Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview & Int'l Giveaway: Suzanne Barrett

I am so excited that I have been given this opportunity to interview Suzanne Barrett. She currently has two contemporary romance books available; In Love and War (her newest) and Late Harvest. There is also a giveaway and one winner will get their choice of one of these books in e-book format! Form is below.

Welcome Suzanne, I am so glad to have you on the blog today.

Thank you for having me.

Tell us a little about yourself?

Some years back, I left Corporate America and an engineering job to write full time and haven't looked back. I live in the country, raise chickens, garden and make jewelry, and sell at arts and crafts shows. I've always been an avid reader.

Late HarvestWhen you got word Late Harvest was going to publish, what was that feeling like?

Extreme pleasure that finally this manuscript was going to be a beautiful book I could hold in my hands and share with my family.

Tell us a little about Late Harvest in your words?

I've always been interested in wineries, and living in a small wine-making region, I wanted to write about what I knew. The Beringer House in Napa Valley interested me, and so I drew on my German background to create a story about German vintners and Eiswein, a particular late harvest wine where the grapes are picked after a freeze. Of course I added an appropriate amount of sturm und drang to give the story a plot.

In Love and WarYour newest book is In Love and War, tell us a little about this one.

In Love and War is my favorite book and was written after a winter's stay in Ireland. Every place, every incident was carefully researched. It's the story about Meaghann Power, an Irish dairy farmer and cheesemaker who runs her farm almost single-handedly and struggles to make ends meet. When an opportunity presents itself for her to rent her converted castle keep to an embittered Irish American war correspondent, she jumps at the chance. Of course she doesn't know he's embittered, wounded and surly, but in short order she learns that much more than Quinn Lawlor's broken body is in need of mending. What begins as indifference, turns to interest, and later passion. But Quinn hates political conflict and Meaghann is exactly the woman he should never love. Moreover, Meaghann has secrets she cannot reveal.

What do we have to look forward to in terms of new books from you?

Three novels and a Christmas novella are scheduled for release in 2011. One of these is a new Western historical titles Sierra Bride about an Irish mill worker who escapes a would-be murderer to become a mail order bride. Another book I'm working on is a wine country story set in the Santa Cruz mountains and will be a romantic suspense. Two more completed contemporary books set in California, plus a medieval set in twelfth-century Wales and an Irish story set during the Easter Rising of 1916 are also in the works.

Being an author of today, what is the difference you have seen with E-Book sales versus paperback? Has it surprised you?

Actually, I don't consider myself an author of today since I made my first sale in 1998 when my New York publisher did all the promo and e-books were barely getting off the ground. Now, jumping back into the publishing world of 2010, I see huge changes. E-book sales often out-perform paperback sales, and most readers have Kindles, Nooks or Ipod applications where they can download and read various digital formats. Electronic books are less expensive and downloading is super simple. While I still love the feel of a paperback or hardcover book, I love that I can take my Kindle everywhere and have dozens of book loaded on it. So, yes, I would have to say I am surprised, but technology is moving forward so rapidly that it was bound to happen, and if a writer doesn't move along with it, he or she will be left behind.

Do you have any writing quirks?

Only that I can't work in a cluttered environment. I have to have a tidy desk and neat office.

What gets you into the mood to write?

A walk around my property, a cup of tea in the garden, communing with Nature. Or an idea that demands I put it to paper.

Favroite book, if you can choose one?

That could change from time to time. The book that got me thinking that I could write a romance was LaVyrle Spencer's Hummingbird. A favorite book is a series of Celtic fairy takes by a little known author, Ann Moray, titled A Fair Stream of Silver.

What are you currently reading?

Since I also review books, I read a fair number of them. Just finished Blood Stains by Sharon Sala (excellent, BTW). I'm currently reading Susanna Kearsley's Mariana. My taste varies--anything from romantic suspense to contemporary to historical, and I also enjoy the wonderful inspirationals by Julie Klassen.

How about an “interesting” fact about yourself that everyone might not know.

Just one? :-)  I design jewelry, specializing in wire wrap, and have a website at I write articles for my own Irish travel site at www.irelandforvisitors. I am a certified water fitness instructor and I love cats.

Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share about your books?

My stories tend to center on the tortured hero, a strong heroine. The books are sensual, but more along traditional romance lines with out-of-the-ordinary settings and/or themes. (e.g. dairy farmer, female structural engineer, wine-making occupations)

Here is the form below. Fill it out and check back on Valentine's Day to see who the lucky winner is. This is int'l! Good luck


Krista Ames said...

Fantastic interview Suzanne, can't wait to get your newest. I have your first, just have to find some "me" time to sit and read it. They both sound great!

Renee Vincent said...

What a lovely interview, Suzanne, at such a lovely blog! *waving to Beck*
These questions were a nice change of pace from the norm. I so enjoyed learning more about you, for instance, you being a certified water fitness instructor?! Pretty cool!

All the best to you Suzanne!

Renee Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista Ames said...

Fantastic interview Suzanne, can't wait to get your newest. I have your first, just have to find some "me" time to sit and read it. They both sound great!

Krista Ames said...

Fantastic interview Suzanne, can't wait to get your newest. I have your first, just have to find some "me" time to sit and read it. They both sound great!

Tracy March said...

Hi Beck and Suzanne,

First of all, Beck, I want to tell you that I love the refreshing desgin of your blog. It is so fun and easy to read with the pull-quote styling of the interview. So much better than endless blocks of text.

And, Suzanne, I just can't get enough of hearing about you and your writing. Your life sounds simply full and fulfilling. With cats!

My best,

Tracy :)

Rebecca said...

Thank you everyone for the compliments on the blog. I took me almost 6 months, and I finally designed the right blog for me of everything that I had compiled that I liked. So, it feels wonderful to know others like it.