Susanne stopped in to share a bit of insight on writing Fire Angel.
Writing Is Hard Work!
When I finally made the decision to pursue my dream of becoming a published author, I had no idea of how truly amazing accomplishing such a thing would feel, probably because I never expected it to happen.
Although I had done some writing over the years, I never had the time to truly apply myself to it, and when I decided to do so in September 2012, I didn’t believe that the second novel I would ever finish would sell as quickly as it did.
Fire Angel, my first romance/suspense, was published, in e-pub form, on April 29, 2013. It will be available in print on demand format by Christmas—I hope. While the e-book market is on the rise, there are still a number of people who want the paper version, so they have to wait before they get their copies to enjoy.
People don’t realize the amount of work that is involved after you’ve sold the book. First, you have to complete information sheets designed for the cover. A good cover increases the chance of sales. The more information you can give the artist, the better. Then, you get your first round of edits—sometimes these can be painful as it feels like there is nothing good about your book, and you begin to wonder—if I made so many mistakes, why did they buy it? It is the editor’s job to be critical because she wants to make the book shine. After you’ve done the edits, the book is styled, and you get to look at it once more to make sure everything is the way you want it. This is your last chance to add information, clarify details, etc. before it goes to the copyeditor. After the copyedits are done, the book is formatted into an e-pub. This is your final chance to read through and check for typos.
But you aren’t finished ye; in fact, you still have a long way to go. The cover comes out and you must start promoting your book because you are your best agent. With today’s social media, you can reach hundreds of people in an instant. I had to learn quickly—Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Goodreads, and websites are all critical to a book’s success. I think I spend as much time on promotion as I do writing!
You can’t wait for the book to be released to start selling its value. As soon as you get the PDF review copy, you have to find people to read your book and review it. I’ve read thousands of books, some I loved, some I didn’t, but I had no idea how important writing those reviews can be. I’ll make sure to do so from now on.
The fear I had when I sent the book to the publisher came back double the day the PDF’s went out and again the day the book was released. Realistically, you know not everyone will like your book, but what if no one likes it? Fire Angel has had excellent reviews, and that success has inspired me to keep writing. In Plain Sight, my second romance/suspense, and The Captain’s Promise, my first historical romance, will be released in August. First time jitters? They never go away.
About Fire Angel:
A malicious serial killer is out for revenge, and he doesn’t care how many people have to die before he gets it. Using fire as his weapon, he strikes at random, and the bodies are piling up, leaving the citizens of Paradise wondering who is next.
Betrayed by the one closest to him, criminal profiler Jake McKenzie has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg and afraid to trust his instincts. When the police ask for his expertise in identifying the killer, he agrees knowing this is his chance to prove he can still do the job.
Sixteen years ago, fiercely independent Alexis Michaels escaped an abusive uncle and a deadly fire, to become one of the country’s top fire and arson investigators. She reluctantly accepts the assignment and returns home to lead the hunt for the killer, knowing she will have to confront the unpleasant memories she has repressed all these years. Her uncanny ability to put herself in the arsonist’s place is the skill they need to find this maniac.
When Jake discovers that his new partner is the girl who has haunted his dreams all these years, he finds himself enthralled, but memories of his dead wife make him doubt his emotions. Alexis has few pleasant memories of Paradise, but Jake is one of them. Undeniably drawn to him, she longs for a deeper relationship, but believes that he isn’t ready to move on yet.
Until they catch the killer, they must set aside their conflicted emotions and work together. The clock is ticking, and the killer has made it clear: Alexis is next.
Excerpt from Fire Angel
He sat beside her on the couch, stretching his leg out. She was about to speak, but he reached out his hand and stopped her.
“Hear me out before you say anything. This guy is a genius when it comes to fire. In his note to you, he called himself Fire Angel. This is the first time he’s given us a name, and choosing a benign creature like an angel fits the hero-vigilante scenario I’ve been considering, but that’s where it ends. He’s a sociopath; he kills his targets and doesn’t care if someone gets caught in the crossfire, excuse the pun. And he enjoys it; he takes time setting it up. I want you to look at the photos; I’m convinced that the bodies are posed, but I’ll need your expertise to verify that. Whoever he is, I think he has a specific agenda, and plans to kill a lot more people before he’s done. Unless you can identify him from the fires, we haven’t a clue where to start looking.”
She shivered. Jake put his arm around her and pulled her close. She readily accepted his offer of comfort. He liked having her in his arms, and was disappointed when she pulled away a bit and continued their discussion.
“So, you believe this guy is a pyromaniac, a victim of bullying of some kind who has decided to fight back? You say he’s putting a lot into getting the scenes ready, but so far, you have no proof that he’s getting any pleasure out of setting these fires. That aspect is critical in pyromania. The sociopath part I can buy; I’d pretty much come to the same conclusion, but the other? Give me time to look at the scenes and feel them out; once I do, I’ll let you know if your theory is valid.”
Jake looked at her quizzically and frowned.
“You’ll be able to tell from looking at the fire scene whether or not he enjoyed himself? I’ve never heard another fire investigator make that claim.”
Fire Angel is available at all major e-book sellers including, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and I-tunes.
About the author:
Susanne Matthews grew up as an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. A retired educator, she now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Susanne lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband. She has three adult children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers. You can learn more about Susanne at www.mhsusannematthews.ca