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Why don't you write historicals anymore?


The simple answer is I'm writing the books I could sell right now.

The long answer's a bit more complicated. I've always kept a file of ideas that didn't fit my historical romances, that either needed to be set in a contemporary setting and or had elements that didn't fit under the romance umbrella. When I left Avon, I sent around one of those proposals, as well as an historical romance proposal. Just Sex simply generated more editorial enthusiasm. I'm was thrilled to write it; it was a creative stretch, and it explored some ideas I was very interested in doing.

Will you ever write historicals again?

Oh, I hope so! In the best of all possible worlds, I'd alternate, though truthfully I probably don't write fast enough for that. But now I keep a file of historical romance ideas, and someday I'm sure I'll want to write some of those.

Are you the Susan Kay who wrote PHANTOM?

No, I'm not . . . although, if the extremely flattering e-mails for her that are sometimes sent to me by mistake are any indication, maybe I wish I was! The name similarities are purely coincidence. Susan Kay Law is my real name and I write (at least so far) only under that moniker. I use the Kay because it's not only my middle name, but my mother's first name, and I figure she's earned some acknowledgment, for she had a great deal to do with my love of books.

You mention that your father's a minister. What does he really think about you writing such sexy books?

First, you have to know that I hit the jackpot in the parents department. My dad is enormously supportive. He's even read all my books... which is far more than I can say for my husband.

If the person asking is really concerned, Dad usually says something along the lines of: "I've spent thirty-odd years in the ministry, and you would not believe some of the things I've heard in that time, the things that people who claim to love each other are capable of doing to each other. In Susie's books, the people clearly love each other, clearly respect each other, and I say they should go to it!"

If the person is just ribbing him a bit, he generally pats his chest, grins, and says: "It's in the genes."
I've always wanted to write, but my life is very busy. You have three children; how do you find the time?

First of all, I don't particularly buy the truism passed among writers as gospel that "writers can't NOT write." Because I most certainly can not write; in fact, I'm pretty darn good at it. Playing with ideas in my head is ever so much easier than actually putting them down on paper, and going to the park with my boys always seems a lot more fun than slogging through the rough draft of chapter fourteen.

One thing that's helped me a lot is to give up the idea of needing big blocks of time, two to four hours, to write. That's a luxury my life generally doesn't yield. I've learned to write in snatches – a page before the kids get up, fifteen minutes here and there before I have to leave to do the endless taxi-ing, another ten while dinner's in the oven, perhaps another page after they finally go to sleep. Maybe because this keeps the book in the forefront of my mind and I spend the day thinking about what I'm going to write, I often can get a surprising amount done in these little snatches. Leave your computer on, with your book file already called up, all day so it's ready and waiting for you. Three pages a day, done regularly, adds up pretty quickly.

When I'm really desperate, however – especially when I've got to revise a manuscript to meet a deadline – I've been known to check into a hotel for the weekend.
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