Happy Thursday, world!
Today, I have yet another fabulous new member of the VHP family to introduce you to.
So here without further ado, is Susan Berry!
Susan Berry read her first romance novel when she was ten years old. Her grandmother gave it to her to help pass the time on a long car ride to the Midwest. She grumbled as she opened the book and began reading. Ten miles later, she couldn’t put it down. The characters came alive, the tension between them building as she frantically turned the pages. She had to know how it all worked out. That experience never left her. From that day forward, she read romance novels every chance she found, and reading turned into writing, which eventually led to her first novel, a traditional romance called Dance of the Heart.
Every woman secretly wishes for a man who is both strong and charming enough to sweep her off her feet. A man who can match her independence with just enough force to break through her guarded heart. As someone who loves to escape into the pages of love, she is dedicated to the writing of such novels filled with heartfelt romance that can be shared with every generation.
Along with romance novels, Susan has written several articles regarding social issues close to her heart and had the privilege of being a guest speaker for Together We Care, a diverse group of Puget Sound collaborators who are partnering toward achieving outstanding care for individuals experiencing chronic illness in the community.
Q: You credit chocolate bars (specifically dark chocolate with almonds) with maintaining your sanity while writing. Do you have any other suggestions for food that feeds the brain, or any foods that might kill the artistic flow?
While chocolate is my favorite writing snack, I also enjoy anything crunchy. A bag of popcorn can help me get through the worst of writers block. I have never found a food to kill my artistic flow.
Q: You once said, "Our greatest success come in the space between try and quit." What brought you to that place to be able to say that? Tell us of your greatest successes.
In life, we all have dreams. Whether we reach those dreams depends a lot on our ability to keep trying until they are firmly in our grasp. Quitting before that moment can rob you of the success. You never really know how close you are to what you desire so why stop short when with just a bit more effort, you can have all you want. My personal successes have been my ability to continue to live a normal life with a disability and keep fighting for my dreams.
Q: Dance of the Heart is your debut novel, and also the first in your Moments of the Heart series. What triggered the idea for the book and for the series? Did you see or experience something? Did a character just come to mind? Did a certain place or memory suddenly conjure up the idea(s)?
Dance of the Heart was inspired not by any one event as it was a memory. When I was younger I used to read Harlequin Romance novel with my grandmother. I just fell in love with the plots and the adventure of love. While thinking of my grandmother one afternoon, I just started writing and the character of Maggie just jumped off the page. She introduced me to her struggle to recover from the drowning death of her mother and her fear of feelings when confronted with love. The story is full of family and humor and the ending that leaves you wanting more.
Q: You call Dance of the Heart, a “traditional romance.” What is a traditional romance? What does/do romance and romance novels mean to you as both a reader and a writer?
To me a traditional romance is exactly like the first real romance novel to me, Pride and Prejudice. The story is full of real people who are facing real situations in life. Their journey includes discovering what they think love is and how it manifests in their own lives into something beautiful and enduring.
Q: What can you tell us about book two, Laughter of the Heart, without giving too much away?
The second book in the Moments of the Heart series follows Maggie and her family as they move on to a new chapter in their life. We find out if Maggie has finally healed her heart and what lengths she is willing to go for love.
Q: Tell us one thing about yourself that we would never expect (a funny story, a talent, a passion in life, etc.).
Well, one thing most people don’t know about me is I love magic. When I was little I would practice card tricks and try the out on whoever came to our house to the annoyance of my parents. I think my love of magic is part of what makes me a fiction writer. Fiction is an illusion of reality that seems real to those reading it just like magic can seem real to the observer. And who doesn’t like the thrill of not knowing how things will work out.
Where to find Susan Berry: