Thursday, March 18, 2010

Get To Know Susan Palmquist!!

Welcome back!! Ready for the weekend? I sure am, let me tell ya!

We've got another author geared up and rearin' to take their turn in the TLN Hot Seat! So, without further ado, please help me welcome Susan Palmquist!!

No stranger to the ways of publishing, Susan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with a very extensive background in freelance writing. When she isn't cranking out the interviews or articles for publications, she's tripping the life-fantastic as a fiction writer.

Hope you're settled in, because hip-hip-ho and away we go!!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

The story of a woman determined to be a writer no matter what. However, when a death in the family occurs she realizes she might have to give up her plans. It will take another family tragedy to make her realize her dream. This book is about determination, never giving up and that even sad stories have a happy ending.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Diverse, humorous, moving

3)What's the best writing/career advice you've ever received?

I can’t think of anything writing or career related but something that did jump into my mind the second I read this was the advice my late father gave me during my school years. I used to get scared when it came time to take tests and he always told me ‘just do your best, that’s all anyone can ever ask of you’.

4)What's been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome in your writing?

Rejections…no, seriously, it’s probably living and struggling through the ten years after my dad died. I took time off while he was ill and wasn’t writing as much as I used to. After he died, I suddenly found myself with some sort of writer’s block. I couldn’t write anything longer than a short story. It was really frustrating and many times I thought that’s it, I’m done being a writer. I even thought about selling all my writing books at one point because they were painful reminders of the time when I’d sit down and write for hours on end. It was so wonderful when I finished my first manuscript after a decade of writer’s drought!

5)Tell us about how you got "The Call"!

It wasn’t a call but an e-mail. The editor at The Wild Rose Press e-mailed to tell me she loved my book (A Sterling Affair) and wanted to offer me a contract. I read it ten times before it sunk in that it wasn’t another rejection. And then I thought, I’d wake up and it would be a dream. My husband was unemployed at the time and was on the computer in another room. I ran to him and said ‘can you believe it, I’m going to be a published author.’

6)Any tips for all the novices out there on writing up a synopsis?

I have to say I’m not one of those writers who think of them as dreaded. Sometimes it’s easier to write them after you’ve actually written the book. I try and think about all the pertinent scenes, turning points, etc. Anything that I feel is going to sell the editor on this story. My trick is if it sounds like all telling and not showing, it’s a synopsis. Oh, and a new thing I’m trying is adding a blurb before I get into the main synopsis. I figure if you can give them some idea of what will be on the back of the book, one, you’re helping to sell them the story, and two, you might get in their good books by doing some work for them.

7)What's new for Susan Palmquist in 2010? Give us the 'deets!'

I’m in the middle of promoting Sleeping With Fairies, things haven’t slowed down with that…I’m happy to say. I was featured in Writing Magazine in the UK. I joined up with some fellow expats (I’m originally from London), we’re all writers, all scattered around the world and we ‘meet’ every other Sunday morning. We critique, set writing exercises and it’s a great bunch of people. I also found my first critique partner who is a blessing in disguise. She not only points out all the problems in my manuscript, she’s someone I can bounce ideas around with. I just signed a contract for one of my short stories that will be published in an anthology in the UK later this year. I have a historical novella making the rounds and another one just about ready to send out. I’m also working on a contemporary novella and my big project at the moment is I’m writing my first romantic suspense. It might sound like I’m juggling lots of stuff but after a decade of not writing, I think I’m trying to make up for lost time!

Excerpt: Sleeping With Fairies

It was just out of pure curiosity, he told himself when he’d opted to drive along the road that ran parallel to the beach. After all, although he’d been in the village a couple of weeks, he had yet to visit the beach or even driven the beach road to check it out. Rachel had pestered him a couple of times, but he’d said it was too cold to be heading to the beach.

He glanced out to sea while he drove. No matter how hard he tried to convince himself he was doing this for the sightseeing aspect, he knew the real reason. He was looking for Claire, hoping to get a glance of her without her noticing him.
Rain started to splatter on the windshield of his car. He slowed to a crawl, glancing in his rearview mirror to make sure no traffic was behind him. He peeked out at the beach again, that’s when he saw her. She was bending down, picking something up from out of the sand. At that point, there was a clap of thunder right before the sky seemed to open up. Michael had to turn on the windshield wipers to clear the water from his view. He decided to pull over. He looked at the beach again. Poor Claire was getting drenched. It didn’t look like she had an umbrella with her.

He thought about opening his car door, calling to her to get in, but he doubted she’d hear him above the roar of the rain. Maybe he’d be the perfect gentleman and get out so he could help her back to his car.

Michael opened the car door, got out, and pulled his jacket over his head. He made a mad dash to the beach.

“Claire, Claire,” he called when he got closer to her.

She looked up.

“You’re going to get as wet as I am,” she said. A bolt of lightning flashed across the sand. “Neither of us should be out here in this. I know a place where we can take cover until it calms down.”

Before he knew it, she’d grabbed his hand and was pulling him toward some rocks. He followed her into what looked like an overhang, then she took him into what resembled the opening to a cave.

“Look at you. You’re soaked to the skin,” said Claire.

“Don’t worry about me.”

“How did you happen to see me here?”

“I thought I’d check out the area, and then I spotted you.”

“I didn’t think it was going to rain this soon or I wouldn’t have headed to the beach.”

“One of the drawbacks to living on an island.”

“There are some rocks here, it’s not comfortable, but it’s a place to sit until this storm dies down,” said Claire.

They walked to the back of the cave and sat down.

“How do you know about this place?” asked Michael.

“Everyone knows about the cave. In fact, when Rachel’s older, if she tells you she’s going to the beach with her boyfriend, well, you’ll be one step ahead of her. This is where all the young lovers come to kiss. To be honest, I think quite a few babies have been made here, many by accident,” said Claire.

Despite being chilled to the bone, heat rose to Michael’s face. So it was that sort of place. How did Claire know all about it? Had she come here with one boyfriend, two boyfriends, more than two? She was beautiful, that was for sure. He imagined that lots of men wanted to take her out, maybe bring her to this sort of place.
“So what do you have there?” he asked, needing to change the subject.

“Just some shells for my design. This beach has some of the most fascinating shapes.”
He had to admit he hadn’t seen seashells like the ones she held in her hands ever before.

“My mom used to tell me that the fairies had sent them. People around here like me to use them in their yards.”

“Is that a fact?”

“You see this one here, it’s supposed to—”

He knew it was rude to cut her off in mid-sentence, but he couldn’t control himself any longer. He turned and without giving it a second thought, kissed her. He didn’t know why he’d done it. In fact, he’d almost felt compelled to do it.

She didn’t stop him, didn’t pull away, she didn’t slap him. Instead, she put one of her hands at the back of his head and opened her mouth to him. He wanted to run his tongue along her lip. Maybe that would be going too far. Even this simple little kiss was going too far.

He pulled away. They sat looking into one other’s eyes.

“I think the rain has eased up a little. Maybe we should make a run for the car,” he said.

Congratulations on all your many successes, Susan! How exciting! Best wishes for many sales!!

I'd like to thank Susan for letting me interview her. If you'd like to learn more about Susan Palmquist and her writing endeavors, please check out her webiste:

Thank you, TLN'ers! It's been a wild and crazy week. I sure hope your weekend is awesome! How about a little
Blackmoore's Night LOCKED WITHIN THE CRYSTAL BALL to amp up your day! Talk about a kick booty voice! Seriously wicked pipes on that gal! (Thanks, Kaye! You've got some great taste in music.) Enjoy and we'll catch you back next week!


Susan Palmquist said...

Hi Sarah,
Thank you and thank you for featuring me on your site. Good luck with your writing too-Susan

Micole Black said...


I found it interesting that a family death is what kept you from writing and another tragedy brought you back. Personally, I hated to read as I was growing up. If you asked me to read, I would probably throw something at you! :) When I was 25 my mother died from Lupus. I had taken care of her since I was 12. When she was gone, I had a lot of time on my hands. Funny enough I strated reading, (one of my mother's favorite things to do) it was then that I decided to start writing.

Your story gives me great inspiration and reminds me of the path I need to keep myself on. thank you for your interview. Much success with your latest titles and future ones as well.

Thanks again Sarah for another amazing interview!:


Micole Black

Emma Lai said...

Sarah, my friend! It's been too long. I'm halfway through the month, but not halfway through the packing. Eek!

Perseverance is key in writing. Susan, I recently started freelance writing and find it eats up a lot of time. Any advice on balancing with fiction writing? Congrats on the sale!

Sarah Simas said...

Aw, thanks, Susan! I'll take all the luck I can get! :)

HI Micole!!

I'm very glad you chose to write, otherwise we might not have met. Can't wait to hang out with you tomorrow! YRW all the way, baby! lol

Sarah Simas said...


I hope you get packed up quick and easy. :) I missed ya, lady!

I think it's too cool you're freelance writing. I'm sure you'll be a whiz and rocking out the articles. :)

Susan Palmquist said...

Hi Emma,
My advice for mixing fiction writing and freelance, keep them separate as best you can. I focus on my freelance writing during the day and use a desktop computer. After dinner, I switch to my laptop, turn on some music and become a fiction writer. If I'm working on edits or deadline for one, sometimes they get switched. Weekends are mostly for fiction writing but once again if I'm close to a deadline with an assignment, that has to be my main focus. Hope this helps, and good luck with your new freelance career-Susan

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for the support, Sarah!

Susan, your advice sounds like a good plan. Thanks!

Cari Quinn said...

Loved your call story, Susan. So happy you're making your dream come true. Fun interview, ladies! :)