‘It was so funny and romantic … (There) was so much romance and fun going on I totally loved it! A wonderful author who I hope to read more from.’ Amazon reviewer, Angela.
It’s a year since Sue Fortin’sHarperImpulse debut, United States of Lovewas released, and we at Romaniac HQ wanted to wish it a fabulous 1st birthday. It’s a great, romantic read with a handsome, hot hero, and a strong heroine who has many dilemmas to overcome.
I wonder what Tex is doing to celebrate. A big hog roast in his restaurant, perhaps, or a trip home to America see his family …
And with Sue’s second novel, a fast-paced, gripping suspense,Closing Indoing well in the charts, it’s a double celebration!
‘I would urge anyone who enjoys a good, fast paced psychological thriller to read it – you won’t be disappointed!’ Room For Reading
Along with her novels, Sue is a contributor to Romaniac Shorts, a collection of flash fiction and short stories to suit all tastes. Her third book for HI is expected soon.
Next month will mark a full year since I signed a three book publishing deal with Harper Collins’ romance imprint Harper Impulse.
It’s been an exciting year which has seen two of the titles published, both in digital and paperback format, book number three submitted and, as a group, The Romaniacs have also published a short story anthology. To say it has whizzed by would be an understatement, but I’ve taken a moment to pause and reflect on how the past year has been.
Fast. Busy. Stressful. Exciting. Frustrating. Enjoyable. And every emotion remotely related to those. That’s how it’s been.
And it’s not just the range of emotions I’ve experienced, I’ve also learned a lot about myself as a writer and the writing process itself. Amongst many things, I’ve learned …
That I will love my edits, despite what I may tweet at the time of being in the ‘Editing Cave’.
That Book 2 helps to sell Book 1.
That I will happy dance at good reviews.
That I will grow thick skin for the not so nice reviews.
That I will compulsively check Amazon rankings, despite pretending I’m only going to look for a book to read and that I’m not really going to look at mine and compare it with every other book in that genre.
Would love to know how the past year has been for everyone else.
Have you had your book published? Have you signed with an agent? Have you self-published? Have you joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme? Did you renew your NWS membership? Have you written another draft? Written an entirely new book? Decided to write in a completely different style or genre? Or anything else remotely related to writing …
My book United States of Love is set in the historical West Sussex town of Arundel. I’m lucky enough to live just a short drive away and love going over to the lake for a walk or a wander around the town, which ALWAYS involves a pot of tea and a slice of cake. Usually, the children are in tow but on a recent visit, I was child free so I took the opportunity to browse a local second hand book shop.
It’s a tiny shop front but rather like the Tardis when you go inside. It is also a book lover’s paradise. There is shelf after shelf of old books. A lot of specialist books and a lot of first editions. Set over three floors; a warren of little rooms, narrow staircases and sloping ceilings, I was amazed at how organised it was.
Venturing up to the top floor where the fiction books were kept, I was surprised to see a book by an author I have on my reading list. A paperback by Paul Christopher, The Sword of the Templar. A secondhand paperback in excellent condition priced at £2.50 – a bargain. However, I didn’t buy it. Not because I didn’t want it, but I suddenly felt guilty. By buying this book secondhand, I would get the enjoyment, but the author wouldn’t actually benefit. I felt like I was cheating him out of his royalties. Okay, I appreciate missing out on one sale of his book, probably isn’t going to be life-changing, but, all the single sales add up.
It made me stop and think.
Is it okay to buy a book secondhand which means no royalties for the author? Or, should I buy the book from a book shop or on-line? Either way, if I enjoy it, I’m likely to buy another. At the end of the day – does it really matter?
What are your thoughts on buying books secondhand?
It is set in the lovely historic towns of Chichester and Arundel, both local to me. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some photos of the settings and scenes for my main characters, Anna, Tex and Mark.
And this photo is of my daughter, taken a couple of years ago, which I think speaks for itself. It certainly worked for me and my publishing dream.
This is a terrifically exciting day for our very own Sue Fortin (and consequently for all the rest of the Romaniacs too, as we bask in reflected glory and slap each other on the back a lot. I slapped Laura so hard she fell over earlier…she obviously needs to eat more cake.)
Anyway, Sue’s contemporary romance novel ‘United States of Love‘ is released in digital format by Harper Impulse on this very day, with paperback to follow shortly, so we thought we’d celebrate our lovely Sue’s success by giving you a few thoughts on our favourite subject – love. We hope you’ll add yours too, but for now, crack open the virtual champagne and help yourself to a scone.
Celia: Love is:
Lighting the candles even though it’s only soup for tea.
Being told off by your daughters for laughing too much in bed (don’t ask).
A hand to hold in front of the fire when Downton gets serious.
Laura : Love is:
Being given a daily limit by your mum as to how many times you can speak the name of your new man.
Supplying Minstrels and making coffee to help maintain the writer.
Pretending to be ill in the honeymoon hotel bidet, whilst your newly-wed wife is bent double over the loo, because ‘We’re married now, and we do everything together.’
Sue : Love is :
Not having to worry about the state of your legs quite so often during the winter months.
Being able to name all the players in your beloved’s beloved football team, what positions they play and how many goals they’ve scored. Not only that, but you find yourself attempting to discuss the off-side rule with some degree of authority.
Your partner not batting an eyelid when you call him by the name of your fictional hero.
Catherine: Love is:Double diaper changes without a nose peg.
Eating Christmas pudding in October because your OH loves it.
Morning snuggles with two babies nestled in between you.
Lucie: Love is:Giving you free reign over the biscuit tin, and not saying ‘diet’s going well then?’, when you are emotionally drained from that last scene you wrote.
Not calling you crazy when you pull the car over just to write down that all important idea that simply cannot wait five minutes until you get home.
Understanding, and accepting, that if you try and talk to me when I am writing, you are more than likely to either be given a one word answer, get a completely random response or, if you’re lucky, be totally ignored.
Vanessa: Love is: Bringing me a cup of coffee in bed on a Sunday morning and leaving me to sleep even when it’s really your turn for a lie-in.
Never doubting for a second that one day I will get there with my writing…
Making me laugh until I cry.
Jan: Love is:Gamely stomaching your beloved’s first attempt at French onion soup when he’s clearly confused his teaspoons of salt with tablespoons (or rather, ladles!)
Never complaining when my characters get more attention than you…
Not being able to imagine my world without you in it…
Debbie: Love is:
Being in charge of the remote control.
Not having to get out of bed to turn out the light.
Finding the one who makes your heart smile.
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.
~ Mother Teresa
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.
Laura: How do, Mme Fortin. So. You’ve been busy then?
Sue : Busy? So it would seem. 🙂
I heard YOU HAVE A BOOK CONTRACT! Massive congratulations. This is fantastic news because it means chocolate cake will be abundant at Romaniac HQ ALL WEEK!
You must be so delighted.
Sue : Thank you! I am absolutely thrilled – I can’t wait to eat all that chocolate. Oh, and there’s the ‘small’ matter of the book as well – I am, of course, absolutely thrilled about that too!
Laura: How was yesterday, when you were ‘announced’?
Sue : It started off feeling ever so slightly surreal, then when it was actually announced, it was very exciting and then when I had to sit in the waiting room at the dentist, it was back down to earth with a bump. Didn’t my dentist know I was an author and had lots of authorly things to do?! (I think I may have just made a word up there.)
Laura: United States of Love will be your first book released by HarperImpulse. What can you tell our readers about the story?
Sue : The blurb probably sums it up better than I can …
Since splitting from her husband, single mum Anna Barnes is enjoying her new found freedom and independence.
However, she didn’t bank on working for Tex Garcia – or the sparks that fly between them. The gorgeous American chef is getting the locals hot under the collar and not just because of his culinary prowess!
One problem: Tex can’t commit and women pass through his life like dishes going out to service! Will it be the same with Anna? One thing’s for sure, this All American man is determined to break her self-imposed rule of never mixing business with pleasure – and add some spice into the mix…
Laura: What else do you have lined up?
Sue : At the moment my current WIP has the working title of ‘Closing In’. It’s a mix of romance and crime. I’ve been calling it a ‘Cri-mance’. Did you see what I did there? Clever, huh?
Sue, we are so happy for you – each and every Romaniac is bursting with pride. (Whoever burst last, please clear up your mess.)
Vanessa: You are such a talented writer and I know United States of Love is going to be a massive success – I’m so proud and thrilled for you, Sue and I can’t wait to read it! xxx
Lucie: Massive congratulations to you, Sue. I am so so proud of you. It is a fantastic book and I wish you all the success in the world – you deserve it! Lots of love and hugs xxxx
Catherine: Sue’s writing is as bubbly & bright as she is! Wonderful news and very well deserved. I’m looking forward to this and Sue’s future books. xxx
Jan: A gem of a read by a gem of a writer! Thrilled to bits for you, Sue. As is our trusty HQ honk-o-meter. Massive Congratulations! xxx
Celia: Oh, wot they sed, in spades. So excited, proud and happy about this news – well deserved; a Romaniac star in the making, and a lady who knows how to live life to the full too. Holding up my glass to you, Sue (and hoping that yours will be held up even higher today). Much love xxx
Laura: Excellent work, Mme Fortin. 🙂 xxx
Sue : Merci beacoup, mes amis. Thank you so much for all your support my lovely friends and, yeah, clear that mess up – you’re worse than the children! xx
United States of Love is available to pre-order from Amazonhere.