Interview with Sue Chamblin Frederick

Since you usually write spy thrillers, why did you write a romance?
Readers who read my spy thrillers would send comments about my spy novels and, without fail, mention how much they liked my love scenes and that I should write a romance. I wrote "Grandma Takes A Lover" and it instantly resonated with a target audience - "grandmothers" - and has outsold my spy thrillers three to one. At book signings, I am amazed at the number of older women out there who are grandmothers and are definitely interested in a "lover." The book is humorous but also very poignant and addresses intimacy between older adults. The character in "Grandma Takes A Lover" discovers that passion is ageless.
Are you going to continue to write romance novels?
Most definitely! Readers are clamoring for a sequel to "Grandma Takes A Lover" so I am drafting a manuscript now. It will have the same delightful characters and take place in the same small town in Georgia. I received word that "Grandma Takes A Lover" riled up the residents of Ivy Log, Georgia, because evidently the "grandma" character in the book was the spitting image of the preacher's wife. I assured everyone the characters were all fiction. Then, the mayor's wife called me and wanted to "gossip" about the members of her Sunday school class who she thought were featured in the book. I told her a "novel" is fiction and any resemblance to anyone - living or dead - is purely coincidental! Hysterical!!
Would you rather write a spy novel or a romance novel?
I write literary fiction, which gives me a wonderful opportunity to write with what I call "flair." I've had a love affair with words all my life and writing is the perfect way to express myself. I call myself a "heart" writer and, if you read my work, whether it be a spy novel or romance novel, you'll see right away that I relish stories about characters that have flaws but seem to overcome them, sometimes in very precarious ways. There's nothing like reading a book and feeling the pain or happiness of its protagonist. I write similar to John Hart, a North Carolina author who writes magnificent stories.
Do you write everyday?
Amazingly, I do. Early in my writing career, I read a book on writing and it stated in the first paragraph - "No matter what, you MUST force yourself to write everyday!" So funny, because I had to FORCE myself NOT to write. I would go days without getting out of my pajamas or eating a good meal. My passion was so fierce that I didn't answer the phone or check my mail. I LOVED every moment and my fingers positively could not keep up with the stories in my head. In the middle of the night (if I did go to bed), I would wake up and run to the computer and there I would sit until the sun came up. Five hours had gone by in what seemed to be five minutes. Oh, the joy of writing!!
What other authors do you read?
I enjoy Daniel Silva immensely as well as Allen Furst. They are superb writers who capture their readers and keep them ensnared with every word. There is a new author - John Elliott - who was an assassin for the DOJ as well as Israel. He had a 40-year long career in espionage and writes first-hand about his work. Fabulous!

I like the writing style of Michael Connelly - simple but compelling. Laura Hillenbrand writes extraordinary stories that positively grip you the entire way. There is an author - Joshilyn Jackson - who wrote "Gods in Alabama." She has the freshest writing style and surprises me all the way through. She's a delight!!

And the darling John Hart! His work is marvelous!!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do! But, it wasn't a short story - it was a novel (yet to be published) entitled "A Cowboy's Heart." The story is about a young boy who spends seven months in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. His parents and six brothers and sisters live too far away to visit him. His only companion is comic books - Tom Mix and Red Ryder. Through his long stays in the hospital, through osmosis perhaps, he becomes a cowboy. Interestingly, at age 62, he's still a cowboy and has that cowboy mentality he had in the hospital so long ago. His story is poignant and heart-wrenching as he returns to Baltimore to see the place that was his home - Johns Hopkins. While there, he re-discovers his childhood and becomes a cowboy again. He's never ridden a horse or pulled a pistol, but, by God, he's a cowboy!!! Will publish in 2014. I"m tearing up just thinking about the beautiful story.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is quite unconventional. I have a little television screen in my head that plays out my story. I close my eyes and visualize every detail, which I transfer to the manuscript. I become all my characters - I cuss, spit, drink whiskey, kill people, have luscious sex and am, of course, laugh until sunrise!!! Gosh, I LOVE to write!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
We were extremely poor growing up - it wasn't exactly "convenient" to be poor. My parents were uneducated but read constantly, especially my dad. All seven kids became avid readers because we had NO toys nor the money to go anywhere (I didn't go to a movie or eat in a restaurant until I was grown). At school, I had access to the library for books. I remember only one author - Elizabeth Howard. A perfect author for my age at the time. I loved her sweet, gentle stories. Then, as I became older, I read Leon Uris and was moved by his stories. The plight of the Jews took me from my little country life and made me aware of the world. It also caused me to great respect all people and molded me into a person who honors everyone, no matter who they are or what they have.
How do you approach cover design?
Hardest part of publishing! I usually get an image in my head and pass the idea on to my cover artist and we work together until we're both happy!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I LOVE book signings as I enjoy engaging the public. I have very successful book signings and usually sell out of books! My sense of humor has been a great tool in selling books! I have a flair for marketing and have used "guerrilla" approaches in all OF my marketing. I really should write a book on this for other authors as it has been amazingly successful for me. My favorite is going into a crowded restaurant with a bunch of folks and sneaking a copy of my book to a stranger who's sitting at another table with a bunch of folks and ask them to bring the book over to my table to ask for my autograph. My friends are impressed but the stranger is delighted as well as his friends. They will "talk" about the incident at the office, with their families, etc. And that's what a reader base is composed of - PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT A BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR!! Another humorous line I like and which gets results is to approach someone and say "Would you like to meet a celebrity?" The laughs go on and on!!
Published 2013-11-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Boardinghouse - A Return To Ivy Log
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 72,500. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Christian » Romance
The humdrum of small town Ivy Log, Georgia, explodes with passion and heartache when mountain-man Wiley Hanson leaves his idyllic life high in the Appalachians and falls in love with seductive redhead Paula Jennings . . . and irresistible mixed-blood Pyune Murphy.
Grandma Takes A Lover
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,660. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult
Adela Harper, a widowed grandmother, discovers that passion is ageless when she realizes it's never too late for love or lust. Romance is waiting for her just across the fence where handsome recluse Frank Carberry sits on his porch and watches the woman he has despised for forty years. The two are not meant to be together until . . .
Madame Delaflote, Impeccable Spy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,340. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
A young war widow survives the German invasion of Paris and becomes a spy for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service. Her involvement with the French Resistance and a British SIS agent provides her the opportunity to revenge the death of her husband. Eleonore is beautiful, but can her slim fingers curl around a 9mm and sqeeze the trigger when she faces the Nazis and the treacherous Gestapo.