Today we’re chatting to bestselling romantic suspense author Sue Fortin.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, I think it was my love of books which made me want to write my own. However, I didn’t complete my first manuscript until about twelve years ago when I was on maternity leave with my youngest.
I was on the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and sent my manuscript in. Needless to say it required a lot of work. I spent the next twelve months working on it and the following year sent it through the scheme again. This time it came back with excellent feedback and comments that it was ‘book ready’. I took the decision to self-publish as I was part of an indie group at the time but a year later HarperCollins started up a new imprint called HarperImpulse and I submitted my book to them. I was delighted when they offered me a three-book deal as a result and I have been published within the HarperCollins group for all my books – eight in total.
What do you enjoy about writing romantic suspense?
I’ve always loved a thriller or mystery type of book to read, as well enjoying a romance story so it felt natural to merge the two genres together. I like writing about the danger that can complicate a relationship or vice versa.
Are you planning on spring-cleaning your bottom drawer, or is spring for you about new beginnings and a new project?
I am actually planning to revisit a romantic suspense novella I wrote about five years ago that needs tidying up having since had a professional edit. I’m looking to release that later this year.
Can you tell us – or hint at – what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve just submitted my latest manuscript to my agent which is a dual timeline where romance and suspense/adventure feature heavily. It’s a book I’ve wanted to write for a long time but never had the opportunity until last year. Although it’s not my dad’s story, it was inspired by a photograph of my dad and my daughter sitting together laughing.
Do you have writing habits or do you write when the mood takes you? Are you a plotter or a “pantser”?
I have a school aged daughter who I have to get to school first before I can do any work. Fortunately, she starts school very early, so I can be back at my desk by 8.30 am where I try to work until at least 12.30. After that I often help my older daughter with her two children and then it’s time to pick up my younger daughter. If I’m on a deadline then I work evenings and weekends. I usually start a new project with a reasonably formed idea but I’m not wedded to it as it often takes unexpected twists and turns. I’ve tried plotting in detail but have never stuck to that, so although I do plot, it is very loosely.
Where do you write? Have you got a little nook at home, or do you write wherever you happen to be on a laptop or on your phone?
I’m very lucky to have a garden room my husband built especially for me to work in. We have a busy household so working in the house isn’t always ideal. I love going down to the garden room as it’s nice to look out at the veg patch, watch the garden birds or just to admire the view through the hedgerow and across the fields – oh and I do some writing if I’m not too distracted!
Tell us about your latest release
My latest book was published last year by HarperCollins called The Dead Wife which is a romantic suspense set in the Lake District in the UK. Here’s the blub …
Police have ruled out suspicious circumstances in the investigation into the death of Elizabeth Sinclair, wife of charismatic entrepreneur Harry Sinclair, found drowned in the lake of the family’s holiday park.
It’s been two years since the Sinclair case closed but when reporter Steph Durham receives a tipoff that could give her the scoop of the year, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into the secretive Sinclair family.
Elizabeth’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. And the truth will come at a deadly price…