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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Saturday Storyteller Interview: Susan Stoker

What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Susan Stoker and I currently live in Texas. In the last 14 years I’ve also lived in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana! Whew! Yes, I married a military man and we had the *privilege* of moving every couple of years
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
In May I released Outback Hearts, which is the first book in the “Beyond Reality” series. It’s a series based on finding love in and around reality shows. Each book is a HEA and has no cliffhanger, although you’ll see some of the same people throughout the three books. The next book, Flaming Hearts, should be out soon!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Most of the time I get “ideas” in my head from scenes that I think would be great, then I write those scenes down, then I go back and “back fill” the book. They don’t come from any one place. I might be reading another book and it sparks the perfect scene, I might see two people interacting in the grocery store and I imagine in my head where they came from or what’s going on. I usually think about it for a few days, then write down a basic outline of a story. Then I sit and try to get the perfect scene on paper.
How do you go about creating the perfect “Swoon” worthy man?
Basically I write what I like. I write what I’d like to hear a man say to me, or do to me. I think writing about what I like to read makes my writing better. I wouldn’t want to read about a guy who treats me like crap, all in the “name of love,” so there’s no way I could actually write a book with a guy like that in it.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Lion tamer. No, gymnast. No…Professional Whitewater Rafting guide. Can you tell I have no idea? I’m not one of those people who have always dreamed about being this or that…I kind of fell into my current job. I DO wish I could be a FULL TIME author, but until that happens, I have to keep my day job…which isn’t nearly as interesting as any of the things I put above.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
NOTHING! Seriously, nothing! I like to be a bum, sit around and read, or write, or veg in front of the TV. I can eat ramen noodles all weekend if it means I don’t have to get up to go to the store. I’m constantly “on” for my job so it’s great to be able to wear sweats all weekend and not have to worry about anything.
What’s your greatest weakness?
Moon-pies or Oatmeal Cream pies. Those things are the devil…but they’re sooooo good.
How do you decide how hot or not your book is going to be?
I think my characters decide that for me. I haven’t delved into the more extreme ends of writing sex scenes yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there. Lol
Is the stuff you write about from experience or mostly imagination?
Imagination. All sorts of crazy things happen to the characters in my newest series, there’s no way I’d want any of it to happen to me…but it’s fun to write about.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I wish I could say something really cool like I practice my juggling or something altruistic like I head out to the local hospital and sit with sick people all day, but alas, my answer is nothing that interesting. I grade papers for the classes I teach online, I sit on the couch and pet our doggies, sometimes I’ll get off my duff and go geocaching. We DID just buy a fifth wheel so we do like to go camping on the weekends. But for most of the week I’m busy at my 8-5 job.
Tell us something that might surprise our readers.
I’m not sure I can come up with anything that will SURPRISE anyone. Maybe that I have my PhD. Before you get all impressed, I only use the “Dr.” title when I’m dealing with really mean people in my job. Otherwise all having those three letters means is that I can write really long papers and that my emails take 200 words to say what other people can say in 50.

Sam never thought she’d actually be chosen for a reality show--but next thing she knew, she was whisked away to Australia. Dealing with a producer willing to do whatever he had to do make the show a hit, other women ready to cheat and lie to gain the attention of the bachelor, and a camera operator ready to catch her at her worst every time she turned around, absolutely nothing was as simple as it seemed on TV. Not to mention the pigs, killer rattlesnakes and shoveling manure. Sam wasn’t sure she was going to make it through filming most days--never mind find true love. Alex never thought he’d be on a reality show, but how hard could being surrounded by beautiful women be? A lot harder than he’d thought. The producer changed the rules of the show behind his back, the women were nearly clawing at each other for this attention--and that one contestant he couldn’t get off his mind…

Can two people who are meant to be together manage to fight the catty contestants, crazy producer and find true love on a reality show in the Australian Outback?
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