Interview with Sue Langford

What are your five favorite books, and why?
I've always been a huge fan of romance novels. From Fifty Shades of Grey to Outlander to Lora Leigh, I've read a ton of them. I always missed the strong female characters of them. That's why my main female characters are no-nonsense strong women.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read romance novels, short stories, poetry and of course the newspaper.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I tend to read on my iPad
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I've created a niche of my own, so I tend to do a lot of publicity during country music festivals and online. I run a few groups for a big country festival in Nashville Tennessee, so when you have 250000 people in one place that all love country music, it's a natural promotion area for me.
Describe your desk
I prefer a laptop. It gives me the choice of where I want to write. Most recently, it was by Forsyth Fountain in Savannah, Georgia.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up just outside a big city, but I always loved the peace and quiet of the back roads. I have family that had always wanted to write, but none of them became authors short of a few journalists.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as a child, then again as a teen. I wrote little stories in college and when a professor of mine read one that I'd handed in as a homework assignment, she told me that he was entering it in a literary competition. Sort of took off from there. I got a chance to meet a favorite author at a book signing of hers and she suggested I try and publish. That was my first novel entitled Without You. They've all been inspired by some great country stars and I was lucky enough to meet them and have them inspire characters in the books.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I first went to Tybee this past summer, I was hit with the scent of peaches in the trees, magnolia flowers in the parks and the feeling that I was surrounded with immense history. From the squares of the Historic District of Savannah, to Forsyth Fountain I was inspired by everything that surrounded me. When I went out to Tybee that first night, I couldn’t help but stare at a small little lighthouse that stood on a small patch of land. It almost looked like it was on it’s own island as it was high tide and it had immersed it in the waters of the Savannah river at the entrance to the ocean. The smell of the shrimp boats and the excitement of a dolphin tour had me hooked, but truly, the first photo I took was of this beautiful lighthouse. I had no idea what it was, what it’s history was or what it would come to mean by the end of that short vacation. After going out on a dolphin tour, and a few dolphins visiting the boat, I still was snapping photo after photo of the little lighthouse. When the sun started to set, I could almost see a small patch of land and realized that people could actually walk out there. When the boat tour paused in open water to tell all of us about that beautiful little lighthouse, I not only got some amazing and inspiring photos, but came to realize just a touch of the history.
When Fort Pulaski was attacked, bombs and artillery went over her and she still stood tall and strong. Even when the hurricane season came year after year, she still stood with all her might and held on. When the guide said that there were probably remnants of bombs or weapons that had gone passed her in the war, I was even more intrigued. Not for the love of artillery and gun powder, but because that little lighthouse was still there. A few scrapes and a few adjusted bricks, a few bricks out of place and in need of a new paint job but she was standing. Her light had gone out a while ago, but I couldn’t help but look at her. I only call the Cockspur Lighthouse she because in my opinion of course, it takes a strong woman to stand through all of that. I never fail to be drawn to places like that. The Grand Ole Opry was my first inspiration and it was only a year post flood that I was sitting in that pew realizing it would’ve been under water during the flood. Now, I was face to face with a lighthouse that had stood longer than the Grand Ole Opry and had an even bigger history. I got photos, reference books and even got in touch with the lighthouse to get information and got more than I could imagine.
When I asked what they were doing to build the lighthouse back up, they told me that she was being restored to her former glory. That someday soon that light would be directing people back to her shores. That she’d probably withstand another 200 years if we were lucky and there is where the idea came. After a dozen calls, and getting more information than I could handle, I came up with Safe to Shore. This book is my inspiration. I decided to donate part of the proceeds of the book to the restoration of our fair Cockspur Lighthouse. If nothing else, I wanted to be there to see her light shine again.
We all have things that we go through in life. We dim, we get jaded and we give up on our dreams. We have to find a way to make our light shine again too. This, right now, this charity, is my way of doing that.
To my Cockspur Lighthouse – May you shine long into the future and guide us all Safe to Shore.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When regular publishers weren't sure what genre to put me in, I decided to do things my way. There was no niche for my kind of anti-harlequin books. I wanted women to see a strong female character. I've been told many times that the characters in the books gave people strength to do things they never expected they could do. One fan left an abusive relationship, one walked away from a man who didn't appreciate her. They all realized that out there is the man who's gonna treat you right. I'm honored to have done this for women everywhere.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
When I left my last ebook publisher, I was worried. So many of my fans prefer to download books instead of buying the paperbacks. This way I can accommodate them all.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Inspiring women to do things they didn't know they had the strength to do. Living my dream that I've had since I was a child and inspiring people all over. I wouldn't change it for the world. When one of my favorite bands said "Live your dream" at a meet and greet, I had no idea this is what would come from following that advice. That was their wish for me 6 years ago. Look at me now!!
What do your fans mean to you?
They're the reason I can still do this. When they come to me and tell me how much they love the books and that other romance novels are ruined for them, I can't help but smile.
What are you working on next?
I'm doing a few more books in the lighthouse series. There will be two sets of storylines. One starts with Safe to Shore and the next starts with Sand in My Toes. A portion of the proceeds of the books will be going towards the restoration of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse in Tybee Island Georgia.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a lover of romance movies and taking long walks in the fresh air. I try reading other authors, but I always end up right back starting a new novel of my own. Savannah, Tybee, Charleston and Nashville have always been my favorite road trip locations
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually look up romance novelists I've met in some way. Fifty Shades was a great trilogy if only to inspire my writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do oddly enough. In high school I lucked out with a professor who saw my talent. He gave me a task for the semester. I had to write out a full story beginning to end and whatever grade I got would be my final grade. Best A I ever received.
What is your writing process?
I write as it comes. I usually come up with a general idea for the book then run with it. Some of the stories are from personal experiences. Some are from odd dreams. I intentionally write books that inspire strength in women.
How do you approach cover design?
I use an idea or a picture that I've taken myself most times. It has to have something to do with the background of the story or something that happens in the storyline
Published 2018-04-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Long Road Home
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,110. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Charlotte had spent all of her childhood in Savannah among the magnolia trees and peaches. She'd always loved it. When she was faced with yet another bad relationship, she made one vow to herself - no more messing around with anyone until she finds Mr. Right. What happens when you’re face to face with destiny? Let the Long Road Home lead you to your fate.......
Into the Mist
Price: $4.75 USD. Words: 120,030. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
When a songwriter meets the Savannah version of Kristian Grey, she's smitten within minutes. But when she learns of his seedy past and the Fifty Shades addicted exes, she hesitates. Only a recurring dream they both have can change their futures and they both know it. Every time they dream the dream, it gets a little clearer.
Making Choices
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 122,010. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you have to make the hardest choice ever, it better be what you want. Living with the hard choices was easy if it was the right choice and the right man.
Choosing Goodbye
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 121,910. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Mistakes are made, lessons learned and heartache suffered, but would the choice they made get them through it all? A story of love on the road to happiness.
The Choice
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 123,860. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Mistakes are made, lessons learned and heartache suffered, but would the choice they made get them through it all? A story of love on the rocky road to happiness.
Choose Me
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 116,730. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A choice had to be made whether their lives went on apart or together. A choice they both had to make. The choice was harder than either of them would ever realize.
Fantasy Promised
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 113,280. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Will he choose the life he's built or history? Will she forgive and forget or is the romance over. A fantasy promised will remain, but who is the promise being made to? The final chapter to a romance is nearing.
Fantasy Burned
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 129,090. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Book 2 of the Fantasy Series - When you have the choice between fantasy and history....one of you will get Burned.
Dirt Road Fantasy
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 129,090. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When the bad boy catches your eye, it's a choice between the highway or the Dirt Road Fantasy.
Forbidden
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 114,710. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you are face to face with a man and you don't know whether he's married or not, it's FORBIDDEN. A story of playing by the rules and breaking them.
Secrets and Lies
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 112,980. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you think one person can't make a difference, look again
Secret Heart
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 97,880. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you get caught between work and a hot country musician, the secret stays with you
Walking Away
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 97,920. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Who knew a whirlwind romance could end up with the dream man in the dream city.
Saving Amy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 126,770. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Amy Jackson wasn't the type to wait around. She had dreams of Nashville and a way of getting there. After her friend Jesse talks her into one last bonfire, Amy isn't sure whether she's staying or going, but she knows that one way or another she's leaving town for good.
Impossible Fate
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 127,410. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you feel spirits around you, watch your back. You never know what kind of Impossible Fate they bring.
My Kind of Crazy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 116,670. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Even when nature brings people together, sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring them closer. Falling in love was never easy, even if she was his kind of Crazy
History Repeating
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 197,730. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When history comes back to the present, you can repeat it and fall in love or move on and change your life forever.
Spirit of Love
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 182,190. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When you feel like life has got you by the heart, sometimes it takes divine intervention from a country music superstar to turn your love life around. Sometimes it just takes a Spirit of Love.
Making Music
Price: $8.95 USD. Words: 113,340. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
When life feels like it's a bad song on repeat, the option Scarlett's given is to change the venue. Start over in a city that she loved as a child. She brings her best girlfriend with her and they set themselves up among the live oaks & Spanish mossy trees of the Savannah Historic District.She meets the man of her dreams, but he feels too familiar. Does she know him? The past inspires Making Music
Shooting Stars and Fireflies
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 145,740. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Faith opts to outrun her past and the turmoil it caused, she thinks she's safe in the city of Savannah Georgia. Even with her best friend by her side, she realizes that she hadn't run far enough. When she meets Owen, it's the distraction that she needs, but he isn't about to let her past go unknown. The shooting stars in the sky and the fireflies create one heck of a spark neither can deny.
Restoring Faith
Series: The Lighthouse Series, Book 3. Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 180,110. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
When a songwriter hits it big, she decides to go back home to write. After 3 massive hits, she gets the house on the water she's always wanted and a life she thought she'd left behind. She tries to do some good by helping to restore the lighthouse she's always loved, and finds romance somewhere she never expected. When you get your faith back, amazing things can happen.
Changing Tides
Series: The Lighthouse Series, Book 2. Price: $5.25 USD. Words: 120,270. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Aria sees Garrison again, she's forced to choose between her music career and being with him in Tybee Island and Savannah. The only way she knows to make those kinds of decisions is to talk to her favorite Cockspur Island Lighthouse. Garrison asks so much of Aria that he risks the relationship he's wanted for so long. Just like the Changing Tides, the guiding light always brings you home.
Safe To Shore
Series: The Lighthouse Series, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 124,640. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When a country star goes back to her roots, she is in search of inspiration. Thanks to the Cockspur Island Lighthouse that she's loved since she was a kid, she remembers the inspiration from the past and tries to write the next big hit. When she ends up falling for a man who hates the music industry and Nashville, she questions everything. When a beacon of light brings you home Safe to Shore.