got Kathleen and Patti into the project. Liz I invited because I've always loved her stuff. I knew Kathleen could write great action and suspense with paranormal, so she was a perfect fit. I'd loved Patti's debut Ravyn's Flight and knew she was trying to sell a second book, so I went to bat for her big time and got her in. And now look at her, off and running with plenty more books and doing great! Anything to help a sister, up-and-coming SFR writer! The 4th author was to be a well-known science fiction writer, but at the last moment, that fell through. Quickly, I had to combine the plans for book 5 and the storyline I'd devised for book 6 and put it all together in one story that would also be a satisfying conclusion and a ripping good finale to the series. No easy task! My editor and I brainstormed and then it hit me: if we changed Bree's wingman (originally Cajun, whose story would have been book 5, him as the hero) to a 'wing-woman' it might just work. And so, Cam 'Scarlet' Tucker was born.
PNR: You have written series, with the 'STAR' titles and 2176, short stories and stand alone titles such as CONTACT and your new release, YOUR PLANET or MINE?. Which format are you most comfortable writing? Which is the most challenging?
Susan G.: I love the longer format of novels, definitely. Novellas are harder for me because you have so much less room for character development. So you have to get creative to pull it off. I think novellas are the hardest form of fiction to do well.
And actually, YOUR PLANET OR MINE? is the first in a trilogy. To date, I have only 2 stand alones: ONCE A PIRATE and CONTACT.
PNR: You have written in the futuristic, science fiction, alien, supernatural fantasy, and time travel genres, is there a genre, paranormal or not, that you would like to try but have not? Which is your favorite to write?
Susan G.: My favorite is science fiction romance. But I'm open to trying just about anything else! Typecasting sucks.
PNR: You have received numerous honors, including several PEARL Awards and a great deal of reader admiration for your writing. How does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Susan G.: As a writer, it is such a wonderful feeling to be recognized in this way, especially in the honors chosen by readers such as the PEARL awards. I simply can't describe the feeling of happiness and accomplishment to receive these honors. It’s these little boosts that keep a writer going through the long hours of writing when a story won't cooperate or when you’re just plain exhausted.
PNR: The new trend in NYC seems to be focused on the more erotic romance lines. As a well established author with a strong following, how does this trend affect your plans for future stories?
Susan G.: I stubbornly--or stupidly, you pick!--resist following trends. Publishers Weekly recently reviewed YOUR PLANET OR MINE? and said it 'defies categorization'. I like it! I just write what I write and hope that readers will continue to be entertained.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Susan G.: I'm busily writing HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS, the third book in the trilogy that started with YOUR PLANET OR MINE, as well as working on a couple of novellas simultaneously. As to what can be seen next, this October, the Triskelion will release Bewitched, Bothered, and Bevampyred 2, Fangs Again, to which I've contributed an episode. They are such a marvelously generous publisher and so fun to work with. Then in March 07, MY FAVORITE EARTHLING comes out. Possible more in 2007 but I don't have dates yet. Certainly more in 2008, as well. I'm happy and grateful to be 'employed' long-term at this point because the publishing industry can be so fickle.
PNR: Thank you Susan, for taking time out to speak with us; where can readers find out more about your work?
Thanks so much for the chance to connect with the readers of the PNR list!
Featured in this issue:Alien Themed Romance Mardi Gras Publishing
Sequel to the first anthology
Proceeds to benefit breast cancer research!
August 1, 2006
Paperback Read the Reviews!
PLANET OR MINE?
Think the grocery store is a great place to meet men?
Hunky interstellar fugitive, aisle 5
With outrageously false accusations piling up against her famous political family and an ex-fiancé in hot water determined to take her down with him, the last thing Jana Jasper needs is more trouble—especially man trouble. But when she heads to the grocery store for an ice cream fix, not only does the muscled hunk in the frozen foods section ranting about spaceships and invasions look crazy, he looks...familiar.
Cavin of Far Star has never forgotten the girl he met during his weeks spent on that quaint little world, planet Earth, the girl who didn't believe he was real. And now he'll risk his future to save her. All she has to do is take him to her leader. Simple enough plan—although Jana isn't so easily convinced. Hell-bent on charming his way past her defenses, he's determined to stay one step ahead of the galaxy's most feared assassin—and may just capture his favorite Earthling's heart in the process.
Buy it now! Berkley Pub Group (Sensation)
June 30, 2006
Paperback Read the Reviews!
Hundreds of years ago, in the mountains of Colorado (just close enough to Denver for great shoe shopping), the small town of Mysteria was "accidentally" founded by a random act of demonic kindness. Over time, it has become a veritable magnet for the supernatural—a place where magic has quietly coexisted with the mundane world.
It's a town like any other town, where the high school's Fighting Fairies give fans something to cheer about, where everyone knows your name—if not exactly what you are—at the local bar, and where the wishing well actually lives up to its name.
Strange occurrences happen every day, but now the ladies of Mysteria are about to unleash a tempest of seduction that will have tongues wagging for centuries to come...
BEWITCHED, BOTHERED & BEVAMPYRED
Bewitched, Bothered & BeVampyred:
by 20 Extraordinary Authors
Welcome to Brokenoggin Falls, where the housewives are not only desperate, they're Witches! (And one of them might be a Harpy) The spells cast by moonlight frequently go awry. And there are times when toads and Chihuahuas seem abundant as black flies in the summer, the dragons are a little touchy, the Forest Trolls are in danger of extinction from teeny- boppers, the Gryphons need help conceiving and...the scientist are crunchy and good with ketchup...
Newly Revised with Bonus Chapters Not Available in the eBook
ALL AUTHOR REVENUE FROM THE SALE OF THIS PAPERBACK ALONG WITH A PORTION OF THE PUBLISHER'S PROFITS WILL CONTINUE TO BENEFIT THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF FUND
THE SCARLET EMPRESS
The Kingdom of Asia: Shot down over Korea,
modern-day USAF fighter pilot Cameron "Scarlet" Tucker is put
in bio-stasis. She wakes 170 years later. Her wingmate and best friend
also survived: Now the "legendary" Banzai Maguire, Bree is being
held for treason in the country that was once her beloved United States.
Cam has problems of her own. She's in the masterful hands of Prince Kyber,
the dictator whom her friend thwarted. He won't get fooled again.
With the mysterious Shadow Voice urging revolution, and her friend in chains, Cam wants the sexy emperor on her side — and maybe a whole lot more. But her role in the thrilling mission to save her country has to come first. Banzai wouldn't surrender, and Cam won't either. It's time to give a royal butt kicking, and Cam knows just where to start.
Check out the entire series:
THE LEGEND OF BANZAI MAGUIRE
The year: 2006. The mission: routine. Or so U.S.A.F. pilot Bree "Banzai" Maguire thinks. Then she's shot down over enemy airspace, captured and put in bio-stasis. When she wakes, everything's changed. It's one hundred and seventy years later.2176.the world is in crisis, and she's a hotly contested prize.
Once, Banzai's job was to protect democracy; now a mysterious voice claims she must bring it back. Two men vie for her heart. Kyber, her captor, the rich, ruthless Emperor Prince of Asia, has all a man could desire. Then there's U.C.E. SEAL commander and would-be rescuer Ty Armstrong. He has all the right moves. With two such choices, Banzai regrets she has but one heart to give for her country.
THE STAR PRINCESS
Ilana Hamilton isn't an adventurer like her pilot mother, or a diplomat like her do-right brother; she's a brash, fun- loving filmmaker who'd rather work behind the camera than be a "Star Princess" in front of it. Heiress or not, she's a perfectly normal, single woman...until Prince Ché Vedla crashes into her life.
With six months to choose a bride, the sexy royal wants to sow his wild oats. Ilana can't blame him—but fall for the guy herself? Not a chance! Hotshot pilot or no, Ché is too stuffy, too arrogant, and too old-fashioned. But when he sweeps her off her feet Ilana sees stars, and the higher he takes her the more she loves to fly. Only her heart asks where she will land.
Winner of 2003 PEARL Award
THE ONLY ONE
They came from the darkest places: secluded
monasteries, the Carpathian mountains, galaxies under siege. They were
men with the blackest pasts—warriors, vampire monks, leaders of
armies—but whose passions burned like dying stars. They had one
purpose: to find those women who fulfilled them, completed them, and made
them rage with a fire both holy and profane. They sought soul mates whose
touch consumed them with desire, yet whose kisses refreshed like the coolest
rain. And each man knew that for him there was only one true love—and
in finding her he would find salvation.
Dark Decent by Christine Feehan
The Star Queen by Susan Grant
Sacrilege by Susan Squires
Winner of 2003 PEARL Award
CO-PILOT WITH A TERRIBLE CHOICE.
A beautiful co-pilot faces a terrible choice when her plane is hijacked on a late-night flight over the Pacific. Can she trust the dark-eyed stranger who has seized both her plane and her heart?
A MOTHER'S WAY
Four Author Anthology
Is it the king who commands Lord Jonathon to wed, or is it the diabolical scheme of his marriage-minded mama? After escaping her restrictive schooling, Miss Evelina Johnson wants to sow her wild oats. Mrs. Johnson plants different ideas. Andie never expects the man of her dreams to fall from the sky--but when he does, her mother will make sure the earth moves! Jennifer Martin has always wanted to marry the man she loves, but her mom knows the only ones worth having are superheroes. Whether you're a medieval lord or a marketing liaison, whether you're from Bath or Betelgeuse, it never hurts to have some help with your love life. Come see why a little meddling can be a wonderful thing--and why every day should be Mother's way.
THE STAR PRINCE
2002 PRISM AWARD Finalist:
3rd place - FUTURISTIC
2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner - Best Futuristic Romance
Winner of the PEARL AWARD 2001 - Best Futuristic
From PNR Reviews
A Graduate of the Air Force academy and a commercial airline pilot, Susan Grant is no stranger to risk taking. The bold heroine of her debut novel, ONCE A PIRATE, launched a new romance sub-genre, dubbed "aviation romance". Ms. Grant continued to rock the romance world by giving a mature heroine a second chance at love and the opportunity to realize her long denied dreams in THE STAR KING.
Her own star on the rise, this award winning author has penned yet another glorious tale of interstellar romance, filled with honorable men, strong independent women, and considerable humor. THE STAR PRINCE takes an unusual young couple, weighted with the high expectations of a powerful dynasty, on a wonderful journey of growth and self discovery. Fans of THE STAR KING will love THE STAR PRINCE.
THE STAR KING
Winner of PEARL
AWARD 2000 - Best Futuristic and Best Science Fiction
Haunted by a magical encounter in the desert after her jet was shot down, ex-fighter pilot Jas Hamilton is determined to discover why dreams of the mysterious golden-eyed man have derailed her life. When the two find each other after twenty years, they rekindle a passionate attraction.
ONCE A PIRATE
A modern woman
A 19th century rogue
A love transcending time itself
Hurled back in time when her jet crashes, fighter pilot Carly Callahan is rescued by handsome and aristocratic pirate Sir Andrew Spencer -- only to discover she's the loot in a long and bitter feud. When the baffling familiarity they share flares into passion, Carly finds that the only treasure in jeopardy is her heart.