Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meet Golden Heart Winner Susan Heino

I'd like you all to meet a good friend and talented historical author, Susan Heino. Susan was the 2008 Golden Heart winner in Regency, and as you can tell from this interview, writes with a bit of humor (grin). As several in the lair have recently submitted entries to the 2009 Golden Heart contest, I thought it might be fun to relive the experience with Susan. That's us in the photo to the right - me in my funky hat and Susan with the big smile. So without further ado...Here's Susan!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest at Romance Bandits. I can’t hold a candle to some of the witty repartee I’ve seen other guests and Banditas post, so I’m not even going to try. Donna, please assure everyone my books are a whole lot more interesting than I am. Pretty please? Lie if you have to!

Somehow, I don't think lying will be necessary. Before we start talking about writing, though. Why don't you tell us about yourself?

I’m 27, descended from English royalty, and have often been mistaken for Angelina Jolie. Except that I’m better looking and have adopted 47 children from 3rd world countries AND cured cancer. And my husband was never married to Jennifer Aniston. Okay, only that last one is true. Unless he’s been hiding something from me…

Really, I’m just the ordinary housewife who still likes to climb trees, thinks snakes are cool, and writes Historical Romance. I also have an unusual fondness for chickens, and the color green. My family thinks I’m weird. It seems to be working for me, though. This past summer I won a Golden Heart, snagged an agent, and signed a two-book contract with Berkley Publishing. Plus, I have two beautiful, healthy children who only act like they’ve been adopted from a 3rd world country. Or Jupiter.

So, Donna, what else do you want to know about me?

I see the Golden Rooster has picked up interest. He's a bit of a Romeo - but I suppose that's to be expected when you hang out with romance writers.

Tell us about your background (I have some inside knowledge here) and how that affects your writing.

I have a theatre background, believe it or not. After bouncing through the Fine Arts, English, and Secondary Education departments in college I somehow landed in Theatre. It was a good fit, and about time, too, since Daddy declared I either must finally graduate or he would pull the plug on the ole’ money fountain. But during my last couple years of college I had a great mentor who encouraged me in playwriting and helped me find my wings. After college I landed a few low-paying theatre gigs—not to mention the various non-paying ones—but through it all I mostly supported myself with my brilliant typing and phone-answering skills. (Translation: I was the perky administrative assistant who made great coffee and spent way too much time chatting with the clients.) When wifedom and motherhood came along, I left the theatre and the administrative assisting but not the writing. I took my brilliant typing skills, my English department grammar expertise, plus what I’d learned in the theatre about timing, character building, pacing, humor, and life in general and focused it all on romance. Who’d have thought such a checkered past could eventually get so mixed up together into one constructive lump?

What was it like to win the Golden Heart?

Winning the Golden Heart really and truly is just as wonderful as I’d always imagined. It started one sunny day in March when my Fairy Godmother called to tell me I was a finalist. (Okay, it wasn’t my Fairy Godmother. It was an RWA representative, but you get the idea.) Suddenly it was as if I had an invitation to a royal ball at the shining castle on top of the hill. I was floating on air—no way it could get any better than that. Soaring on fairy dust, I rode a magic pumpkin all the way out to San Francisco. Then I swirled around in my fancy new gown and danced out my dream in the glow of agent and editor attention. Then, just when the clock began to strike twelve and I expected the magic to go away, the Prince looked deep into my eyes, handed me the glass slipper and told me get up on stage and deliver that acceptance speech I was supposed to have written. Oops—I sort of missed that part. Still, I’ve never been one to shy away from the limelight, so I muddled through the moment and absolutely loved every minute of it. I can’t adequately describe how honored I am to be among the ranks of so many talented and gracious Golden Heart Finalists, the 2008 Pixie Chicks as well as those from years past.

Then, shortly after San Francixco you had a very important call. We LOVE to hear call stories here in the lair. Can you share yours?

During the course of the months leading up to the RWA conference in July my manuscript was requested by an agent. Two editors had already requested it from other contests I’d won (and neither had rejected it, yet!) but this was the first agent to show interest. I was very excited to meet with her at the conference in San Francisco, but amazingly two other agents crawled out of the woodwork to express an interest. Yikes! Was I going to have to make a decision? I hate making decisions. I asked everyone to wait until I had time to go home, catch up on sleep and think clearly. In the end, though, it wasn’t a difficult decision. On the pumpkin, er, plane ride home I thought it through. It just made sense to go with the agent who loved my work the most, the one who offered representation even before I won that pretty little necklace. So I called Cori Deyoe with 3-Seas Literary Agency the day after I returned from San Francisco and gladly accepted her offer of representation. She’s done great things for people I know and trust, so it was an easy choice. And she doesn’t think I’m weird for collecting animals, so that helped. Turns out, signing with her was not a mistake. It was not a moment too soon, either. The very next day I got a phone call from Berkley Publishing! An editor there had been looking at my manuscript for months but finally they were ready to make an offer. It was a strange sensation; I remember hearing those words, but they just didn’t quite register in my brain. You see, I was sick. I had a raging head cold and jet lag and that euphoric Golden Heart meltdown. I wasn’t even sure what day it was, let alone be able to process this whole concept of actually getting an offer from a real, live New York publisher! So my groggy twenty-second The Call went something like this:

Very Important New York Editor: Susan? Hello, this is Leis Pederson from Berkley Publishing in New York.
Me: (Wonders if she’s ever met this person before. Remembers to be nice and tries to sit up. Gives up.) Oh, hey there. How ya doing?
VINYE: Very well, thank you. I’ve read your manuscript and I really love it. A lot. It made me laugh.
Me: (Blows nose.) Gosh, that’s nice. (Is fairly certain she sees pretty pink sparkles floating around her living room.)
VINYE: In fact, we’d like to make an offer for it. Would you be willing to discuss this?
Me: (Sniffles. Coughs. Gags. Grins stupidly.) Yeah, sure. I’m okay to discuss that. (Wonders if room really is spinning or if that cold medicine said every 6 hours instead of every 4 hours. But the pink sparkles are nice…)

Leis proceeded to say lovely things about my book and to make a really nice offer that would have had any normal person jumping up and down like a game-show contestant. I, sad to say, sneezed. I was totally happy on the inside, though. Somehow I remembered that people with agents usually let them do the negotiating so at some point I referred Leis to Cori. I’m hoping I managed to sound somewhat professional and not like I was blowing her off, but I probably sounded like I was blowing her off. I wasn’t—it was the cold medicine! Honest! But Leis did contact Cori and Cori had already contacted a couple other editors who’d expressed interest when I met them in San Francisco. All in all, Cori had five editors who asked to have a shot at the manuscript. Yeah, five! In the end, Cori negotiated a better offer from Berkley and I signed with them. I now have a two-book deal, the first scheduled for release in 2009 and the second in 2010. And that’s really nothing to sneeze at!

Can you tell us about your storyline?

MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT will be coming out in late 2009 through Berkley Publishing. This manuscript was my Golden Heart winner and I’m happy to say it’s also my first sale. I can’t wait! Hopefully readers will fall in love with Dashford and Evaline just like I did. The story starts out simply enough with a typical Regency setting—a lonely young lady alone in a moonlit garden meets a wandering lord who’s eager to avoid matrimony. It becomes somewhat less typical pretty early on, though, when we realize said lonely young lady is drunk off her gourd. Said wandering lord gladly tries to seduce her only to have her pass out in a sotted stupor. But he’s really a nice guy. He can’t just leave her to sleep it off out in the garden, can he? Of course not. He needs a quiet place to stash the senseless stranger. The only place he can think of, though, is his bed. When poor, senseless Evaline wakes up the next morning—with a killer hangover and no gentleman in sight—she thinks she’s done the unthinkable. She’s ruined for sure. Worse yet, she can’t even remember it! She’d like to remember it, though. She’ll just have to find this mysterious gentleman and try for another go ‘round, since the damage is already done. One good thing, however: at least he isn’t Lord Dashford, the dissolute scoundrel who wants to marry her for her money. Well, of course he is Dashford and of course he does want to marry her once he finds out she’s not just some random trollop, but he’s not nearly as desperate for her money as everyone thinks he is. That’s just a ruse because—well, it gets complicated. Eventually Dashford and Evaline do fall hopelessly in love, but their journey to happiness gets all mucked up along the way with meddling mothers, atrocious aunts, finagling former fiancés, sordid family secrets, multiple mistaken identities and—for good measure—a flood. But by heavens, the next time Evaline gets the chance to ruin herself she does end up remembering it!

This one sounds like so much fun, I can't wait to see it on the stands. So what follows?

I’m just finishing up DECEPTION AT DAWN, another Regency Historical with characters from MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT. I really can’t say too much about it because some of the plot elements cross over between the two and I’m not into spoilers, but I’ve been having a blast writing it. The hero is hot and the heroine is a bit, er, unconventional. These characters carry some heavy baggage into this story, but I promise you’ll still find plenty of humor. So far my agent assures me it’s a great follow-up to MOONLIGHT. Hopefully we’ll see this one hit the shelves sometime in 2010. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a third and fourth book in this series, too, but that’s not etched in stone yet. A girl can dream, can’t she?

That she can - and this seems like a perfect note to turn the conversation over to our readers. Susan realized one of her dreams through her Golden Heart win followed by a sale. But we all carry dreams in our heart and hope that some of them will be realized in 2009. Tell us about some of your dreams, realized or not...or if not, tell us about your last drunken sotted stupor experience (grin).

In honor of Susan's debut MISTAKEN BY MOONLIGHT, I'll send a copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT to the commentor she chooses as a winner.


Elyssa Papa said...

No one's claimed the GR yet?

Elyssa Papa said...

He's mine. Mine! *evil laughter*

Okay, seriously now...

What a great blog! I love hearing about call stories and reading author's success stories. Susan, your upcoming release sounds like a lot of fun, and I'll definitely be reading it when it comes out.

Was this your first manuscript you've ever written that sold?

Congrats on winning the GH and to future success!

As to stories...I have to take the fifth. All I'll say is that one time I woke up, had no recollection of the night before to the point where I went to lunch and had strangers coming up to me and talking like we were the best of friends. I found out later from a friend that I had talked to these people the previous night.

Anna Campbell said...

Ely, looks like he's going to have a day with you! Congratulations!

Susan and Donna, what a fantastic interview! I love stories about dreams that come true and yours did, Susan, in spades. Not only winning the Golden Heart, but having agents and editors fighting for your hand in marr...your manuscript to publish. I loved your call story! You're going to dine out on that one for years!

Did you always write Regency comedy or did you dabble in some other styles before you settled on what you're doing now?

Natalie Hatch said...

Elyssa you're fast. Good on you.
I love hearing call stories, it makes me keep hope alive.

Donna MacMeans said...

Elyssa - Good Heavens, girl, you're fast! LOL on the night that has faded from memory. You may find a certain affinity with Susan's book *g*.

Christine Wells said...

Hey, Susan! Welcome to the lair. What a fun interview--thanks for hosting Susan, Donna!

Susan, as you know, Leis is also my editor and so I know she has great taste.LOL Cannot wait to read your debut. It sounds like a fun book if your interview is anything to judge by.

Interesting about your theatrical background. Do you have any tricks to get you into character when you write? Do you do all those character sketches and interviews or do you just jump right in? I bet you're great at dialogue, too:) Best of luck with your first book. I'm sure it will be a hit.

Ely, congrats on the rooster!

Helen said...

Well done Elyssa

Great interview Ladies, Susan I will be getting both your books when they are published they sound wonderful and I am looking forward to reading them already how long do I have to wait LOL

The dreams are wonderful aren't they and I agree we must all have them mine other than health and happiness for my family and friends of course is to win lotto so as I can travel the world and visit everyone maybe it will come true in 2009 fingers crossed.
Congratulations Susan

Have Fun

Keira Soleore said...

Ely, he's all yours.

Susan, welcome to The Lair. Congratulations on your winning hat-trick: GH, agent, editor, all three in three days. I loved your Path to Publication Fame and Success story. It sure had laughs aplenty, and now...I'm dying to read more from poor ole sotted heroine.

Reputation be hanged, I wanna remember that which caused my rep to be hanged. :)

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Susan!

I'm LOL because in this story, I think I'm the prince. At least, I was the one who called your name and got to hand over your Golden Heart!

Congrats again and I cannot wait to read the book! And though I had a couple of stupor-ous moments in the past, my friends kept me from doing anything stupid!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats Elyssa, you might watch him though, considering Susan has such a liking for chickens she might try to lure him away.

I cannot wait to read about the tipsy heroine. I have had a couple of experiences involving just a tad too much to drink. Apparently I am not nearly so shy when I am drinking. My boyfriend tells me that propping me up against a mailbox while trying to get the door open is not a fun experience for him. We all know that I am not what one would call graceful when stone cold sober so let us just picture me trying to dance while under the influence. Yeah, not a pretty sight was it?? Oh well, since I don't remember it myself I just pretend it didn't happen...LOL

Joan said...


Welcome to the Lair. I LOVE unconventional stories and am eager to read yours!

Congratulations on your GH win also. The way you described it, pumpkin and all was just the way it felt.

So, what is your lineage with the descended from English royalty?

Susan Gee Heino said...

Wow! You gals take that Rooster thing pretty seriously, don't you? Yikes--posting in the middle of the night? (All right, I know some of you are on the other side of the planet where it's daytime, but what's your excuse, Donna?) Good job, Elyssa, being first in line. Glad you liked the story. And keep a close eye on that Golden Rooster--I might decide to try to collect him.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Well, all right, my Avatar disappeared. Let's see if I've fixed it now. In the meanwhile, thanks so much for your lovely comments here! I do occassionally sneak in to see what you gals are up to, but I'm often too chicken to comment.
Get it? Too chicken? hahahahaha

Susan Gee Heino said...

Okay, on to business. A couple of you asked whether Mistaken By Moonlight is my first ms or if I've dabbled in any other sub genres. Well, winning the GH with a first manuscript would be a dream come true, wouldn't it? No, sorry to say it has taken me years and years to figure out what I'm doing. (I started my first ms on Dec. 3rd, 1993, BTW.) MBM is my 6th ms. The first two were also set in the Regency time period, but they are not fit for human consumption, trust me! The next two I wrote are quirky, fun contemporaries and I do hope someday to sell them, but first things first. Somewhere in there I tried my hand at a paranormal/ fantasy with fairies and mermaids and some really funny sex, but that's not coming out of the drawer. Ever.
So see? There is hope even when it seems the stars will NEVER align and no one will EVER buy what you're writing.

Margaret said...

Susan: you are too funny. And you're kids are not from Jupiter - they're from Mars LOL!! Nope. They're cuties from the word go.

Congrats on the Golden Heart and all the success.


Anna Sugden said...

What a fab interview, Susan and Donna! Welcome to the Lair, Susan - we're so pleased to have you here with us.

I loved your call story! That sounds just like the kind of thing I'd do. I'm also so relieved to hear that you're normal in not having all this wonderful stuff happen to the first thing you ever wrote *g*.

Mistaken by Moonlight sounds fab - can't wait to be able to pick up a copy and start reading.

Buffie said...

Hey Susan! Congrats on your success to publication!!! That is just one fabulous story.

Mistaken by Moonlight sounds like one fabulous book! I love the idea of a overly buzzed heroine :)

One of my dreams (which will never ever be realized) is to be a dancer with Tina Turner! I just don't have the coordination or the stamina to do it!! But I would love to be on the stage with the woman and sing and dance around with her. I practice quite a bit . . . in my living room!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi y'all -

Susan, you should know that I'm a night o...late night person (I hesitate to use the word "owl" as it might lead to me being collected.) Newer look for me early in the morning.

I knew that wasn't your first manuscript - but wasn't that your first time entering the Golden Heart? Or for that matter - your first National? And more importantly - did you remember to bring the medallion home? I mean you didn't want to leave your heart in San Francisco...

(sorry - couldn't resist)

Donna MacMeans said...

Deb - I'd forgotten you were the presenter last year. LOL on being the Prince Charming. At least one-half of that title fit *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Buffie - I'll dance in high heels with you. These days, all my stuff shakes and shimmies whether I want it to or not *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - when you win that lotto you'll have to come over here to visit with the banditas. I hope all your dreams come true in 2009

Saralee said...

Hi, Susan!
When I heard you were blogging, I just had to stop over here and read it because I knew it would be a hoot! I loved reading your GH win and The Call stories.

Wow, there's so much I didn't know about you. Descended from English royalty, forsooth!

Can't wait to read MBM when it comes out.

PJ said...

Great job - funny as per expected but Oh so true! Proud Hubby

Susan Gee Heino said...

Hey look, y'all, my Proud Hubby posted a comment! If he'd have called himself "Proud Mary" we could put on the shoes and dance around with him like Buffie wants to do with Tina Turner. Man, I wish you all could picture my hubby in a sparkly mini dress...

Louisa Cornell said...

Hey, Susan! How about some cheesecake?? Don't let her fool you, ladies! She is definitely the life of the party. We had a great time in San Francisco. She's also an extremely talented writer and a very sweet and giving person. Then again the Pixie Chicks are a great group!

Oh, and Elyssa, you seem to have a certain penchant for nabbing the Golden One. Be careful. People will start to talk!

Gee, I wonder what my dreams for 2009 might involve??? Finaling in the GH again might be nice. Getting an agent would be pretty good too. And then again since we're dreaming, why not add a publishing contract in there for good measure. And if all else fails I want to finish my revisions on The Raven's Heart and Lost in Love and finish my third book The Deceit of Desire.

Oh and my major dream is to someday be FREE OF WAL-MART!!!

Susan Gee Heino said...

I'm trying to catch up on replying to all these witty comments here!
Deb--You'll always be my Prince Charming! Thanks again for that nice little bauble you gave me in San Francisco.
Christine--I was totally thrilled when I found out we share an editor. I loved your first book and can only pray for such nice cover art for mine. I'm in the midst of reading your next book now. I love it, of course!
Thanks for all the congrats and kind words, everyone!

Susan Gee Heino said...

Louisa! Isn't it nice to be able to visit blogs again after that marathon you pulled to get your GH entry ready? I don't know if she mentioned it here, folks, but that woman was cranking out, like, 100 pages a day, or something. She's amazing. With all the Pixie Dust circulating, Louisa, I have no doubt you'll be on that finalist list come March. You're totally talented. (And who could resist a gimpy hedgehog?)

Susan Gee Heino said...

Margaret and Saralee--My home girls! (Yeah, I'm about as urban as cow tipping.) Thanks for stopping by and making it look like I have friends. (The checks are in the mail.) As usual, you're too kind!

MsHellion said...


1.) Write a book (realized--I have finished two, but they're not publishable.)

2.) Publish a book

3.) Go to Scotland

4.) Own a ship--I've just always wanted one. I think it would be fun.

Famous drunken, sotted Hellion story. Oh, dear, there are SO MANY. There was the year we had the Big Party and we made a homemade slip and slide with plastic sheeting, tamped down with wire coat hangers; soaker hoses on either side; a bed mattress at the end to crash into; and a floatie round thing to go skimming down the slip and slide on. Good times. I went skimming down it, totally hosed, and my bikini top had a wardrobe malfunction, which pretty much every guy at that party still talks about.

There are the Mardi Gras parties...and the party in Virginia (at Bar Norfolk, the best bar ever). I was bar dancing...and I think I had about three scandalous offers from various guys (did I mention this was the best bar ever?)...and there is the Mardi Gras party in which I was dancing...and someone was taking pictures...and I look like someone who was having a seizure. (Not my finest moment, honestly.)

OH, and there was the night I was having $1 drinks at the local bar and I picked up the only Amish guy in the place. I mean, what are the odds?

Susan Gee Heino said...

Anna--So I'm normal, am I? Can I quote you on that? LOL
But it is true that the road to my limited success has been rather long and winding. I hope lots of folks can take comfort in that--it would be nice to think it's been for a good cause.
The biggest part of it, I'll have to say, has been the kindness of strangers. I mean, people who started out as strangers but ended up as good friends.
Can I take a minute for a case in point? I really ought to rave about our dear Donna MacMeans.
She has always been so generous to share her experiences--even the not so fun ones--and gave me some priceless critique before I entered the GH last year. Then she twisted my arm until I yelled "uncle" and actually entered the thing. Then she forced me to query her agent, who is now my agent. Then she told me I'd best get myself to San Francisco because she was just certain I'd win. So really, I'd be remiss to not give her some of the credit and some well-deserved public kudos.
Kudos, Donna! And thanks.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Ms Hellion--not everyone has a drunk story that includes an Amish guy at a bar. Seriously, that really fires the imagination, doesn't it? And I think I've seen that slip-n-slide thing on You Tube. Was that you? LOL
Here's to realizing the rest of those dreams!

jo robertson said...

Susan, welcome to the Lair! Super interview, Donna and Susan, so hilarious, just what I needed to wake up to this morning.

Mistaken in Moonlight sounds deliciously funny and I can tell by the interview that you have a wonderfully unique voice, Susan. Can't wait to add it to my TBR list.

Elyssa, evil laughter and all, the bird is yours for the day. Congrats!

I have no drunken stories to tell -- darn! But my dream OF COURSE, is to get a publishing contract in 2009.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Thanks for the welcome, Jo! I'll cross my fingers for your 2009 dream to come true! (I'll make the chicken cross his toes, too.)

Donna MacMeans said...

Whoa Baby - You changed your avatar! Showing some major cleavage, Susan *g*.

Hey - was PJ your hubby? I thought it was PJ, notorious romance reader (PJ? You out there?)

Donna MacMeans said...

Ms. Hellion - I never knew you had a penchant for bar dancing! I think you, Buffie and I need to hook up in DC. You know I met my husband in a Cleveland bar - and on the dancefloor no less.

Lifting a glass to your success in 2009!

Donna MacMeans said...

Awww're too sweet. Really, all I did was plant my big fat foot firmly on your pert derriere. As your interview shows, your voice got you the medal and the contract - I just hoped to hurry the process *g*

Susan Gee Heino said...

Oops, yeah I did change my avatar! I wanted to go post on another blog and the chicken just didn't seem appropriate there so I switched it and meant to change back. Oh well, there's only so much time in the day. You gals are stuck with some cleavage for a while. Sorry.
Yep, Donna, that PJ was my PJ. He usually won't venture into this female dominated blog-world, so he'll get extra points today!

Buffie said...

Donna and Hellion -- if I am able to fund the DC trip (which I am praying I can), I'll be glad to bring my dancing shoes (which I'll probably kick off after the first song) and dance the night away with you two!!! Sounds like a total blast!

Susan Gee Heino said...

Hear ye, hear ye!
Donna has declared my derrier "pert"!
I wonder if Berkley would let me use that as an author blurb?

Buffie said...

Okay, Susan, you got me into some trouble here at work. See, I'm suppose to doing legal stuff and instead I'm doing my Proud Mary dance. You know, as Tina says . . . first we take it slow, and then we pick up it. Rollin', rollin', rollin' on a river.

Anonymous said...

Susan, from one chicken lover to another, Welcome! We owned four chickens at one point and had lots of fun letting the children chase them about the yard. (oh, wait, is that wrong? LOL.) But we live in the city and eventually I got sick of having chicken poo all over...well, all over everything. Someday I'll get that house in the country and have LOTS of chickens, though.

But the GR stays with Elyssa. Where he's safe and controlled. LOL.

Anyway, congratulations on your sale. You looked beautiful on GH night! It was fabulous to see you take the prize and I'm thrilled to hear about your books. They sound just wonderful. Leis does have fabulous taste!

Virginia said...

First off let me say congrats of the GH award what a great honor.

About my story I'll will tell a little of it. My older sister and I went and spent a weekend with the baby sister, needless to say we got very drunk. We were trying to play darts and my was all ending up stuck in her walls instead of the dart board. My older sister and I are heavy and we were doing belly dances and mooning and litterly showing out butts. Needless to say baby sister was taking photos and is still black mailing us to this very day. We did have a ball but had a very bad hang over the next day.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Hey, Kirsten. Let's hear it for the chicken lovers!
Thanks for stopping by and saying nice things about me. And yes, it's okay to let the kids chase the chickens. Good excercise for everyone, I say.
And golly, Virginia, I've heard some great tipsy stories, but yours includes photo evidence! I've got sisters, too, so I know from experience you've got to watch out for the youngest one. (And the middle one's usually the instigator--a proven fact.) I, of course, am the saintly eldest sister.

Kay Stockham said...

LOL Susan! Great blog. I can't wait to read your book. Congrats again on the GH win, the agent snag AND the sale. Gee, what are you going to do this year to top last year? (grin) LOL

Good luck! It couldn't have happened to a nicer, sweeter person.


MsHellion said...

*LOL* I'm not sure I'll have the funds for DC, myself, but if I do, I'll bring my best bar dancing hip swing. (No high heels...treacherous when bar dancing!)

Minna said...

Hi from Finland, Susan!

Dreams? Well, one of my dreams was to be able to visit my relatives in Canada. Now I've been there twice and hopefully I'll be able to go there again.

Miljoonasade - Silmitön talvi (senseless winter)

Susan Gee Heino said...

Minna--Oletko suomalainen?
My husband's grandparents came from Finland and his parents both grew up in a Finnish settlement in Ohio. They don't use the language very much any more, but I've picked up a couple words here and there. It looks like a beautiful country and it's hubby's dream to travel there someday.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Thanks, Kay! I'm currently working on winning the Miss Universe pageant as a way of topping last year's excitememt. Oddly, it's not going as well as one might think...

Deb Marlowe said...

Susan--there's a picture of the two of us on my website. I'm going to have my webmaster relabel it. :-) Don't tell the proud hubby.

There's also a pic of me and the Golden Rooster, but I'm not touching that one.

Your Prince Charming....

Anna Campbell said...

Hellion, honestly you do spark up a party! I'm snorting into my early morning cup of tea about the Amish guy!

I'm loving hearing about everybody's dreams. Actually one of my dreams came true this year - that double RITA nomination was actually BEYOND my dreams. I'd had this yen that some day, maybe, I'd come up with one. I've been putting together an album of the RWA pics on the HarperCollins site and looked at the big smile on my face and it all came rushing back!

Oh, if anyone wants to check out some shots of Bandits and assorted buddies at RWA, it's:

Minna said...

Kyllä olen!
Some of my relatives in Canada don't speak very much Finnish, either -the very reason vhy I really wanted to learn English! Some of them speak excellent, Finnish, others speak Finnglish and the rest know only few words.

Essi Wuorela - Varpunen Jouluaamuna (sparrow on Christmas morning)

M. said...

Congratulations, Susan. That is the sort of story that gives more calories of energy to tired schlubbs like me, still toiling in the trenches of contest rejections, to carry on. Multiple editors, multiple publishers, multiple book deals. All fab, fab pumpkin-and-sparkle-like fantasies for me to cling to.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Hi, Anna. Congrats on the upcoming release! It sounds steamy.

Susan Gee Heino said...

Hey, M. I always tell my kids, the only way to really fail is to quit trying. Honestly, it looked like I was never going to sell a blessed thing, but I'm pretty stubborn and self-centered so I kept at it even when common sense (and the dust bunnies I was ignoring) said I should just give up and move on to other more sensible activities. Out of the blue, though, something clicked and it paid off. I'm proof it can happen to anybody!

Susan Gee Heino said...

What a devoted cousin you are, Minna, to learn another language so you can keep up with your family! Gosh, my cousins are into sports and I won't even go to a ball game with them.
I love the great links you provided!

Kris Kennedy said...

Susan and Donna and all Banditas,

Great interview, Donna, and I love your Call story, Susan. :-)

Susan, your wonderful voice comes through in everything you write, including the interview, so I know your story will be utterly fabulous. :-)

Enjoy the excitement of your debut release in all the coming months! You deserve it.

Minna said...

Most kids start learning English on third grade around here and I obviously had plenty of motivation to learn. It's all my cousins fault I wanted to become a translator.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - I truly doubt those were your last RITA nominations. I think Anna Campbell will be a staple on the finalist (and winner) lists.

Jo - How can a woman with so many children NOT have a drunken story to tell? We'll have to remedy that in the lair sometime.

terrio said...

This book sound so good. And I love the title. BTW, I was at the GH ceremony and I have to say Susan, your dress was gorgeous and you looked gorgeous in it. Looking forward to picking this one up in 2009.

I can't remember my last drunken stupor so I'll have to go with dreams. Right now, it's getting that degree next June. Some days it feels like it's coming so quickly and others it feels light years away. But I've been working on this for three years and I can't wait to have that piece of paper in my hand!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, from your lips to God's ear! I'm not counting any golden roosters, though. ;-)

Caffey said...

Hi Susan! Hi Donna! Love your humor! I smiled all through reading your interview. Do you get to visit any of the settings you write in? What you think has been the best help for you to use for researching?

catslady said...

Your book sounds wonderful. I always like some humor in my reading. All my dreams are for my 2 daughters now - if they get theirs I'll be a happy camper :)

Pat Cochran said...

Hmmm.....drunken stupors? Over such
a long lifetime, there have to have
been many....NOT! Though there was
one post-company Christmas party
situation when the children were
small. They remember their slightly tipsy Mommy's behavior and they have
not let me forget it!

Pat Cochran

Nancy said...

Elyssa, congrats on grabbing the bird. I hope you'll keep him too busy to get into mischief.

Susan and Donna, what a fun interview! I love this call story.

You want dreams, I see. Our family's dream of going back to England will come true in 2009. *knocks wood* Our friends there who saw the boy last time will be astounded because he was just a little guy then and looks different, as kids often do after a big interval. So that's a dream that's definitely coming true.

Nancy said...

For a long time, the boy referred to the UK as "England-That-I-Have-No-Memory-Of." He's more subtle now. We finally tricked him into admitting he does remember some things, so he had to quit that. *g*

flchen1 said...

Huge congrats, Susan! What a fabulous call story! I'm currently dreaming of a clutter-free home, but that's a ways off I think! I did spend years dreaming of an uninterrupted night's sleep, and once in a blue moon that one comes true! ;) (Gotta love those kids!)

Congrats on the GR, Elyssa!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hello, Susan GH from Susan S, a fellow Pixie Chick! Wonderful to see you here in the lair! And I loved your call story to pieces. Mistaken by Moonlight sounds fabulous & I can't wait to snatch it up once it hits the stands.

But the real question I have for you is this--is that a picture of you holding a chicken? A chicken you own? Because my fondest hope is to build a little chicken coop in my backyard & I have such a hard time explaining why I desire such a thing. Do you...have chickens? And are you willing to explain to my husband why they might be great pets?

Donna MacMeans said...

Susan H., Inara, & Susan S. - I so do not get the chickens as pets thing. You guys will have to explain it to me as well as Smoov's husband. Dogs I understand. Cats I understand. I can even understand Cassondra's crow - but I don't get the chickens. (Now a Golden rooster - Okay)

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Susan! Congratulations on your GH win and even better, your first sale! Mistaken By Moonlight sounds fantastic *g*

Thanks for the great interview, ladies :-)

Donna MacMeans said...

Sounds like lots of dreams will be realized in 2009...terrio's degree, Nancy's trip to London (Do you think I can fit in a suitcase?), lots of new sales and first sales. I think 2009 will be a very good year!

Susan Gee Heino said...

Susan S--I can give you loads of great ammo to convince the dh that chickens are great. First of all, they're beautiful. They come in all shapes, sizes, varieties and colors. Next, they're really fun to watch because, let's face it, they're not exactly rocket scientists and they get themselves into some funny predicaments. But best of all, they lay eggs! And if you discover you really don't like keeping chickens, you can just make them into soup. Trying doing that with an unwanted guinea pig or a kitten!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Susan GH! I'm late to the party as usual, but want to say I love your call story and it's been fabulous being a Pixie Chick with you! Can't wait to read your book. Hey, I started writing my first romance in '93 too! It was quickly abandoned. The next one I finished (in 95) and tried to sell. Thankfully, no one in publishing was that desperate and I don't have to live that mss down. :) It's safely stowed under the bed.

Donna MacMeans said...

It pays to be the last post of the day! Lynn Rae Harris - you're the winner of the signed copy of THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT. If you could go to and leave your contact information, I'll get the book to you straight away!