Her secret identity might not be so secret any more… Read on and find out more…
All good superhero stories, have a sequel–something else happens after the first foe is vanquished. How does your sequel begin (after the publication of you first/most recent book….)
Since my last appearance here, I’ve been involved in three multi-author anthologies. The first, my own brainchild, was Beaux, Ballrooms, and Battles, which has nine Waterloo-themed Regency romances. Some of the stories have been released separately, but the anthology is still available, in digital form and in print. The second, Sweet Summer Kisses, has nine stories involving wallflowers and/or bluestockings. It was quite successful, with Erin Knightley as a lead author. The anthology is no longer available, but a few of the stories have been released separately.
The third anthology is Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, a runaway bride-themed project from the Bluestocking Belles, a group I joined early last winter. It’s due to be released November 1 and at this time has already sold 2,700 pre-orders. All proceeds from Bluestocking Belles’ projects goes to the Malala Fund, for the promotion of global education for women.
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity. How has yours grown and changed since you started life as a superhero?
I have the feeling my secret identity isn’t as secret as it used to be. At the RWA Convention I constantly run into people who “know” me from social media or from my association with the Beau Monde. I told an old school friend about my writing, and he mentioned it to his girl friend, who said she had read my first story, Treasuring Theresa, and loved it. At RWA when I had to leave to visit a doctor for my nasty poison ivy, I lent my badge to a friend who hadn’t been able to register, and she only got as far as the elevator before someone made a comment that she thought “Susana Ellis” was much older than my friend was! I recently announced at a family reunion that I had taken up historical romance writing, and a distant cousin wanted to know if I used any of our ancestors (some of whom lived in the Regency era) in my stories. So I don’t think there’s much of a secret left to hide!
Do you have any sidekicks or a new superhero team member? What are their superpowers?
As I mentioned previously, I joined the Bluestocking Belles, a collaboration of eight Regency romance writers. We didn’t really know each other beforehand, so it’s been a bit of a challenge to become acquainted with each other and our skills and strengths in order to determine our places in the group. It can be pretty difficult to keep eight people all on the same page at the same time, especially when they come from different time zones. I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me it’s been a fabulous opportunity to grow and learn. It’s amazing how much stronger a group can be when there are eight people all working together for the same goals.
Have your superpowers grown and changed since your last adventure?
Writing skills grow with writing, so I would say mine have definitely improved, although I find myself spending my time in other writing-related activities much more than I’d like. On the same level, though, I’ve developed skills in other areas, such as self-publishing and graphic designing, that will be helpful later, so I can’t say it’s been a waste of time.
What new supervillain have you faced on your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
Time management. There just isn’t enough of it in the day. I wish I could tell you that I have vanquished it, but I haven’t. Does that tarnish my super-hero status slightly?
What new lessons have you learned during this new adventure?
I need deadlines to get things done. But I hate them. I really, really hate them. I have a tendency to procrastinate and do things just before they absolutely must be done, and consequently, I’m always feeling apprehensive that I will miss the deadline. I absolutely did miss a deadline—two of them—last summer, and it was just humiliating. But all I can do is pick myself up, dust myself off, and let the past be the past. This procrastination thing really sucks.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
Making friends—mostly other authors—all over the world. I recently visited three of them in England when I was there, and I have now put Australia and New Zealand on my bucket list. I love that I live in a global society and applaud diversity in all its forms.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
You know, revisionist thinking goes against my philosophy of life. It’s too easy to get caught up in wishing one had made different decisions way back when and mourning over what could have been. I’ve learned so much since I started writing seriously nearly four years ago, and most of it has been from experience—essentially, making mistakes. You don’t learn without making mistakes, so I can’t regret them.
There’ve been times when I wished I had become a serious writer from the start and not spent so many years teaching foreign languages. If I had, perhaps by now I’d be another Nora Roberts! But those years of teaching and studying abroad and being involved with language teacher organizations made me the person I am today, and I find I cannot regret it. I’d have missed out on a lot of friendships and experiences that I will always treasure.
Tell us about you new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
My story in the Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem collection is called The Ultimate Escape. It’s the only time travel in the bunch! It’s a sort of a prequel to a novel I hope to bring out by Christmas, A Home for Helena. It involves the elder daughter of Lady Pendleton, a time-travelling Regency lady who has been featured on my blog, Susana’s Parlour. Lady Julia is on the eve of her wedding to the man she’s always loved, and something happens to make her realize that she can’t go through with it. But she doesn’t want to face her fiancé or her family, and the idea comes to her to escape to the future for awhile until she can figure out what she should do. (She knows that her mother is a time-traveller.)
When confronted by Lady Pendleton with the truth about Julia’s whereabouts, Oliver knows his only chance to win back his bride is to travel two hundred years into the future to find her. And, with Julia, come to grips with the truth about the past that has kept them apart.
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
A Home for Helena features Lady Pendleton in a secondary role, where she assists a young woman from the future who has come to the past to search for her true family, from which she was abducted as a baby.
I will also be releasing two stories from previous anthologies, Lost and Found Lady and The Third MacPherson Sister. The latter is a prequel to another novel that should come out relatively soon.
You can find Susanna at:
You can find The Blue Stocking Belles at: