Today Lovely Books Shines The Author Spotlight On…
At home in a small town in the mountains, Susan Haught lives in Arizona’s Rim Country with her husband and high maintenance Shih Tzu, Mercedes. When she isn’t creating quaint towns with captivating characters or wrestling a busy day-job, you’ll find her tackling an overgrown garden, engrossed in a movie, or curled up with a good book–her dogs and a stash of Australian black licorice close at hand.
Susan writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance with the belief that love is ageless and has the power to change lives–one step, one touch, one kiss at a time.
How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
At the ripe old age of nine, storytelling chose me. My third grade teacher raved about a rather boring summer vacation story I wrote, and since I couldn’t wrap the concept of subtraction around my head, I focused on writing stories to get me through school. Too young and foolish to realize what I’d accomplished, I gave up writing shortly after a short story of mine landed in Focus on the Family’s children’s magazine, Clubhouse. Seven years ago when my son left for college, I focused on learning the craft and giving it another try.
How do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere! An idea for a story can come from a friend’s silly story, the grouchy man in front of me in the grocery line, a random sequence of dialogue, song lyrics, a photograph, or a blip in the newspaper. My friends and family have learned not to tell me anything they don’t want to end up in my next story!
How do you go about writing a book? Do you have any schedule, tricks or tips to share?
I’m a bit scatterbrained, so I’m not the best writer to seek advice from. I don’t conform to most “norms” of the craft. A story idea comes to me and I jot it down and leave it. Most of the time a character will emerge from that, and from there the story is told through the eyes of the character and most assuredly in my head in the middle of the night when I have to get up at 4:15am to be at my day job. One thing I highly advise is to keep a notebook with you at all times. Once a great line of dialogue, a scene, or the spark of an idea is gone, it’s gone for good. Don’t let that happen. When your scribbles have had a chance to simmer, you can weed out anything that doesn’t work, and let the good stuff blossom!
What kind of books do you read? Who is your favorite author?
If it’s written, I’ll give it a try no matter what the genre, but I prefer stories that are character driven. If Stephen King or Diana Gabaldon wrote it, it’s on my list, but there are too many favs to list. If I were granted a wish to sit down with an author, it would be Mr. King and I would hope the ghost of Mark Twain would join us.
What are you currently working on?
At any one time I’ve got two or three stories taking up prime real estate in my head (there’s not much left, you know) so to say I’m finishing up a novel makes me (literally) a little light-headed! I’m putting the final touches on a women’s fiction novel and trying desperately to shove the characters from the second in the series to the back of my mind. It’s not working. So, while I’m finishing this novel, I’m jotting notes from the knot of rather rude people vying for my attention inside my head. But I’m partial to the quiet ones. They seem to have the most to say.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Oh boy. My mother “knew” my brothers were in trouble before they took a step or opened their mouth. My sister and I never got into trouble (cough) and I always thought it would be cool to be like my mom. Alas, my son was easy-peasy to raise, so I never gained that particular trait. I think it would be pretty cool to be able to turn back the clock. I started writing later in life, so to have a few extra years to enjoy it would rock!
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind of music?
I have a special place in my heart for songwriters. They write mini stories AND set them to music. It takes an unbelievable talent to do so. However, I don’t want them or their music in my den. I have a hard time listening to anything except the voices in my head and sometimes when the weather is warm enough, the gurgle of the fountain outside the window.
Who is your favorite villain?
My favorite villain is that of the human psyche. After all, the mind is where all villains come from in one way or another. I enjoy writing the creepy/mean/nasty character, to discover what makes them tick, their motives, their background and how they use that to further their agenda, and what they’ll do to make us feel just a little sorry for them. We love to hate the Voldemorts, the Jack Torrances, or Hannibal Lecters (as long as they don’t live next door) and I’ll take mine with some fava beans and a nice glass of chianti, please.
If you had to pick between receiving a million dollars today, or $1000 a month for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
I’d be foolish not to take it one lump sum. A few years from now…well, let me just say there are a lot more years behind me than in front, so yeah, a million smackers all at once, thank you!
If you could take anyone out for coffee, dead, alive, or fictional, who would it be?
Without a doubt, Stephen King. With his psyche in the land of the macabre, the possibility of a ghost joining us wouldn’t be out of the question. I vote for Mark Twain. Does that count as two?