Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome Susan Hatler!

Come on in, Susan! Welcome to Drunk Writer Talk. I don't even have to ask what your drink is since we go wayyyyy back, girl! Here's your salt. Here's your slice of lime and here, my dear, is your shot of Patron. Knock it on back! Remember that time in that bar in Monterey? I'm not entirely sure how we got back to Asilomar. I just know we did not drive and that there seem to be a lot of pictures of you wearing my poncho.

Okay! Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to talking about your anthology that came out just in time for Valentine's Day. Where did the idea for Set Up for Love come from?

It happened one evening at Taco Bell. Ah, the romance of it all.

Virna and I were sharing a delicious meal and chatting about my contemporary romance short story, My Last Blind Date. It’s one of several short stories I’ll be publishing in Fall 2011 in an anthology titled Better Date Than Never.

After consuming dependably yummy food in a wrapper, we chatted about a couple of contemporary romance manuscripts we’d started and didn’t want to go to waste. Hmmm. We realized that if we combined our stories, they’d make a great anthology, lengthy enough for both an e-book and a print version. Then, we called our fabulous author friend, Delilah Sloan. Guess what? Delilah had a contemporary romance manuscript she’d started, as well. Shocker.

Between the three of us, we brainstormed Set Up For Love, an anthology about finding Mr. Right, with a little help from friends.

Three stories. Three authors. Three kinds of romance. Sweet. Sassy. Sexy. Our thought was: Women are complicated, but reading doesn’t have to be. Let’s create an anthology of contemporary romances to suit a reader’s every mood.

Deadline? Valentine’s Day. And, since My Last Blind Date is about a girl who’s dateless on Valentine’s Day, we added that as a bonus for our Valentine’s Day release. Fun!

It’s amazing what can happen when writers sit down to have a burrito.

I just adore the trailer of My Last Blind Date. Check it out here:

So . . . you're the sweet one of the trio. Was that a deliberate choice or does it simply reflect your natural voice?

It’s just the way I write. Well, thus far. Watch some hot and sexy romance novel come out of me next. It’s funny because I went to a writing retreat last weekend and amazing New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Wilde was one of the speakers. She loved the beginning of my novella, The Boyfriend Bylaws, and thought it’d be perfect for the Harlequin Blaze line. I was walking on air with a smile stretched across my face when Virna reminded me, “Um, you don’t have any sex in your story.” Oh, yeah…forgot about that small factor.

It sounds like your novella and your short story have as much to do with female friendship as they do with finding true love. Was it hard to strike that balance in a short format?

Yes and yes.

In addition to finding love, all of our stories have to do with the dynamics of female friendships—when to stand by quietly as your friend dates the wrong guys….and when to step in. It became the theme of our book: Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Badly.

Hard striking a balance with the short format? Um, does Drunk Writer Talk rock?

Rock. Paper. Scissors. We talk it all, sugar.

So, yes. I had to slash and cut. Sub-plots were deleted, as well as entire scenes. Painful-painful-painful! Yet I did what I had to do for the good of the story.

Creating this anthology with Virna DePaul and Delilah Sloan was a lot of hard work, but an amazing ride. I think readers will relate to how it feels when your friends get their hearts broken. Sometimes, you just need to step in and set them up with love!

Thanks for having me here and happy belated Valentine’s Day to all.

Thank YOU so much for stopping by. So Stalkers, do you want to win a copy of Set Up for Love? Leave a comment. Ask Susan a question. Let us know you're out there and your name will be entered for a chance to win a copy of this totally fun, totally sassy, totally sexy book!


Delilah Sloan said...

It was a pleasure working with you on this project, Susan.

And your interview here gave me a real understanding why we get along so well. We are both bound by a deep love of Taco Bell. :-)

Your story rocked!!

Virna DePaul said...

This anthology is one I'm proud of! After all these years of critiquing, it's great to have our names together on a book cover. Mwah! (Waving to Eileen!)

Eileen said...

Waving back, Virna! It was just a matter of time for you two. You're both so talented!

Cathy Yardley said...

That's a great book trailer! Love the premise, too... I love friends-to-lovers stories.

Susan Hatler said...

Delilah...It's quick, cheap, and yummy. What more can you ask for?


Eileen...Thx, E. Next shot of tequila is on me. Bring the poncho, of course.

Cathy...Thanks! I read your RDI book awhile back and loved it. So fun!

Margo Candela said...

I'm a big prude when it comes to sex in my books (to write it, but not read it!)and I'm always interested to hear how other authors handle this subject.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I want to hear more about that night in Monterey and the poncho!!!

I love that you guys made this work - what a great hook for an anthology. Congrats and thanks for stopping by!!

Oh, Taco Bell...

Maureen McGowan said...

This anthology sounds fabulous, Susan!

(And Virna and Delilah)

And I, too, want to know more about the bar in Monterey....

Eileen said...

Well, let's see . . . there were tequila shots, beer chasers and s'mores, all in an oceanfront setting. Oh, and lots of talk about writing! It was the Sacramento Valley Rose retreat.

Sinead M said...

I love that hook, and now I want to go to that writers retreat.

Susan Hatler said...

Margo...It just never comes out for me in my work. At least not yet. Maybe I'll surprise myself one day. Hehe. Glad I'm not the only one!

Molly...You should join us at the next retreat. It was quite fun and managed to get a lot of writing done, too. Double whammy. Thx on the anthology!

Maureen...The poncho was a special treat and I hogged it most of the night. ;)

Thx, Sinead!!! It was a blast, you should totally join us next time!!

Rochelle French said...

Great post, Susan - love, love, love your story. Did I tell you how many times I laughed???

Susan Hatler said...


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