Sunday, October 17, 2010

Susanna Ives

Thank you so much for hosting me on Seriously Interviewed and Reviewed. This is a great site, and I’m pleased to be a part of it.

What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
I’ve always had stories playing in my head, but I never thought I could write them down, especially considering the grades I received in high school and college composition. After several years in corporate jobs and then staying home with my babies, I decided I had to write a story and that I didn’t care if I were a good writer or not. For several years, I studied writing and craft. I joined writing groups and made friends with other writers. Slowly, I began to feel I could articulate my stories and my imagination onto the page…and that is my favorite thing about being a writer.

Do you have travel when researching your books? If yes, where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
I’ve traveled in Western Europe a great deal. Luckily, when I was writing Rakes and Radishes, I got a chance to visit London. I took lots of pictures to help me visualize what my characters would see and feel as they moved through the London streets. I tried to visit museums in the London row houses to see how the floor plans were laid out.

Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
I react strongly to music. I had jazz by Chris Botti and Diana Krall playing in the background when I wrote Rakes and Radishes.

If I need a mood or certain emotional response for a character, I find a song that expresses that emotion and repeat the song, trying to hold the emotion long enough to write how it feels. When Kesseley was spiraling down into rakedom, I listened to Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” over and over. Henrietta seemed to prefer songs by “The Sundays.”

On my website is the Rake and Radishes playlist (

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That your past and your past mistakes don’t have to dictate your future.

I think what I love about my characters is their resilience. They make terrible mistakes and must deal with the consequences of their decisions both on others and on their own psyches. Henrietta must realize the pain her childish schemes have on Kesseley. Her selfish love for Edward falls away for a mature love for Kesseley. There is even a point in the book when Henrietta realizes she might not have Kesseley’s affections again. She has to let him go to another woman with wishes for his well-being. I think that has to be the hardest, yet most compassionate love of all -- letting someone go.

Meanwhile, Kesseley has spent a lifetime defining himself as what he is not: his father. During the course of the story, Kesseley has to travel into his fears in order to come out his own man. A man ready to truly love Henrietta.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
Yes, I’m a little more stressed (laughs). In truth, it’s made me more protective of my creative space, as well as forced me to define what I want as a writer.

*Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I’m working away on a Victorian romance. I won’t say much because I’m afraid of jinxing myself.

You can find me on the web at On twitter I am @SusannaIves

What song would best describe your life?
Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”

If you were a superhero, what special power would you have?
Super Mixologist Chick. I would arrive on the scene and create the perfect mixed drink. Actually, I’m terrible at mixing drinks. It’s a gift I don’t possess.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would be the most essential for you?
iPod, a power supply, laptop – I’m a wired girl.


  1. I really like the idea of a mature love where you understand the other and what what is best for them, as opposed to an overblown "wow, he's hot but annoying" crush.

  2. Thanks! (laughs) "Hot but annoying" happens after their marriage. Just kidding. Mature love is profound and sustains the happily ever after.

  3. I especially liked how publication has made you even more protective of your creative space -- that's always a challenge. In some ways, I guess it's easier to protect it from, say, the dirty laundry than something that is actually a part of a writer's career -- the marketing.

    Congrats on your publication of Rakes and Radishes!

  4. The most creative people in life are the ones that were discouraged in high school. I'm glad you didn't give up. I loved Rakes and Radishes.

  5. Tina -- Yeah, being essentially a private person, putting myself "out there" is hard.

  6. Thanks Laura! I spent must of my high school years hanging out at the local theater.

  7. I read RAKES AND RADISHES in one weekend. I could not put it down! And now I can't get "Magic Carpet Ride" out of my head! :-)

  8. Liz, -- Thanks!!! I hope you like "Magic Carpet Ride." I tend to get songs I don't like stuck in my head.