"Mad About the Boy is a multicultural contemporary romance with a lot of drama, fun along the bumpy road of relationships. Julia and Christophe meet when one is ready to love and the other one wants no part of it; surprise, Julia is the one commitment phobic and with good reason. Watching her sweetheart suffer from a serious illness and pass away, Julia has been content to live her life through work with no intentions of marrying again. Christophe, on the other hand, is not so cynical; despite his parent's divorce, he believes in happily ever after and the string of girlfriends he's had in the past are meaningless compared to Julia whom he falls for. They are both successful, ambitious people with very different backgrounds, Julia from a boisterous Latino family and Chris having grown up with the suave elegance of a French American background. Complete opposites but so alike, Julia and Christophe fumble through the rocky road of love with dramatic, hilarious and melt your heart moments. Mad About the Boy found its title when I first heard the namesake song by Dinah Washington and fell in love with it. The soulful music is inspiring and speaks quite clearly about Julia's struggles of being so in love even though she really refuses to admit it."
In writing, Suzan has been surprised at how good it feels to hear praise from readers who have really fallen in love with the characters she writes.
"I recently had lunch with the Australian Romance Readers Association group from Sydney and had a ball," she told me. "I was there as a lover of romance books and felt truly blessed when they told me how much they were enjoying my book. I was truly surprised and grateful to be acknowledged. I always ask for honesty and not everyone with love it but many people will."
Suzan has completed two novels--Mad About the Boy, her first contemporary romance, and a YA Urban Fantasy adventure that will be released on April 14. She also wants to work on the second book in the Mad About You series with Benjamin Augustine's story in Mad About the Girl.
"I can't pick any favourites because they all much loved in their own unique ways," she said, "but Mad About the Boy is special because I first wrote it when I was 18 years old."
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.
"When I was seventeen after watching the Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliette with my younger sister, my brother came to pick us up and take us home. Needless to say the events that followed will haunt me the rest of my life. My sister jumped in the front seat, I opened the back seat but there was stuff everywhere and so I had to move it out of the way. Unfortunately, my brother didn't see if I was in the car and slowly started to drive away but he had the music blaring and was talking to my sister. I did call out to him' I even was holding onto the open door, my heart racing as I kept calling his name to get his attention. People at the cinema carpark were staring at me! I could feel him speed up but he finally looked up to see that I was running alongside the car not wanting to let go (a fear of abandonment perhaps). I was so embarrassed, completely humiliated, said I would never talk about it in any interview, which I've declined to mention it before but here I am confessing all to you fine people! Oh well, the world will eventually know about it. I was, of course, in tears when we got back home because my brother and sister thought it was hilarious; however, I maintain it was the movie that made me cry. I've also accidently walked into a male toilet and was quickly yanked back out by my sister; the little man on the door looked like he had a dress on and I wear glasses."
While talking about embarrassments, I noted that everyone has an "embarrassing mother" story. I asked Suzan to share hers with us.
"She dressed up as a belly dancer for my Book Launch party with my aunty and took a plate around for payment from guests when she had finished dancing. She also included a massive happy birthday sign and balloons in the house," she remembered. "Ggranted all the guests were family and friends and it was my birthday but she may still think I'm five, not thirty-one."
The best piece of writing advice Suzan ever received came in what she calls her "most beloved rejection letter." She received it when she was 16 from the Editor of the Books for Children and Young Adults, Sandy Webster. The encouragement in the letter and her advice has stayed with Suzan.
I’m sorry that we can’t give you a more positive response. However, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your chapters, which have such a fabulous energy… I trust that you will continue to develop your writing, and to read widely. It is important, at this stage, that you continue to enjoy writing rather than worrying too much about the opinions of publishing houses… I hope you keep it up, and I wish you the best of luck.Depending on the style of scene or book Suzan's working on, she has created a playlist for it.
"I listen to classical, gothic rock, pop, easy listening, rnb, heavy metal - you name it I'm probably listening to it," she explained." I'm currently enjoying Within Temptation their music is what can get my fingers speeding across the keyboard."
Suzan loves to write stories that are fantastical, mythical, or anything open to her imagination, but she admits that all her books will contain one thing: some element of romance.
"I adore writing about relationships and how two people can overcome the minor and major dramas in their lives," she said.
Finally, I asked, "If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?"
"Electricity for my Laptop; paper and pen always come together; Ipod with all my favorite music; my man, because I couldn't live without him and the romance (can't be alone on an island); and my book collection," she answered.
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