1) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
I have learned that the more people who read the manuscript before it's published, the more polished and perfected it will be. I send my book out to no less than forty beta readers who give me unfettered feedback that I find invaluable. Because I am intimately involved with the characters and setting, I will occasionally gloss over details that the reader needs in order to create a vivid mental image. I love it when those small imperfections are pointed out to me so that I can fix them. If I've done my job well, the only thing left for the editor to do is find grammatical errors which are easy to fix.
2) What is your typical day?
Writing is my second career and my third job. My day starts out with my first job as an elementary school teacher. When I get home, my second job consumes me - wife and mother. And finally, at the end of the day, I can slip into my world of writing, my third job. If I stay on top of the first two during the week, I can devote my weekends to writing. When I am lucky enough to get in two full days of writing in a row, I am a very happy person!
3) What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?
I read when I get writer's block. It helps me take time away from my obstacle and gets my imagination flowing. I will read anything that is available at the moment. It might be a book in the same genre, or perhaps a book with strong character development in a completely different genre.
4) What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?
I haven't bought paperback books in years. I prefer hardcover or digital. But upon the rare occasion when I do read a paperback, I bring it to school and leave it in the teacher's workroom to share with my colleagues.
5) Are you nervous about friends reading your book?
I love when my friends read my books. They give me the best feedback. I prefer them to read it while I'm writing. I make changes as I go based upon their suggestions. However, because I'm an elementary school teacher by day and romance novelist by night, I am concerned with my students' parents reading my books. There are some scenes that would provide interesting discussions for parent-teacher conference.
6) What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?
It's impossible for me to pin down my inspiration to any one thing! This particular series was inspired by other romance novels where the setting played a crucial role, motivating me to write a story set in more familiar surroundings. However, I cannot sit and write in complete silence. I have to have either a movie with a great soundtrack playing or my current playlist echoing throughout the room. My answer would have to be "all of the above".
7) What’s next for you?
I'm finishing the third and final book in the series, "Running Away With You" which is due to be released sometime this summer!
The Running Series
by Suzanne Sweeney
Running Back to You:
Juliette Fletcher is a girl with a plan. Not one to sit back and wait for life to happen, she moves back home after graduation and begins to carve out a life for herself.
Evan McGuire is desperate for a fresh start. His career in the NFL depends on it. Years of partying and carefree living have caught up with him. After buying a beach house in need of renovations, he begins to rebuild his life and his reputation.
What Evan doesn’t expect is a chance meeting with Juliette out on an early morning beach run with her dog. A strong mutual attraction draws them together, but fear of scaring her away keeps Evan from revealing his true identity. Evan finds himself in an unfamiliar situation – forced to work harder than he ever has before to prove himself worthy of her affections.
Tragic misunderstandings and unexpected obstacles threaten to derail a fragile relationship. Someone is watching, waiting, and tormenting Juliette, desperate to destroy everything. Can they find the strength to overcome jealousy, insecurity, and fear before it’s too late?
Running Home to You:
Running Home to You: continues the journey of Juliette and Evan that began in “Running Back to You”.
Juliette Fletcher thought she had it all – a strikingly handsome man who adores her, a new business venture with her best friends by her side, and a dream house right on the beach. But appearances can be deceiving and everything comes at a cost.
Evan McGuire has just survived a vicious attack that almost ended his professional football career. He’s on the mends now, trying to piece his life back together again, and build a life with Juliette.
But Evan’s erratic behavior has Juliette worried. She must figure out how to save her struggling restaurant, her fragile friendships, and her now unhealthy relationship with the man she loves. Juliette and Evan find that they’ve placed their trust in the wrong people and the price they pay for that mistake may ultimately cost them everything.
Running Home to You is the second book in the Running Series.
Running Home to You excerpt from Chapter 3: Behind Closed Doors
I’m torn from my daydream when I feel that familiar tingle down my spine. Evan doesn’t have to make a sound or be anywhere in my line of vision for me to know that he’s near. He is a powerful magnet that draws me to him and I have no power to resist. It was like that almost immediately, both of us drawn to the other in ways neither one can adequately explain.
Looking up from my laptop, I catch him eying me with his sultry blue eyes. As we stare at each other, he flashes a sexy smile that makes my heart skip a beat. The sexy stubble on his chin begs me to caress it and I feel a sudden and urgent need to feel the warmth of his breath on my cheek. He turns his back to me as he pours himself a cup of coffee. He’s standing bare-chested and barefooted, wearing nothing but a pair of drawstring pajama pants that hang low on his waist. After nearly three months, I know I should be used to the vision of his beautiful body, but seeing his bare feet and bed head has me yearning for more. I seem to be falling more deeply in love with him with each day that passes.
He knows I’m watching him. He stretches his arms above his head, flexing his tight back muscles, feigning a yawn, and checking over his shoulder for my reaction. With no power to resist him, and no desire to, either, I quickly close my laptop and march straight towards him. I wrap my arms around his waist and lay my head against his back. Evan slips from my hold and turns to face me. “I don’t like waking up alone, Juliette,” he says, planting a sweet kiss on my lips.
I snuggle up to his warm embrace, “You looked so peaceful. I didn’t have the heart to wake you.”
His tongue darts out to wet his dry lips, sending another cold shiver right through me to my core. “Well, I’m up now,” he tells me, rubbing up against me and showing me in no uncertain terms exactly how ‘up’ he is.
“Listen, chief, I took the whole day off because you told me you had plans for us for the day. Do your plans include us hanging out here at home, naked all day?” I tease him.
“That wasn’t my original plan, but to hear you say it like that, it does sound like a very enticing idea,” he confesses. His hand searches beneath my top and makes contact with my bare skin, immediately creating tingly goose bumps that race across my skin. Evan kisses me softly with slow, deep licks. His unrestrained desire and appetite explode across my senses, and I whimper, giving in and relenting to his possession.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Elementary Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her debut novel, Running Back to You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.
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