Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our second official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.
We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of erotic romance, Watched. Please join me in welcoming Suzanne Jefferies to ILRB! 🙂
Marie Lavender: Hello, Suzanne. Please have a seat.
Author Suzanne Jefferies: Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.
Marie: It’s such a pleasure to see you here! I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.
Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have any other occupations? Do you believe you’re any good at them? Do you like what you do?
Suzanne: I’m a copywriter, specializing in corporate marketing collateral, government case studies (South Africa), and personal profiles. I’d like to think I’m very good at it! I love it. I get to work on some really exciting client projects from the comfort of my home. Win/win all round.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Suzanne: Driven. Chaotic. Next question, please.
Marie: Oh, I hear you there! 😉
Let’s try something else, okay?
If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Suzanne: We moved a lot, including from the UK to South Africa. My earliest home was my favorite; surrounded by a cobblestone wall, overlooking the cold, grey Atlantic, and four houses from my best friend. We used to go down to the beach in our Wellington boots, dodging stinging nettles and sheep droppings. Every day was an adventure.
Do you have any hobbies, Suzanne? What do you enjoy doing?
Suzanne: Rolling on the mat at jui jitsu. Running half-marathons with my youngest sister. Drawing stories about the young me adventuring on that cold coast in South Wales.
Marie: Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes! 😀
So…what is your greatest dream?
Suzanne: I’m still single. So, I’m wishing and a hoping for true love/the fairytale/someone who I can partner with. Maybe a family.
Marie: There’s certainly nothing wrong with those dreams…
As I’ve learned, true love has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥♥♥
Let’s try another question.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Suzanne: I could do with being more extroverted. What’s stopping me is my introvert tendencies. I can do extrovert best when I’m a little drunk – that doesn’t roll so well on a Monday morning!
Marie: (Laughs.) Very true…
Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Suzanne: A boy named Gareth, with a lazy green eye who worked at the Pro Shop and smoked Camel filters. Did he break my heart? With a sledgehammer.
Marie: Aww…okay. I sense a big story there. ♥
Let’s try something else now.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Suzanne: Lots of terrible things happen all the time, and I’ve certainly had more than my fair share. The funny thing, though, about terrible things is that, sometimes, they can lead me on to better, wonderful things. Other times, they’ve led me to the therapist’s door.
Marie: Can’t blame you there!
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Suzanne: I wanted to write books. And, yay, that’s what I’m doing.
In a million years, I never dreamt that publishing would be so hard. In my career as a writer I’ve been plagiarized (legal fees nailed that one), had an agent run out on me, had a publisher go bust and close its door weeks before my release, and another publisher used my book as a vehicle to legitimize her self-publishing business. Epic.
For every step forward, another twenty or so back. People think of E.L. James or J.K. Rowling when they think of writers, but they’re outliers. Most writers I know are doing well, but aren’t finding their photo in People magazine.
Marie: True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.
So, who is your role model, Suzanne?
Suzanne: Jane Porter. She moved me to tears with her story, because it was my story too. The difference was, she had the guts to stand up there and share. She’s a writer who never gave up, a successful publisher and a dedicated mom. I think she’s awesome.
Marie: All right.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Suzanne: Yes. I will not be revealing said person’s name to protect the innocent (me).
Marie: No problem. I respect your privacy!
Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Suzanne: To have a child of my own (looking super unlikely at this point).
Marie: I know what you mean. The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😉
So, tell me something, Suzanne. What is your greatest fear?
Suzanne: That it will be too late – that all the things I still want to do and experience in my life, will somehow slip away from me into time’s black hole, and it will all be too late.
Marie: Well, I certainly understand your fears that time is a losing battle. But I don’t think it’s ever too late to accomplish what you set out to do.
I want to try something different next, Suzanne…
Readers, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective on some of her characters.
We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Professor Eve Brown. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Suzanne: Professor Brown, Evie, is newly divorced and questioning everything about her life. All of the roles and titles that seemed to apply, no longer do. She used to love her job, but she feels her passion slipping away. She’s no longer a wife. She’s no longer young. Everything’s changing.
Marie: I see.
So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?
Suzanne: Resilience. She gets up, gets out there and gets on with what needs to be done.
Marie: Admirable for sure!
And what are her greatest weaknesses?
Suzanne: Young men named Cameron! The tendency to look backwards towards the past. That’s not where she’ll find her answers.
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of her favorite foods?
Suzanne: Sushi, vegetarian lasagna, and steak, mid-to-rare, with fries. And Chardonnay.
Marie: (Chuckles.) Nice!
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Suzanne: She’s open to change, open to experience, and open to difference. It’s not something she thinks of consciously; it’s part of who she is.
Marie: Works for me!
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Suzanne: It could be easy to dislike her, considering that she does ‘break the rules’ with Cameron. But it’s part of her breaking her shackles to the past, and the person she was.
Marie: All right.
Well, now that we have a real taste of Evie Brown, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.
What first gave you the idea for Watched?
Suzanne: Trawling through YouTube videos I came across the Christopher Atkins turkey ‘One Night in Heaven’. Something about the teacher/student angle, had me thinking. And then I watched Laura Branigan’s video for ‘Self-Control’ and somehow the two non-related ideas kind of mushed and melded together (Still not sure how this inspiration thing works!).
Marie: Gotcha! And I hear you. My story ideas come from all over the place.
Interesting how the muse works, huh?
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Suzanne: Pantster all the way! I let the story take me where it wants to go and hang on.
Marie: Sounds like quite a ride!
How about another question?
I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Watched or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Suzanne: Yes, there was a minor challenge. The relationship with Sophie is fluid, a friends with benefits, casual affair. So, it had to be clear that Evie wasn’t cheating on her. However, Sophie is polyamorous, so it’s not that Sophie would mind particularly. I had wanted to explore this more, but publishers were not so keen. Luckily, I reworked parts of the story and Wild Rose Press was happy to publish.
It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Watched appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this scorching romance by Suzanne Jefferies, a talented author!
Now, let’s learn more about Suzannne’s blog tour going on right now.
Newly divorced Professor Evie Brown notices her student Cameron Slade and how attentive he seems, so totally unlike her ex-husband. Cameron is also delicious to look at, all taut body, broad shoulders, and hot eyes. He’s forbidden territory, but one late afternoon as she pleasures herself in an empty lecture hall, she looks up to find she’s not alone. He’s there…watching her.
And then there’s Sophie Walker. Ever since Evie met the sensual woman, she’s allowed her inhibitions to unreel, one by one. It’s Sophie who’s been sharing Evie’s erotic awakening, Sophie who she yearns for. Or is it?
Suzanne is also offering us a peek of the book!
I wipe clean the whiteboard, enjoying the push of the felt, swinging from side to side as I move, the squeaking sound it makes as it erases the past three hours’ worth of hard work. An image replays over and over—that unexpected reveal of Cameron’s torso—a handspan of bareness, the grooved shadow of muscle. It was a shock to the sterility of that lecture hall. My mouth waters. Bare, taut skin—that male skin, so much rougher, harsher than a woman’s.
I replace the lids on the markers and switch off the projector. Alone. Facing late afternoon emptiness.
If Cameron were to give me something I’d like… I’d like him, close to me, all sweet-sandy raw male youth, at my knees. Male.
I swallow back the desire that is starting to slither through me, stroking the space between my neck and collarbone. Cameron. I picture the way he ran his hands through his lightly gelled hair, the bulge in his arms as his hands extended behind his head. The soft curve of his lower lip. That vulnerable stretch of torso that was making my mouth salivate like a beast before its slaughter.
Nice! I’m curious to find out what happens in this book… 🙂
Universal Amazon link: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07B2BR84Z
Plus, Suzanne is giving away some wonderful prizes, two ebooks of Watched, during this tour. Two lucky winners will receive a copy. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.
☆.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY ☆°•.☆
Let’s offer some kudos to Suzanne’s sponsor as well…
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this erotic romance! ♥ Readers, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
About Suzanne Jefferies
Suzanne Jefferies loves to write romance. As a member of ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa), she knows that she’s not the only believer in romantic tension and emotional power smacks to keep the romance reader hooked. A movie fanatic, she spends most of her time as a writer-for-hire. Working in communication, she has done more than her fair share of corporate and investor PR, and now freelances in between editorial jobs for big, glossy company magazines. The Joy of Comfort Eating, her first contemporary romance novel, won the 2016 Imbali Award for excellence in romance writing.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the intriguing Suzanne Jefferies, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Jefferies/e/B0076INQUU/
Once again, I want to thank Suzanne Jefferies, the brilliant author of this hot novella, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Fans, enter the cool giveaway while you still can!