Welcome Suzie Quint

Please welcome with me this morning Suzie Quint.  Suzie Quint has always been fascinated with the human psyche, so she can imagine no better way to explore the human condition than through the characters she writes. Finding the happy ending for the people who inhabit her worlds is the best job anyone could have. Getting to share them with others... It doesn't get any better than that.

Welcome, Suzie.  I'm so glad you could join me today. Today we're talking about your new release, Knight of Heart.

What motivated you to write this book?

Like so many authors these days, I became enamored with a supporting character in another book I wrote. Rachel McKnight, the heroine of Knight of Hearts, is the older sister of the hero of A Knight in Cowboy Boots. She’s a little different from the typical romance heroine though. As the oldest girl in a family with a lot of brothers, she’s more than a little bossy. She’s also a “fixer,” which is a good quality for a hotel concierge, but doesn’t work so well in her personal life.

Are the experiences in the novel based on someone you know, or events in your life?

Not particularly. I tend to think of the events of my own life as mundane. What I do take from life, I think, are the emotions. We’ve all had those moments when we’re insecure or when we pretend that we don’t care when our hearts are really breaking, or when we hope someone we love loves us back. Those feelings that are so personal to each of us but that we all share. Those are what I take from life and what, I hope, comes through in my writing.

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote in high school, then took a long hiatus while I figured out my life. That was actually a good thing since most people have to live some, I think, before we have something to say. When I first moved to Seattle, I didn’t know very many people here and I was in one of those dry spells where I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read (this was long before Goodreads came along and I developed a to-be-read pile that would choke a giraffe.) There’s a piece of writer’s wisdom that says: write what you would want to read. So that’s what I did.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Every writers’ group or critique buddy I’ve ever had has had an influence my writing. My first real writers group here in Seattle probably deserves the most credit. They never let me get away with anything (for which I’m forever in their debt.) I had some horrible habits when they got their hands on me, but they pounded on me and my writing improved tremendously. Critique buddies are invaluable no matter what stage you’re at, because they spot things you’re blind to. I can’t imagine sending something out into the world without them vetting it first.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Rachel’s surname is McKnight and I played on that with her brother Zach’s book (A Knight in Cowboy Boots), so it seemed like a fun idea to start a theme with the titles. Since Mac plays a lot of poker, it felt right to find a way to reference that as well in the title, so when I came up with Knight of Hearts, I knew it fit. Though as I continue writing about the McKnight clan, I wonder what I was thinking. I may resort to having contests to come up with titles, the way Janet Evonvich does.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The theme of Knight of Hearts is about relinquishing control and learning to trust someone else, so I suppose there’s a message in that somewhere.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I think that would be Rachel. Because she’s not fixated on being “nice” and she’s okay with that, there was a certain freedom in writing her. She’s prickly at times, bossy most of the time, and wants to be the one in control all the time. I had a ball putting her in situations where she had to struggle with those inclinations.

Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?

Joseph Campbell said that the purpose of mythology was to teach the ancients how to live their lives. Those myths are hard for modern cultures to apply to our daily lives, so I think in some ways the things we choose to read create our personal mythos. Romances are a great way to remind us to keep our hearts open.

Suzie, thank you so much for joining me today.  Knight of Hearts can be purchased here.