Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?
A soda would be lovely, thanks!
While we’re waiting on our beverages, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in the south of Finland. I have a master’s degree in anthropology. I love to read and write. My favorite pastimes are walking in the woods, swimming at my family’s country cottage, and spending time with my baby niece.
When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted what were the first words that fell from your mouth?
Well, after I picked up my jaw from the floor I do believe my first words were “Holy shit!”. Can’t remember if it was in Finnish or English, though…
Here’s your soda. Please tell us What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?
I have been dabbling at writing since I was a kid. All my stories had a romantic focus, and often it was two men or two women. Anything really. To my mind there was nothing wrong with that. It was love, after all. But I always thought I was the only thinking this way. In my early thirties Amazon recommended a book for me, an MM story Crossing Borders by Z.A. Maxfield, and that was my introduction into the genre. It was truly love at first page! A few months into the genre, and after dozens of books, I decided to abandon Finnish and go for English, so I wrote my first story in less than two weeks. The rough initial draft went through a lot of modifications over the next few months though. I started to write the story—Rivers of Wind—in April 2011, and Siren Publishing accepted in July of the same year. Since then I have written for Dreamspinner Press and Evernight Publishing too, and all three are superb publishers.
Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.
Love mysteries in books, but not so much in real life. I must be too OCD or something. But I never turn down chocolate chip cookies 🙂
How many hours a day do you spending writing?
Depends on the day and the mood and the story. Several hours, I believe. I try to manage at least 2-5,000 words a day. I give myself some leeway so I don’t get too frustrated.
Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
I revise as I go along. Every day I read through what I wrote the day before to get in the mood, and to catch any glaring mistakes or plot failings.
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
I start freely, from the opening scene. After a chapter or two the story unfolds. If it doesn’t, I have to rethink the whole thing. If I plan the whole thing from start to finish in an outline, I will never write the actual book.
Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?
Rain Deveraux is my favorite. Yeah, the other guys aren’t happy about it, but I can’t help it. Rain is so completely different from me and any of the other guys. He’s brave and strong and outrageous and flamboyant in a way I could never be. He’s something of an idol for me. I adore Rain—but I could not live with him!
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
I try to keep several different kinds of projects open at once to avoid getting stuck on one. That is one of the reasons I don’t do so well with deadlines. If writing becomes forced, the story suffers. I usually get writer’s block right after I finish a story, feeling hollowed out inside, but it only lasts a few days. Sometimes I just surf the net, or go for a long walk, or eat tons of chocolate, or spend hours in the sauna until I resemble a raisin. Anything to get my mind off the blankness.
Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)
Nope. I write where the laptop happens to be. I can find comfort anywhere.
When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?
Nah. Glaring and growling usually do the trick.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
Dry. I prefer subtle humor over in-your-face, and mean humor does not appeal to me. I also like clever humor and witty banter, like in Firefly, a great scifi show.
What is the most frequently asked (author name) question?
Is my last name spelled incorrectly (as in should it be Lane without the I), and if not, what does it mean (it means wave in Finnish, BTW).
What are you working on now?
A winter story, a cowboy story, a couple of contemporaries, a fantasy story, and a paranormal one. Who knows which of them I will be working on today! All of the above? It’s an autumn evening outside, and I feel too moody to concentrate on just one thing.
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
I read a lot, of my own genre, and others. Seeing how other people write, use words, plot their stories, have characters interact—it’s a gold mine for inspiration. Also, I, um, I watch some gay porn…. Delicate confessions here. Not much more I can do since I’m not a dude. Apart from those research things, I chat with my friends online or go see them. They support me which means a lot to me, and we can talk about anything, so it doesn’t have to be just writing as a topic of conversation.
What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?
Murder mysteries, scifi, fantasy, historicals, scientific journals.
Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer.
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
This may sound weird, but I love doing the dishes. I think a lot when I’m doing them, and I get tons of stories in my head. All other chores? Blah. Apart from the dishes, reading, doing research, and walking are things I enjoy on a regular basis.
Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?
By the time this interview comes out, the latest stories out there will be The Last Werewolf by Evernight Publishing and Falling for Rain by Dreamspinner Press, both out by the end of October. Of all of my books so far, Falling for Rain is very close to my heart. Lifting the Veil 3 is coming in February 2013. Senses and Sensations 3 is also done—this is Jack and Kevin’s story—and I’m working on Lifting the Veil 4 too, not yet done though.
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
My website is at http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/, and all my links to other sites are there as well, for example I can also be found through my publishers: Dreamspinner Press, Siren Publishing, and Evernight Publishing. Other sites worth noting are Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, All Romance eBooks, and Manic Readers.
It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!
No prob. Doing the dishes is one of my favorite things, and that’s no lie 🙂