Suza will award signed cover flats and pens to a commenter at every stop, a total of five $15 Amazon/BN GCs to randomly drawn commenters during this tour and her Book Blast tour, and gift basket to one commentator from both this tour and her book blast tour, as well as a randomly drawn host prize TBA.
Whisper of a Witch
by Suza Kates
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
Thanks for taking part in the tour, Christine. It’s good to be here! I actually started writing by accident. I lived in Germany for a year teaching English, and over the winter I ran out of books written in English. I was stuck in a small apartment, because it was so cold out, and I had just finished Montana Sky by Nora Roberts.
I was missing my family and the warmth of the South, so I started writing a book about siblings and home. Southern Moon was my first book, though I never submitted it. It still sits in a box and needs a major re-write!
2. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
The Savannah Coven Series will have nine books total, but the plan is to intersperse the coven books with romantic suspense novels. I love a good, creepy scare, and I also enjoy travel to exotic places. While Whisper of a Witch has plenty of magic and sisterhood, I include some history and trivia about Savannah as well.
3. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I can identify with several characters from this series, but there is something very appealing about Shauni’s particular gift. How amazing would it be to truly communicate with animals? I think my cats would like to tell me a thing or two!
4. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I belonged to a critique group several years ago, and at the time it was very helpful. I would tell beginner writers to use a critique group and to try to identify other writers who are serious about growing and moving forward. Don’t get stuck in one place, and always keep what you feel makes your writing unique.
5. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
One of the best choices I ever made was to join Romance Writers of America (RWA.) The first conference I attended was so educational and enlightening. I got caught up in the excitement and decided to pitch one of my books. I got two requests for the transcript, but eventually got two rejections. However, I learned so much that week, and it jump-started my writing and gave me wonderful new skills. I can’t recommend joining a writer’s organization enough!
6. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The best advice I ever got was, “You can’t edit a blank page.” In other words, don’t let the fear of not being perfect stall you.
The worst advice I ever got was usually when someone said “Never” do this or “Always” do that. Both of these words are red flags to me when it comes to writing.
7. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always outline, because it helps me with certain story elements. Sometimes a scene or dialogue will op into my head, and I will work it into an appropriate scene. An outline helps me, because it’s a foundation that I can then start filling in with specific details.
8. Do you have an all time favorite book?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I have a few. But I always think back to Little Women by Louis May Alcott. That was the first book I can remember getting lost in. I loved the setting, period, and love between the sisters so much that as soon as I finished, I went straight to chapter one and started all over again!
9. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
Yes, I always have a few ideas in my head and usually start planning the next book as soon as I finish the last. The Savannah Coven Series, which begins with Whisper of a Witch, will have nine books total. I’m working on a romantic suspense now that will be set in another country and has a little more horror to it than my other books. I’m still working out the plot, but I hope to fill it up with romance and plenty of good scares!
10. Who is your favorite actor and actress?
I have plenty of both, but I always know I’m going to love Meryl Streep in whatever role she plays. She transforms into so many different people and is so believable.
As far as an actor, I’ve loved John Cusack from way back in the eighties! Ever since, “Don’t Say Anything,” he’s been a favorite.
11. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
Shauni is the heroine in Whisper of a Witch, and during the black moment she still hopes to face her enemy and get through her trial as peacefully as possible. When things go wrong, she learns that it’s okay to fight when others are in danger, and very ones she thinks need her protection are the ones who end up saving her instead.
12. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
I would love to see Ashley Greene as Shauni. She just seems to have that natural quality and a sweetness in her smile. I could completely see her as a good but fierce, animal-whispering witch!
Biologist Shauni Miller, as beautiful as she is compassionate, harbors a secret that could alter her life forever. If she chooses to share it. Dr. Michael Black helps Shauni in her time of need, but sees more in the raven-haired temptress than she ever meant to reveal. He knows she’s hiding something, but then, so is he. Both Shauni and Michael have a role to play and decisions to make as a centuries-old prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. Only the fates know if they are meant to be together. Or if one of them has to die.
Willyn opened her mouth to speak, but paused and looked down at the stone floor. All of the women stilled and listened.
Shauni grasped Hayden’s arm just above the elbow when she felt a low but very distinctive vibration. It was more like a hum and came from the floor, the walls, possibly the ceiling. It was all around them, and judging by the others’ faces, they felt it, too. “What is that?” she whispered.
A new voice spoke gently but with the authority of one who was well acquainted with privilege and position. “What you’re all feeling is the power of the nine.”
They turned to find another had joined them. Sable brown hair fell around her shoulders and brilliant blue eyes held warmth and welcome above a serene smile. “You’ll get used to it, so that you probably won’t even notice. And it only occurs when we’re all together.” Her lips spread into a playful grin. “Just wait until we link.”
“Cool,” Kylie said. “Hey, Anna.”
Shauni remained where she was but zeroed in on the elegant woman, still very young to be so comfortable wearing the unseen but almost palpable cloak of power. “Link?”
“You know why we’re here?” Paige asked. “Because I’m ready for some…”
“Answers,” Anna finished for her. “Yes, I know.” She stepped back and swept a hand toward a door in the back of the room. An invitation. “And I have some.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Suza Kates can’t remember a time when she didn’t love books, but two particular memories stay with her. “As a young girl I picked up Little Women, read it straight through, and promptly turned to page one to start all over again. The next book I did that with was Mind Hunter by John Douglas, tales about profiling serial killers.”
Thus a twisted romantic was born.
Throughout her teenage and young adult years, she read everything from horror to historical romance yet never imagined writing anything of her own.
It was during a long, cold winter in a tiny apartment in Germany that Suza picked up a pen and notebook to entertain herself. “The apartment was so tiny, my bed also served as my living room couch. Plus, I shared it with three cats.”
Missing the warmth, the hospitality, and the food of the South, she wrote about those things with a huge dose of family thrown in. She says she still has a sweet spot in her heart for her first book, Southern Moon, but to date, she hasn’t revisited it for submission to her publisher.
Suza followed her heart to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the gorgeous city with its moss-covered oaks and secrets of history that inspired her to consider paranormal romance. “I had an idea about sisters and magic, so I went to work on the first book of The Savannah Coven Series, Whisper of a Witch. The series is still going strong, and I am grateful every day that I took a chance on paranormal romance, a genre I wasn’t very familiar with and had never actually read before writing it.”
Suza has since joined RWA and can’t say enough about this organization. “The education and support are unparalleled. I am so grateful to all of my fellow writers who have offered advice.”
Suza still resides in Savannah and is currently working on her next book. She considers it a perfect day when she can sit at the keyboard with coffee in her cup and one of her cats purring in her lap.
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