Friday, 8 March 2013

Author Hot Seat Welcomes Susan Hayes

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of today’s popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.

Today we welcome Susan Hayes to the Hot Seat, her current release is Guarding Valentina out through Siren Publishing. Let's see how Susan answered our tricky questions and then after the interview why not take a sneak peak at Guarding Valentina and see how you can win a copy for yourself. 

About your writing:

How did you get started as a writer?

I've always loved to write, but I didn't get serious about actually writing things for other people to actually read until I lost my little brother suddenly. His death made me realize we’re only here for a little while, so if this was something I wanted to do, I had better get on with it!

Why do you write?

I write because I love to create my own worlds and tell the stories of the characters who live there. And quite honestly I write because my muse gets incredibly cranky if I don’t. I stopped for a few years when things were tough in my life, and I realized later that not writing actually made things worse. It’s just part of who I am.

Have you ever had a day you wanted to quit and never write again?

There are days I wanted to toss my computer out the window or set fire to a manuscript that wasn't working, but I have never considered stopping writing forever. I couldn't do it.

Do you feel lucky to be doing what you are doing?

I feel absolutely blessed. Siren Publishing accepted a manuscript that had already seen several rejections and gave me the opportunity to develop a reader base and hone my craft. I will always be grateful to both my publisher and my readers for their support.

Tell me how you got to where you are today?

I actually started out writing comedy articles for some internet-based humor sites. One of them has an open door policy for submissions, and once I learned enough to get my first article published, I was hooked. After two years of freelance writing I decided to try my hand at longer works and switched to fiction, specifically erotic romances because that’s what I enjoy reading.

How do your family/spouses react to your work as an author? Do they know what you write? 

I’m single, and I have learned the hard way that telling a prospective date what I write is a tricky thing. I usually don’t mention it until I am sure there’s not going to be an adverse reaction, or worse, an assumption that I have done/tried/lived the lives of my heroines! (If I did, I certainly wouldn't be single.) My parents are very proud of me, and my mum has no trouble telling people I write smut. (Her word)  My dad knows what I write, but for his own sake my mum banned him from every actually reading it.

About you:
What are you passionate about in life?

My friends, my writing, and chocolate ice cream.

If you had to give a thank-you speech at the Oscars, who would you thank and what would you say?

I’d have to start by thanking my parents for teaching me that anything is achievable if you work hard enough at it, and for loving me even when they were quite sure I’d lost my mind. My best friend would get a big thank you too, for not only being the one who taught me to write erotic romances, but for being my sounding board, my cheerleader, and putting up with me talking about the characters in my head instead of reality some days.

What are the three most important life lessons you've learned that might make life easier for others?

Don’t let negative or needy people steal your energy or your dreams. If they aren't encouraging you to go forward, then they are holding you back. Let them go.

Life’s shorter than we think it is and sometimes tomorrow never comes. If there’s something you really want to do before you die, find a way to make it happen now. You can always come up with a new goal after this one is met.

The voices in your head, the ones that whisper you can’t do something because you’re not good enough, or strong enough, or pretty enough? They’re always wrong.  

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Whom would it be and why?

I’d want to spend a week as one of my heroines, so that just once I could experience what it feels like to live in a world where no one leaves the toilet seat up, there are no fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes, and nobody snores.

What's the worst thing you did as a kid?

My dad is over six feet tall and was a cop for 30 years. I had too much self-preservation to get into much trouble!  I did get into a Roman candle battle with a group of friends one Halloween…and we managed to set a neighbour’s field on fire. Oops.

What do you do to have fun?

Rock Band night with friends ranks high on the “fun” list. I do a wicked Bon Jovi impression.

Share a funny incident in your life.

Several careers ago I worked in the tourist industry, selling souvenirs to guests at a local seaquarium. It was a regular occurrence to be approached by a panicky non-local who would flap and gesture while breathlessly explaining that our seals had “escaped.” I would have to calm down the patron and reassure them that those were wild seals. And then, invariably they would argue with me. “No no, they can’t be!”  Already knowing the answer, I’d ask how they could be sure. “My child waved at them coming down the ramp, and the seals waved back!”

And that is why the aquarium trainers were all given corporate memos instructing them to stop teaching the wild seals that inhabited the marina to wave in exchange for fish treats.

Fun Stuff:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

I’m pretty sure Hollywood actresses don’t come in my height/weight ratio… but Charisma Carpenter would get my vote. Why? Because she was in Buffy!

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

Hagen Daz ice cream, Mayan chocolate flavor.  Smooth, tasty and with just a hint of heat.

What is your favorite color- food- song- movie?

Color: Purple.   Song:  The Rose   Movie: The Princess Bride

What's the funniest pick up line ever used on you?

“What is a cute little heifer like you doin’ in a cow shed like this.”  Used by a Texan hottie, in a bar in Australia. I’m sure it worked better on the natives…I just couldn’t stop laughing.

What's the one thing you can't live without?

Laughter. What would life be without it?

And finally:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
                       -An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
                       -An old friend who once saved your life.
                       -The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
You can only fit one person in your car, who would you choose to offer a ride to?

The old lady.  My friend will understand because they are my friend, and if that is truly my perfect partner, he’ll ask for my number while he’s helping me get the old lady into my car. 

Leave a comment on this post to go in the random draw to win an ebook  copy of Guarding Valentina. Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win. Good luck everyone.

Purchase book
Guarding Valentina:

Sometimes everything has to go wrong so fate can make it right.
Valentina Farro is used to being the hunter, not the hunted, but when a vampire marks her for death, everything changes. Now one of Paladin’s fiercest warriors is fighting for her life and the lives of her Paladin family.

It should have just been another assignment, but nothing goes according to plan when the vampire Aedan Doyle is hunting leads him around the world and into Valentina’s life. Determined to keep Val safe from the vampire’s vengeance, Aedan appoints himself as Val’s personal bodyguard. Then he makes sure he’s guarding her beautiful body up close and personal, every chance he gets.

As the body count rises, Valentina and Aedan’s new bond is tested to the breaking point. Trusting each other with their lives is one thing, but can two solitary warriors find the courage to trust each other with their hearts?


“You’re going to need to put some pressure on that.” Another voice came out of the darkness, and Val acted out of instinct, her gun trained on the new arrival before she remembered she was in the middle of Seattle and not some godforsaken warzone.

“How the hell is everyone managing to sneak up on me tonight?” she muttered in frustration as she got to her feet, still feeling slightly unsteady but determined not to show it.

“You can put the gun down, luv. I’m one of the good guys.” The stranger’s voice was gentle, and there was an almost musical lilt to his words as he held his hands up, showing he was unarmed.

“Forgive me if I don’t take your word on that.”

He reached up slowly and swept a sodden tumble of auburn curls out of his eyes so she could see his face. “Those holes in your neck are going to keep bleeding unless I treat them. It’s a charming little trick they have, something in the saliva that stops the blood from clotting properly.” He took a step forward. “My name is Aedan, and I’m sorry I didn’t get here in time to save your friend. You must be a member of the Paladin Protection Agency.”

Val lowered the gun, though she didn’t take her finger off the trigger. “Did Remington take out a front page ad or something? How is it everyone I’ve met tonight knows who I am and who I work for?” She raised her free hand and clamped it down on the wound on her neck, hissing slightly in pain as she pressed hard to slow the bleeding.

“Your organization seems to have run afoul of a very nasty vampire, luv.”

“Stop calling me that,” Val snapped.

Aedan grinned and took another step toward her. “I’d use your name, but first you need to tell me what it is.”

“It’s Val,” she offered and lowered her gun the rest of the way. “And I’ve decided I’m going to trust you, for now.” As he moved close enough that she could see him properly, Val realized he was probably used to being trusted on sight. Or being flirted with on sight, she mentally added as she took in his appearance. His eyes were hazel, and even in the dim light of the street she could make out the smattering of freckles that dusted his chiseled features. Even soaking wet and half in shadow, the man was definitely easy on the eyes.

“I’m pleased to meet you, Val. Though I will admit I wish it were under more cheerful circumstances.” Aedan reached into his pocket, and Val lifted the gun slightly in warning. “Easy now, I’ve got something that’ll help with the bleeding. No need to shoot the man offering to help.” He dug deeper and withdrew what looked like a small, plastic squeeze bottle full of water.

“What is it?” She eyed the bottle with distrust. The wound on her neck hurt like hell, and the bleeding hadn’t stopped yet, but she’d rather deal with the discomfort than let a stranger dose her with god knew what. “And for that matter, how do you know about Paladin? Or vampires?”

Aedan chuckled. “Is this what you call trusting someone? I’d hate to see how you react to someone you don’t trust if this is the warm and fuzzy version.” He tipped the bottle over and squeezed a bit of the liquid onto his hand, where it blended with the rain. “It’s holy water, that’s all. It’ll help. And as for how I know about Christoph and his kind, I’m a hunter.”

“Oh, that clears it up nicely,” Val shot back and arched a brow at him in irritation. “What the hell do you hunt? Deer? Criminals? Unicorns?”

“Vampires, actually,” Aedan answered in a matter-of-fact tone as he nodded toward her injury. “Will you permit me to fix that for you, or are you going to just keep bleeding until your friends arrive?”

It was at times like these Val envied her teammate Tara her empathic abilities. It would have made it so much easier to know if she could trust this charming man, or if she was about to fall victim to her infamously bad sense of character judgment yet again.

“Go ahead.” She lifted her fingers away and frowned when she saw that she was still bleeding heavily. “And uh, thanks.”

“This might sting a bit,” he warned her.

“It’s only water. How much could it—yeow!” She yelped in surprise at the burning sensation that flared up and then faded as quickly as it had come. “I thought you said that was just water?”

“Holy water. Father Patrick’s special blend, in point of fact. It has the power to purify that which has been tainted by the undead.”

“So that hurt because your friend Christoph left me with a neck full of vamp venom?”

“Something like that, yes. But let’s be clear here, Christoph is no friend of mine. He’s more like my current assignment. Forgive me for saying so, but you don’t seem too well informed for a group that managed to kill off an entire nest of Christoph’s fledglings. I’m going to guess you’re new to this sort of thing.”

Before she could answer him, several sets of headlights appeared on the road, heading toward them at high speed.

“It would appear your friends have arrived.”

Before she could say a word, he brushed a quick kiss to her lips, and then his voice whispered in her ear, “I’ll see you again soon, luv.” Then he was gone. Between one heartbeat and the next, he vanished. Her lips still tingled from the kiss he’d given her before he had disappeared, the only proof he’d ever been there at all.

Buy Links:
The Paladin Protection Agency Series:
Saved by Sin – Book One:
On Jason’s Watch – Book Two:
Guarding Valentina – Book Three:

Where to find Susan on the web:

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