Monday, August 28, 2006

Susan Donovan GuestBog: Good Naps and Real Men

The first time I read one of her books, I fell in love with rough, alpha, Irish cops from Chicago. Which was a stretch for a girl who like to fantasize about rough, alpha, Irish cops from Boston.

Anyway, she's an awesome romance writer who understands what makes a romance a romance. And she's most deserving of the good news she's about to share.

Welcome, Susan! We're so happy you're here...

Greetings to all Bella Babes of the world!

First, thank you, Michelle, for inviting me to stop in for a visit. Now that the kids are back in school, I have promised myself that I’m really going to get back into the swing of my writing career, doing such things as updating my website, completing my proposal, and generally living by the rigid schedule of self-discipline for which I am famous.

Or, I could just take a really good nap.

In the meantime, I have excellent news to share – my latest novel, THE KEPT WOMAN (St. Martin’s Press, July 2006), has officially made me a best-selling author!

I made the USA Today list plus Bookscan, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, and Ingram’s. Everyone is telling me that I might want to capitalize on this success by writing another book. So perhaps I should skip the nap and just keep plugging away at my proposal. (I’d tell you more about what I’m working on but even my editor is in the dark at the moment, and I should really tell her first. I can tell you it will be out sometime in the summer of 2007.)

Next up for me is a novella entitled “Bed and Breakfast,” for the January 2007 erotic romance anthology entitled REAL MEN DO IT BETTER. This St. Martin’s anthology is a sequel to the popular HONK IF YOU LOVE REAL MEN from the summer of 2005.

I have to tell you, writing these “real men” novellas has posed quite a challenge for me because all I could think was, “Who the *^%@ wants to read about real men?” But upon reflection, I realize I’ve toyed with that question each and every time I sat down to create a hero for one of my contemporary romance novels, whether I knew it at the time or not.

As a reader myself, I know what I like in a hero – a man whose struggles have made him stronger, someone who has a sense of humor despite everything he’s seen, a man who can make a girl hyperventilate just by walking across the room.

But for me, this man has to be rooted in the real world enough that I can believe he might just actually exist out there somewhere. That’s what I try to give my readers – a combination of flaws and fantasy, real and real hot.

I hope I’ve succeeded with my latest creation – Jorey Matheny in “Bed and Breakfast.” He’s a 40-something architect who ditched pressurized city life after a heart attack and a divorce, and now owns a retreat lodge in the remote Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.

He is introspective, funny, and more ready for love than he realizes. Jorey’s quiet existence ends abruptly with the arrival Los Angeles businesswoman Kate Dreyfuss, who shows up in the wrong month for a retreat and then gets stuck by the rains.

Well, it’s back to the proposal for me! I look forward to sharing thoughts with those of you who stop by today.


Encore! I don't think Susan will mind -- in fact, I think she'll join right in -- if we wish Bella Vivi Anna Happy Birthday. Buon Compleanno, Bella!


Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Susan! I love those covers for your books!

Happy Birthday Vivi Anna!

MsTypo said...

Bienvenue and congrats on the best selling status! It was only a matter of time. :D

Happy Bday Vivi Anna!! :D :D

Stacy~ said...

Hey Susan, congrats on hitting the bestseller list :) WTG. I read "Public Displays of Affection" and loved it - loved that naughty side to Charlotte on the side of the road - this would have fit in with yesterday's topic *g* And I read "Honk If You Love Real Men" (great cover!) Plan on adding more titles to the list.

Happy, happy birthday Vivi! I bet you'll be celebrating in a memorable way ;)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, and welcome, Susan! So glad you're here!

I've read "The Kept Woman," and just love it!

Your books each have very specific flavors, which keeps your work fresh. And we can always expect from you contemporaries that are fun because you don't try to prove how great your chops are; you just write an entertaining, engaging, sexy novel w/ heroines who have something to learn about themselves, and a "little larger than life" guys who always can laugh at themselves about something. Thanks, oh thanks for those things, 'specially the first.

We all have expectations of our work. Mine are very exacting: I want everything spelled correctly, and I want to get it in somewhere around deadline.

What do you want to make sure you achieve with every novel you offer us?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, Stace, yes, yes, YES! And, Vivi, we can thank Stacy for letting us know today is your special day.

What can we get you, Vivs? Stace and I were thinking a male cyber-stripper? Maybe I'll just email you the link Bella Michele sent me yesterday. It leads to gorgeous b/w s of young, strapping rugby players al fresco. I don't know if you'll like it, though; some of them are very sweaty and dirty.

Hello, TypO! So good to have you back. Are you recovering from your vacation? We'd love to hear about more Aussie men interspersed with Susan's visit today.

'mornin, JenY! The covers are great, aren't they? Really playful and artistic.

Kris said...

Hello, Susan. I just wanted to fangirl a minute and say that I love your books. I read Knock Me Off my Feet about 5 months ago and LOVED it, so I went out and grabbed the rest. And i have loved them all. I love your light hearted writing style, your stories crack me up. Thanks for writing them!!

Happy Brithday Vivi Anna!!!!! :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Susan!! I have read THE KEPT WOMAN and loved it. I can't wait to read more.

Happy Birthday, Viv!!! May this year bring more sandwiches and buffets than you can handle...but won't it be fun to try. :o)

Louisa Edwards said...

Susan, congrats on the USA Today list! That's fantastic. And I have to tell you, I was in a B&N yesterday and caught the cover of KEPT WOMAN out of the corner of my eye, and it actually stopped me in my tracks and compelled me to pick up the book. The very definition of a great cover...

ev said...

Morning Everyone!!! Happy Birthday Vivi!!

Welcome Susan- another author to add to my TBR pile!!

This is why I live by the motto-I can't die until my tbr pile is finished!!!

On the road today, so hopefully i will be able to check back in tonite. have a great day everyone!!

Vivi Anna said...

Yeah!!! Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! Stacy...big smooches!

And here I was just sitting thinking about how to fit a delicious sandwich into my day... ;-)

Welcome Susan to RBTB!

Playground Monitor said...

I read KNOCK ME OFF MY FEET and even won a little website contest that Susan ran at the time. Fun, fun book! And I remember meeting Susan at the lit signing in Dallas (or I think it was Dallas).

Congrats on your honors! Enjoy the moment.

And happy birthday to Vivi. 29 again? Hmmm?

Marilyn -- who got to not only attend a Deb Dixon workshop on Saturday but got to spend two nights with her grandbaby and took a short video that is available here. Isn't she a cutie pie???

Kati said...

Hi Susan! I'm thrilled you're here!

Susan is an autobuy for me, and her book HE LOVES LUCY is my favorite, but not for the reason you think. Susan does a truly wonderful job of highlighting Special Olympics, which is a cause very close to my heart. My roommate's 28YO brother is an olympian. He's an amazing kid. Forever in second grade, but seriously ya'll, one of the most delightful and driven people I know. Susan, thank you so very much for highlighting such a wonderful organization and for showing that "special" people are real and normal and AMAZING!

OK, truthfully, I also really loved Theodorable, but the Special Olympics story is what got me and what makes it my favorite Susan Donovan novel!

Thanks for joining us. I'm so glad you're here!

PS - Happy, Happy Day Vivi! Send hugs and love your way. You are ONE INCREDIBLE BELLA! Muah!

Monica Burns said...

WElcome to RBTB Susan...we're always delighted with the awesome authors Michelle pulls in here on the blog, because they all have something awesome to offer!

Afternoon Bellas...just a quick hello then back to work. All hell has broken loose and I'm chasing more monkeys than I care to at the moment. It's actually making me look forward to the annual GYN doc visit this afternoon, so you KNOW it's got to be BAAAADDDD!! LOL

Vivi!! Hugs and Happy B'day girlfriend!! Hope you find something rough and ready to hitch your saddle too. ;-D Preferably in black leather.

Susan Donovan said...

Hi all, and Happy Birthday to Vivi.

Thanks for all the great comments -- it is always wonderful to hear what exactly readers have enjoyed about each one of my books. It's a reminder to me to follow my instincts. There are times I'm sitting at my keyboard and the little voice of doubt whispers, "Are you really sure you want to go there?" That usually means I HAVE to go there!

For example, take what Mary Kate said about the character Buddy in HE LOVES LUCY. I remember modeling Buddy and his Special Olympics friends on the real-life humor and pathos I'd observed during my research. But then I doubted my own observations, worrying that I'd offend readers with mentally challenged family and friends. The opposite turned out to be true -- I got so many letters from readers who were able to laugh and cry right along with my character, and who thanked me for telling it like it is!

I hope I can continue to do that in my books.

I'll check in later!


Rach said...

Hi Susan! Welcome =). Happy Birthday, Vivi. May you have the sandwich of your dreams ;o).

Susan, I really enjoyed THE KEPT WOMAN, and look forward to KMOMF =)

Marilyn, the grandbaby is just fabulous! Mon, hope all was as well as can be expected at the gyn...blah.

Vivi Anna said...

Susan, thanks for the birthday wishes..

Do you only write contemporary? Ever thought of dwelving into other genres?

Susan Donovan said...

To answer your question, Vivi Anna... I have been toying with the idea of doing a series with my usual sexy, funny, contemporary flavor but with a major paranormal twist -- but I can't seem to get my editor to go for it.

The first book I ever wrote was half historical and half contemporary. That book will never see the light of day. (Lucky for everyone.)

I guess I'm saying that I'm open to new directions, including straight women's fiction, but right now I'm sticking with contemporary romantic comedies.

amy kennedy said...

Susan, go for it. You could add such a delight to paras.

Michelle pretty much made me read Public Displays of Affection--I haven't stopped thanking her yet.

And yes, Stace--that scene, I don't think a week goes by where that lovely scene isn't in my head at some time.

Susan--we sometimes wonder if we should "go there" and then we always do, and it always ends up funny--I meant with our comments.

I think you're fabulous, and can't get enough.

amy kennedy said...

Happy Birthday Vivi!

You better do something fun. And then tell us all about it.

amy kennedy said...

I just re-read what you said, Susan--that you can't get your editor to go for the paranormal twist.

I understand wanting to stick with what works--but, with your talent and the popularity of paranormals, it seems funny that they wouldn't take a chance.

Ah well c'est la publishing.

catslady said...

Hi Susan and Happy Birthday Vivi Anna!

Michelle, I wanted to let you know I received by Carly Phillips book and a cute stuffed doggie from winning here - thanks!!!

Stacy~ said...

Good God Bella Michelle, tell me I didn't give you an orgasm?!?! Chanting all those yes's along with my name is what I imagine Clive Owen is saying to me (okay, in my dreams), not a Bella LOL. Btw, have you seen the cover of GQ? Our man Clive is lookin' mighty sexy with all the facial hair. And those dreamy eyes.....

I haven't read He Loves Lucy but it sounds amazing. I love an author that isn't afraid to go further than he/she thinks they should. I admire those fearless instincts because I think it really give a story a lot of power. Writing is such a gift, and I love it that so many authors here don't take it for granted but rather take it to the limits, and beyond. LOVE that.

Amy, I think about that scene a lot, too. It's just so carefree and wild. Just like the days of summer should be.

Hope your b-day was awesome Vivi. And I'm ever so glad you don't mind that I blabbed all over the place...okay, just to Michelle, but she ran with it. It's all her fault *g*

Vivi Anna said...

Nope Stacy, I thought it was sweet...and getting birthday wishes from all your amazing Bellas has made my day a great one!

Even without a sandwich... :-(

amy kennedy said...

By the way, Susan, who wouldn't love a 40 something architect--yes!

Can't wait to read The Kept Woman. And I'll be looking for Real Men Do It Better next year.

Maria Geraci said...

Congratulations on your success, Susan! I have to agree with everyone on those fab covers. They're awesome looking!

And Stacy, I couldn't agree more about Clive. There's no one yummier than him!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks so much for sharing a day with us, Susan! Clearly, we all loved the roadside scene in PDA,and are looking forward to next year's release. THANK GOD we have The Kept Woman to read now.

Stace and Mariageraci, yes! And did you know that Clive was the original RBtheBlog poster guy? And then along came Nathan.

Yet, we are -- ok, i am -- nothing if not malleable -- ok, fickle -- so we can always go back to Clive for a while. I even have some photos in my blogpix file...

Mon, can't wait til my b-da y to see what you wish for me.

Rach, i didn't know you'd read TKW! hope you had a good day.

Vivi, hope your day was happy, too!

Marilyn, you lucky, lucky girl!

Hey again, Loisa!

Playground Monitor said...

My son the daddy is an architect. He's not 40 but he does have a birthday next month. How can I be old enough to have a kid who's gonna be 28??? How can I be old enough to be a Grammy?????


Julie in Ohio said...


Julie in Ohio said...

WOO HOO!! It finally worked.

Sorry about the jibberish. No I'm not drunk at 11:33 am but I've not been able to post since yesterday morning. I was beginning to feel paranoid. I didn't know if I made the power that be angry. You know me, I live with my foot in my mouth. But after a few ritual sacrifices, I'm back on. :o)

I'm sorry I missed Susan. I really enjoyed TKW. I can't to read HE LOVES LUCY. The Special Olympics is near and dear to my heart. You just don't find any 'special' characters. I'm excited to pick it up. Thanks, MK, for the rec. :o)

kim h said...

h susan
such a fan of your books. they are so hot. love knock and take a chance on me. keep up the hot novels