Susanna Ives’ Wicked Little Secrets

SusannaIvesToday I welcome the lovely Susanna Ives to Teatime Romance.

Thank you for the invitation to the lovely Teatime blog and the delicious cyber scone.  I’m the author of rather naughty historicals, but I’ll try to behave myself in this proper, elegant setting.

Tell us about yourself and your release.

I feel like I’m standing in front of the classroom at show and tell, holding out my shiny brand new book Wicked Little Secrets.  Here’s its sexy blurb:

Vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family’s approval by getting engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. But when threatened by a vicious blackmail scheme, it is to her childhood friend that Vivienne turns; the deliciously wicked Viscount Dashiell.

Lord Dashiell promised himself long ago that his friendship with Vivienne would be the one relationship with a woman that he wouldn’t ruin. He agrees to help her just to keep the little hothead safe, but soon finds that Vivienne has grown up to be very, very dangerous to all of Dash’s best intentions.

I’m Susanna Ives.  I drive my beloved children around to school or classes, help develop web pages, minimally take care of my home, and talk to my friends on Facebook (or, gasp, sometimes in person!). I’m not such a good cook, so I won’t be sharing any recipes. On the surface, I appear quite normal, if not dull, but in my fantasy, fictional writing world, I’m insanely interesting and six inches taller.

You’ve had an interesting journey to publication. Please tell us about it.

It feels like I’ve been writing a long time even though I have only two published books.  I might be approaching the famed 10,000 hours in another few months if I haven’t already. I started writing when I became a stay-at-home mother. I loved being with my children, but changing diapers, playing on the activity mat,  and keeping them from sticking their tiny fingers in electrical sockets didn’t satisfy my creative drive. So I started scribbling in notebooks while my children banged on pots. Then I joined The Beau Monde, the Regency special interest chapter of the RWA, and a fabulous group of writers. If you’re writing in or around the Regency era and you haven’t already joined this amazing group, stop reading and hurry over to the Beau Monde web page and fill out the membership form!

So, I was working on what I thought was going to be a masterpiece of romantic literature (laughs). So confident was I in my work, that I entered the first chapters in the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot romance writing contest.  I think I received the lowest scores in the contest that year.

Nonetheless, I lurked about the chapter email loops, still scribbling on my poor misunderstood romantic masterpiece.  The next year when the Royal Ascot came around, I swore I wouldn’t enter. My feelings were too hurt.  But, and I probably shouldn’t admit this, I had to prove something to myself: I was better than the previous year’s dismal performance.

So bad Susanna wrote fifteen pages of a story about a lady who wanted to turn her clueless, farmer neighbor into a rake. I titled my entry Rakes and Radishes.  And it was a finalist! With just fifteen completed pages, I was sure that I was going to get the call. (laughs again, this time with bitter edge)

Let us put aside the rejections, a new story that fell apart, and the completed Rakes and Radishes manuscript that I hid away in a drawer, and summarize the next year and a half as “a learning experience.”

I wanted a fresh start with a different era. So I decided to write a naughty, comedic Victorian, cramming it full of Victorian clichés. And Wicked Little Secrets was begun. At that time, I was in several writing groups, getting some pretty heavy critiques, and really focusing on my craft.  About halfway into the writing process, another wonderful writer friend said she would recommend Rakes and Radishes to a new all eBook press.  After sitting quietly in some obscure folder on my hard drive, I took the old MS out, polished up its query letter and synopsis. However, the night I sent out that query, I also emailed one to another new publisher: Carina Press. I had very little hope.

Then the amazing Carina Press called and offered to publish Rakes and Radishes!

I’m going to leave out some steps here, except to say that after the Carina Press publication I spent a great deal of time revising Wicked Little Secrets. Then something amazing, Cinderella-like happened: I got a wonderful agent. Wicked Little Secrets was sold to the fabulous Sourcebooks Casablanca. Last week it was released, and I’m thrilled.

Is this book part of a series? What’s next?

It’s part of a three book series set in the Victorian Era. I’m superstitious about revealing what I’m working on, so I’ll remain silent for now.

Ah, come on! Oh well.  Everyone has their absolute favorite books that they’d save from a fire. What are your five favorites?

Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao Te Ching.
My childhood copy of A Little Princess
A particular research book titled White-Collared Crime in Modern England.
My children’s signed copy of The Oddhopper Opera
One of the few printed versions of my first book Rakes and Radishes

This being a tearoom, how do you like your tea?

Yorkshire Gold with almond milk, vanilla, and sugar.

My favorite!  Wicked Little Secrets is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

WICKED LITTLE SECRETSWicked-Little-Secrets72

It’s Not Easy Being Good…

Vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family’s approval by getting engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. But when threatened by a vicious blackmail scheme, it is to her childhood friend that Vivienne turns; the deliciously wicked Viscount Dashiell.

When Being Wicked is so Much More Exciting…

Lord Dashiell promised himself long ago that his friendship with Vivienne would be the one relationship with a woman that he wouldn’t ruin. He agrees to help her just to keep the little hothead safe, but soon finds that Vivienne has grown up to be very, very dangerous to all of Dash’s best intentions.

About Susanna

Susanna Ives grew up in the rural South, where she spent most of her youth at the local theater, acting in productions, working in the lighting booth, and building sets. Eventually she left her small town for the city lights of Atlanta, where she attended college and worked in corporations as a multimedia developer. These days she chases after her two curious, energetic children, designs web pages, and writes.

You can learn more about Susanna Ives’ work at:

 Website/Blog  | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+

 

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