Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fantasy & Fangs: Paranormal Romance Author Susan Hanniford Crowley

Vampires are such hot property right now that this is my third vampire romance writer. Guest number fifteen is Paranormal Romance Author Susan Hanniford Crowley.

Tell us about yourself, Susan.

I am a writer and editor. Being an Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine is a passion of mine. I have also been a writing teacher for over twenty years. Currently I teach workshops from time to time at conventions. I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author and an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). I'm also a new paranormal romance author. I am a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and recently became RWA Pro. I've written a variety of work including reviews on books and movies, political speeches, poetry, short stories, news articles, radio and television commercials, grants, brochures, and fiction and nonfiction manuscripts. I've also edited for writers in a variety of fields including academia.

Susan’s first full-length novel has just been released by Tease Publishing LLC on November 15, 2009. It’s a vampire romance, The Stormy Love Life Of Laura Cordelais.

The Stormy Love Life Of Laura Cordelais is the story of David meeting and trying to win the love of a tormented woman, Laura Cordelais. Laura possesses an extraordinary gift among supernaturals, a power that others envy and will do anything to possess. If you love vampires, you'll love Laura and David's passionate love affair and their struggle to stay together against amazing odds. Being descended from an ancient race blessed by Zeus doesn’t help Telkhine Laura Cordelais when she's desperate and standing between life and death. Her destiny looks bleak. Every choice leads to death, and there is no winning door. Or is there? Begging God for love, Vampire David Hilliard finds his request answered in the form of the tormented and dying Laura. In saving her, he falls in love and dooms them both to a dark underworld of voodoo and sorcery from which nothing can escape. For David to save her, he must kill her, and by loving her, he could lose her forever. When plunged into a dark underworld of voodoo and sorcery, will they escape? Together?

Ooh, definitely a spine-tingling romance in store for Vampirephiles! Let’s find out more about Susan.

1. Your most recent books are romance with the paranormal (i.e. vampire angle), yet you say you began with sci-fi. Is your attraction for the eternally undead just a natural progression from sci-fi to romance?
When I was growing up, in my view the writers who were always on the cutting edge were the science fiction and fantasy authors. That's what I wanted to be and I accomplished that by earning the professional sales needed for active (full professional) membership in SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc. Even though I love and wrote fantasy and some science fiction, I always loved vampire tales. When a convention asked me to speak on a panel on vampires, I began what would be 25 years of research and many panels to follow speaking about the undead. I only began writing about vampires about three years ago.

2. You began writing at age 8. What did you write and what was published at age 16?
When I was 8, I wrote about squirrels. When I was 12, I wrote a spy novel widely praised by my classmates. When I was sixteen several of my poems were published in a local paper. At the same time, I wrote a play about the Drive-In, booed by my classmates as being too real and revealing about what went on there. I also sent also sent a teenage romance novel around to all the big publishers and was rejected by form letters. I never said in my cover letter that I was 16.

3. Paranormal is very hot right now—what sets your books apart from the veritable tidal wave of vampire related themes dominating the market? I have had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of vampirephiles already on my blog and it would be nice to compare comments.
I write about the Arnhem Society, a secret society of vampires in New York City. The mission of the society is to provide a refuge for vampires and promote a civilized lifestyle, preferring bagged, bottle, or donor blood. The Arnhem Knights, their enforcement arm, defends humans from death by vampire and assists supernaturals in trouble.

I write about the vampires and their interactions with the other supernaturals in the city, especially the rare ones like Telkhines and Harmonies. Telkhines are an ancient race that used to inhabit the isle of Rhodes. They were famed for their craftsmanship with metal and the ability to control the weather. Laura Cordelais for The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais is one of their descendants. A Harmony is a human being with a very unique supernatural quality. I can't tell what it is. You'll just have to read A Vampire for Christmas. After you do, you'll be looking around and the people you know and wondering.

My books are filled with all sorts of supernaturals dwelling in the human world. Your florist could be a werewolf. The college student that just walked by could be half leprechaun/half elf. And even though my books are Manhattan-based, the adventures often include other locales. You don't know what supernatural is standing beside you on the subway.

I believe that's what makes me different. LOL

4. Tell us about your heroines.
My heroines range from the insecure like Laura Cordelais who at the beginning of her story doesn't know she's one of the most powerful supernaturals on Earth to shape shifter Lorraine who keeps forgetting to morph on her clothes much to her brother's chagrin and a certain man's delight. Lorraine is a divorced shifter in my upcoming, not yet released novella Vampire in the Basement. My heroines usually need to learn more about their abilities. Some of distrustful of men like Georgia in A Vampire for Christmas. Trevor is so tongue-tied that she thinks he's a stalker, which makes it very difficult for him to protect her from demons. Regina is just trying to get to the internship her advisor at the college set up for her and disaster strikes in When Love Survives.

5. Tell us about your heroes.
I always start with tall dark-haired David Hilliard with his dark fathomless eyes. He asked God to end his loneliness and ends up diving into the East River to save a despondent Laura Cordelais in The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais. But Laura has some intense baggage which dooms their love, plunging them into an underworld fighting dark forces. David is passionate, loyal, inventive, incredibly handsome, and devoted to every inch of Laura's body and more.

Gregor is a stand-up guy, a financial advisor who looks out the coffee shop and sees the woman of his dreams. What does he do? He grabs her and pulls her in, of course. One look at this big, dark-haired, Maine sky blue eyed, bear of man would melt any woman's heart. Meet Gregor in When Love Survives.

My heroes are good-looking. Most are financially well off. Some of them are Arnhem Knights, but they have issues that range from convincing a woman whose heart has been broken by some bum that love can be real to even talking to the woman of their desire. The test of course is if they're secure enough to give love.

6. Have any classic vampire or paranormal writers influenced or inspired you (Bram Stoker/Mary Shelley/Anne Rice?)
Mary Shelley is the mother of science fiction. Her Frankenstein is brilliant. Bram Stoker's Dracula is written in the most personal style of letters. Both inspired me early on but so did fantasy's Marion Zimmer Bradley and science fiction's Ursula LeGuin and Ray Bradbury.

7. Have you a favorite vampire movie in mind when you browse the video store shelves?
The standards to beat are "Queen of the Damned" and "Lost Boys."

8. Will you ever change genres or try writing something else as a challenge—for example, a romance between two mortals?
You never know. Everything I write comes from my dreams. Right now I have several years of vampire book summaries written in my notebook, as well as books for some other supernaturals. I want to do steampunk too.

9. Gag question: How do vampires keep their love life interesting if they live for ever...
Gag answer (not really): I explore that a bit in the soon to be released Vampire in the Basement. I don't think I should give all their secrets away. You know just because a vampire lives forever doesn't make them boring. The ones that have survived this long are incredibly inventive sexually and often more sensitive emotionally. I think one thing that keeps them going is finding their life mate. This is a very hard task and a vampire might live for hundreds or thousands of years before finding that one person who makes their barely beating heart sing.

10. Do you have any upcoming events or book signings?
I will be participating in the Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, September 16-19. There's still time to register. There will be tons of fun events, panels, workshops, parties, a charity auction, and giveaways. Here's the link.
For those that are attending Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention, come up to me and say “I saw you on Fiona Ingram's blog” and I will give you a small gift, while my supply lasts.

Fascinating stuff! Fangs for the interview. Susan. Vampire lovers can purchase any of the above books at this link.
Thanks for having me on your blog. It's been exciting. For more information, visit my website, my romance blog, or visit Tease Publishing.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm -- looks like my comment didn't work.

Dalila said...

Great Interview Susan,
Love those supernaturals with dark sides and hearts of gold.

Fiona Ingram said...

Hi there, the one above is the only comment that came through. Please try again and resend.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Hi Susan,

I'm a little late, but wanted to say hi.

I do love paranormal romances. Love the title: a Vampire for Christmas. What a surprise to find him in a stocking. lol

Enjoyed the interview! :)