Before we get started I want to give a Birthday shout out to my husband Pete. He is my greatest supporter and cheerleader. Fun facts about Pete.
He was born on St. Nicholas Day (I totally believe this is why he so into decorating).
The Mr. is one smart cookie. He was an honor student. To this day he knows his history, science and politics.
He is a life member of the local fire department and after many years of service in fire fighting, he continues teaching prevention in the local schools and daycares. Known throughout the county as "Fireman Pete."
Pete is deeply involved in church ministry. Each summer he joins a group to go and either build or rehabilitate homes in West Virginia. This year for Thanksgiving he help raise money and then distributed over 80 baskets to families in need so they could enjoy the holiday too.
TWF my love. I'm proud to be your other half.
My guest today is the lovely Susan Payne who is rocking it in the author world. So, without further ado please welcome her to the fire. Susan, I can't believe what you are up to since our last visit. Can you tell us all the news?
I’m excited about my Midwest Mail Order Bride series. I can’t believe how quickly these were published. And all four are being released practically together. This is a rarity as far as I know. The first one, Montana Lineman, was one of the first stories I put down on paper. It began as omniscient and now is POV to the main characters. The second, The Bride Wagon, came to me after reading about mail order brides simply heading west and hoping things went well. Sort of like the orphan trains sent out from New York. I always have a basic trope and then put a twist to it to keep it interesting.
Congratulations! I sounds wonderful and like a lot of work. But there's so much more to an author. Tell me, who are you other than your bio?
I have always considered myself a chameleon. I’m not usually hot nor cold. Need company or yearn to be alone. Watch TV or want to read/write. I have always worn more than one hat. Done several full-time jobs while never being employed. Many mothers and wives do the same everyday of their lives. We are daughters and wives and mothers – and if we are lucky, get to do a little of what we want.
How right you are. With all that, I do hope you get to have some fun though for yourself.
My hobby is collecting – furniture and “pretties” which are items that catch my fancy like shiny-glittery things. Christmas is my favorite time of year since it is considered part of the season to put out glam type wreaths and fancy candles. Even our kitchen towels can be exotic with elves or snow-covered villages.
I adore shiny things as well. And I believe you and my dearly beloved would concur on all things Christmas. An author can spend a lot of time alone. But we are social creatures. Who are your go-to people.
My daughters are my support team although a couple of them feel uncomfortable reading my work. I start out safe enough usually. My heroines are notoriously GP and then my heroes enter the story and it becomes R. I cannot control my heroes – not in my stories and not in real life. So, I have heard that some of my children hum through parts of my stories – la-la-la-la, to keep from being mortified by my character’s actions.
LOL! I can imagine them singing while plugging their ears. Children, even grown up, have a hard time thinking of their parents as a vital sexual human being as well as a mom. Are their any writers you think influenced you?
I can’t say any one author is an inspiration. I read everything that came into my hands. I found them at work, at school, and abandoned by my much older uncle. Books I should not have been reading and books I should not have understood. I never set down to write a book let alone have multiple publishers and 21 books (27 stories) in print in such a short time. I don’t think I deserve it, but I’m not going to stop. I’m finally getting everyone out of my head and down on paper – or at least into an eBook.
Of course, you deserve it. I'm sure many authors would agree writing is hard work, then the editing and marketing. Besides work though there has to be fun. What is something enjoyable?
I realized I have a lot of fun – mostly with my family. My husband says he loves to sit back and listen to me and my children talk over the dinner table. He says there is so much laughter it makes him jealous he isn’t part of it. He could be, of course, only he has trouble keeping up with all of us. We are talking on several levels to multiple people at a time. Keeping the conversation going is what we all do well.
When my sister and I start yacking around my husband, he's the same. I say often you've got to keep up honey. What's your neighborhood like?
I lived in a place no longer than six months once I was married. Then we built a home and stayed almost five years – then we built a bigger home and remained there to this day. That was 43 years ago. We are in a field of our own – 26 acres – and it is where my kids call home. I don’t think I’ll ever leave it – not willingly. The kids say I can’t move because all the pets are buried in the back yard…not sure where I’m to be placed. Probably next to the Guinea pigs.
Sounds wonderful! I'd stay there too. In your opinion what should be taught in schools that often is neglected?
Education has always fascinated me – probably because I was undiagnosed dyslexic. I could read and understand anything – spelling, not so much. It affected my speech since I picture words in my head as I say them. Kind of like reading a teleprompter. I find I do that with some of my stories, too. Neat, but I depend on editors and spell-check since I’m not to be trusted. I always thought students should be taught to read a driving map and be able to balance a checkbook. The new apps have taken away that need so now I think they need to be taught common sense.
We do depend on our electronics. I can't even remember phone numbers. There was a time I could rattle of almost everyone's number that I knew. What song would you want to hear each time you entered a room?
The song I’d like to hear every time I walk into a room would be Sugar by the Archies. You know, real up-beat…”Sugar, hey, Honey, Honey…You are my candy girl and you got me wanting you….” Always makes me smile – and, yes, I have it on record that my hubby plays for me.
Uh oh, I have an earworm now. What was your first job?
My first job was babysitting for 3 kids. I walked to their house and fed them breakfast, lunch and watched them play. They were all school age (I was 12) and I loved that they had the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I love those and my mother couldn’t afford more than a year of them. So, I cleaned their house completely – I also cleaned my mother’s since she worked outside the home – and read the rest of the day. I was only filling in for an older sitter but they “paid” me for cleaning by buying me the most expensive blouse I ever owned. I was happy getting to read the Reader’s Digest.
There may still be some Reader's Digest books somewhere in my house. What is your worst chore to do in the house?
I love all household chores – or, at least, used to. I would get up, dress, make the bed and then do the same for 5 kids, picking up the laundry from their rooms and baths. Take it downstairs with me to wash clothes while I fed kids then cleaned up kitchen and got out dinner to prep. I vacuumed and dusted 2000 sq ft everyday. I would do upstairs one day and the downstairs the next. Basement rooms were done weekly. Cleaned half-bath daily. Made lunch for kids at home and was free to read the afternoon away while laundry finished and dinner cooked to be on the table at 6 pm every night. Help with homework (if I wasn’t taking kids to anything), watch TV with family kibitzing the whole time. Put kids to bed and then watch more TV with hubby adding in points of view etc. till 11 pm. Then to bed. Yes, I was certifiable, but I have learned my lesson and often leave my bed unmade (Gasp!). Monthly I would wash every window, polish the wood doors and baseboards, appliances and garage. Yup, did I mention certifiable? And read over 50 books a month.
I'm speechless😵 so lets move on. What advice would you give others?
If I had anything to do over again it would be to stay with my writing when I first thought to publish a book in the early 90s. I was old then, but sooo much older when I finally got the gumption to put words to paper, about 2016 and didn’t submit to publishers until late 2019. I’m proof you don’t have to be ahead of the crowd – you can run along with them right down the middle. If you have extra words that need to be free – let them out. Even if its only for your own enjoyment. Let the words and ideas flow.
Susan thank you so much for spending time at the fire with us. Before you leave and you share a bit about your books and where to find them and you?
The Bride Wagon
Released 11/30/2021 by Magnolia Blossom Publishing
Montana Lineman: Vince wanted a family, a friend and a lover. Daisy desired the same. Could the two young people make a lasting marriage when neither knew how to be what the other needed? One knew what a family should be, the other only thought he knew. Could Vince save his marriage after his disastrous mistakes in the beginning? And would Daisy find peace with her choice?
The Bride Wagon: Can a marriage begun in distrust and fear last long enough for desire and love to eliminate the differences between them? Lily had travelled more than halfway across the continent for safety only to find herself faced with a choice worse than death. Was she strong enough to deny her love and face the future alone or confess and take the help her husband can offer her.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MR8W5HF eBook only
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MSH5F2Z eBook only