Interview with… Susan Meier

Susan Meier first sold to Harlequin in 1989. Her Silhouette Desire debut was Take The Risk and since then, she has written 60 books. What she loves most about writing for Harlequin is editorial support. She’s had some of the best editors in the industry.

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1. What book first got you hooked on Harlequin?
I wish I could remember the title. But all I can remember was that the cover was brown. The heroine was a ballet dancer, the hero a repressed businessman. I was hooked! LOL

2. How did you celebrate selling your first manuscript?
I had always wanted to go into a department store and NOT have to go to the sales rack. The month I sold, I had been scoping out two beautiful business suits for work. I could never afford them on my salary, but I was wishful thinking. When I sold two books on one day I raced to the department store to buy my two suits…and guess what? They were on the clearance rack! LOL!!! So I got both suits for the price of one.

3. Which of the many books you’ve written has stayed with you the most and why?
My RITA finalist, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHTER, was the story of a recovering alcoholic fixing the marriage he’d destroyed. It was brutally honest. Which made it an intense story to write. But, honestly, as far as remembering is concerned, THE BABY PROJECT and BABY ON THE RANCH rank highest. Both had an element of humour that blended in with the more serious storylines. I think I was trying to convey the fact that when life is really difficult, sometimes the best thing to do is laugh.

4. What’s top of your TBR pile?

5. What book do you wish you’d written and why?
It’s not a book…It’s a movie. LOL I wish I’d thought of the reinvention of the Star Trek brand. Not just because I love Star Trek, but because it was a BRILLIANT idea.

6.What’s harder – first or last lines?
Last lines write themselves. First lines? They are killer.

7. How do you choose your characters names?
Again, the characters sort of tell me their names. I was having tons of trouble writing THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHTER and couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized I had the heroine’s name wrong. Once I switched her name to Kate – girl next door – the book virtually wrote itself. Names are critical to getting the right story!

8. How do you push through writer’s block?
I have a tool I call THE LIST OF TWENTY. It was invented by some guy in the twenties who was helping a business tycoon get the most out of his time. Essentially, you write the problem in the form of a question and think of twenty answers. One of the answers is bound to be innovative and fresh…but the better end result is that I’ve gotten my brain switched on again. Sometimes writer’s block is a matter of a problem with the story. Other times, it’s just a sluggish brain. That tool helps with both problems.

9. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever had?
Keep writing. I’ve been through lots of industry ups and downs. I’ve had ups and downs in my career. The world has had trouble. Trends come and go. I’ve just kept writing what I do best. I modify, of course, to keep up with the times and to assure that my stories are fresh. But at the end of the day, readers can’t read a book that isn’t written. J

10. Your preferred writing snack?
Cheetos are my answer for everything, except when I want M&M peanuts. LOL

11. Who is your favourite fictional couple?
I always wanted to be Shelby Campbell in Nora Roberts’ book ALL THE POSSIBILITITES. I realized that’s because I wanted to be married to Alan MacGregor! LOL So it’s gotta be them.

12. If you could rewrite your life, what would you change?
Probably nothing. I married the true love of my life. I have three wonderful kids. I have the career I wanted. I believe all the side roads that seemed like trouble were just arrows getting me to where I am now.

13. What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
Everything you want to know is on Facebook! I love Facebook for that reason. I can just chat. I can talk about myself and my cat Sophia (the second love of my life) and especially the fun I’m having getting physically fit. I hired a trainer (a huge expense for me on my salary) but she has been sooo worth it. In the year we’ve been together, she hasn’t just helped me get my fitness back, but she’s shown me that working out can be fun. Cindy has been a true blessing.

14. What is your most overused word?
LOL Not a word but one of those silly things we post on Facebook, in emails, on twitter. My friends are threatening to take LOL away from me

15. If I wasn’t a romance author, I would have liked to be…
A corporate lawyer. Seriously. Odd choice, but I see myself in an office in NYC scouring contracts, looking for things that might hurt clients (like a detective) and figuring out language to help clients. An odd choice.

16. When was the last time you said ‘I love you’?
About thirty seconds ago. 🙂

17. What does love feel like?
Reality. Romance is one thing and I love having it in my life. At the oddest times my husband can be romantic. But nothing is better than being with someone who also accepts you as you are. My husband and I pitch in and help each other out, as well as do nice things for each other. Anybody can fake a romance, but you can’t fake real love.

18. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Marathons of the television show SAY YES TO THE DRESS! Who doesn’t love hour after hour of looking at wedding dresses!

19. What’s your most romantic song?
Kenny Rogers’ THROUGH THE YEARS. But lately there have been other cooler ones. I think the current group of songwriters is our best in decades.

20. Every hero needs a…
Big heart.

We hope you all enjoyed these insights into the wonderful world of Susan Meier! Don’t miss Susan’s most recent Harlequin Romance, Her Brooding Italian Boss, out now!