About Susan Rae

My Writing Philosophy

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant–
 Success in Circuit lies… ~~Emily Dickenson

When I read this little poem in college, I realized how true it was.  I try to follow Dickinson’s advice in my writing, in how I approach my characters and plots.  With romance, telling someone that “Love conquers all,” just doesn’t do it, and it isn’t always exactly true.  But creating full, well-rounded characters, making them as real as possible, putting them in difficult but believable situations and seeing how through their grit and determination they get through those situations, often overcoming desperate odds—that’s telling the truth and hopefully giving the reader something they will enjoy reading.

Do romance novels end in happy endings?  You bet.  But they’re earned happy endings.  Why did I choose to write romance novels?  Because in college, I read tons of “literature.”  I grew so tired of anything “literary” having to end in someone committing suicide or dying.  I am a true romantic, and I believe in happy endings, or at least happy moving ons—surviving.  I am more interested in the survivors.  No, life isn’t always happy, but I believe there can be happy moments along the way if one has a good attitude.   I try to show that in my work. Hopefully, you agree!

The complete poem--

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind—

Susan’s Bio

I write because I can’t resist the challenge of taking the intriguing characters and storylines that pop into my head and fleshing them out into compelling manuscripts.  I enjoy writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds.  It also lets me explore my love for the outdoors in the settings that I recreate on the page.

My writing stemmed from my love of reading.  I remember being introduced at the tender age of three to Alice in Wonderland.  I thought the story and pictures were very strange, but they sparked my imagination and showed me that reading could open up whole new worlds, introduce me to new characters.  In my pre-teen years, I discovered Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  During the hot summers when other kids were outside playing, all I wanted to do was curl up with the amateur sleuths’ latest mystery and laze the day away.

My love of characters drew me to the theater.  I began my college career as a Theater Major, but soon realized that traipsing off to New York to follow the greasepaint wasn’t for me.  I changed my major and earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  Before writing my debut novel heartbeats, I held many roles–wife, mother, freelance feature writer, insurance representative, T-ball coach, girl scout leader, etc.  I also penned three novels, but it wasn’t until my last offspring told me she was engaged and would graduate college early that I decided it was time to pursue my writing dream again.  Characters were still talking in my head, itching to get their stories out.  So, armed with years of creative writing classes and support from Chicago-North, the local chapter of Romance Writers of America, I quit my day job and sat down to write the best darn romantic suspense novel I possibly could.  Four months later I had heartbeats.  A few months after that, I had a contract!  

heartbeats is a story of romance and danger set against the background of busy Chicago and the quiet, rural cornfields of northern Illinois.  The novel garnered numerous awards, including RWA Golden Heart Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense Novel and Best First Book by First Coast Romance Writers.  

I still love the outdoors and reading.  When I’m not sketching characters or working out plot problems, I enjoy swimming, golfing, canoeing, and spending time with my family. I  also enjoy traveling around the country, seeking out new settings for my novels with my husband and our empty-nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute.

freefall, my second novel, takes place in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest and beautiful Door County. ICE blue, Book 2 in The DeLuca Family Series, returns to the busy streets of Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan. The third book in the series, TRUE blue, will be released on May 16th, 2014. I very much enjoyed the writing when it became apparent that my characters needed to take a trip to Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park to solve the murder mystery.

Copyright © 2014 by Susan Rae

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