Luck, Laughter & Love

Sue VersteegYou may have heard me mention that the DH and I plan to move back to the Midwest next spring. One of the many things I’m looking forward to there is becoming active in Ozarks Romance Authors again.  It’s how I connected with best-selling author T. Sue VerSteeg.

She’s recently teamed up with New York Times bestseller Gemma Halliday to write Luck Be a Lady. But before you learn more about her books, I’d like you to meet Sue. Here’s your chance to “eavesdrop” on a little cyber-chat we recently had:

Mia: Hey Sue. Good to have you here today and it was great to see you in Atlanta. I had so many “fangirl” moments, seeing so many writers whose work I admire. As an author, have you ever been star struck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it? ;)

Sue: I met YOU! That was pretty awesome. I’ve read most of your books and admit that I girly-giggled when I saw your name plate at the RT book signing. Thanks for not wigging out when I asked for a hug. I’m a hugger. I also got to meet Kristen Painter, Eden Bradley, and Jeannie Lin, too. I have to say, meeting Kate Pearce made my month, though. She’s been a mentor and online friend for a while.

Mia: No wigging out here. I’m a hugger, too. But I’m not above putting my blog guests on the spot. Can you tell us something funny or embarrassing that has happened while on tour for your book?

Sue: As a romance writer yourself, I’m sure you’ve met at least one person like this: I was signing at our local women’s show. It was loud and super busy. My books were selling well, and I’d even had a few people who fan-girled. Needless to say, my ego was practically filling the entire author area. Along comes a woman, nose jutted ever so slightly toward the ceiling, flashing me a sideways look as she reads the back of my book. Her gaze finally locks with mine over her reading glasses, as she proclaims over the noisy crowd, “Have you ever considered writing a real book?” My ego instantly deflated and ran off to suck its thumb. Seriously, I was at a loss for words. I stood there, stuttering and stammering until she left. I had a friend tell me I should’ve whacked her over the head and asked if that felt real enough for her. Ah, hindsight… ;)

Mia: Hmm. Reminds me of a “Cheerful Cherub” verse I read as a child:

Oh, how I regret in the night
With pangs that will never abate
Those brilliantly crushing retorts
I think of a little too late!

As romance authors we’re bashed, not for the perceived amount of sex in our stories, but for the HEA. Some people just can’t stand the thought of things working out well. They wallow in their misery and think others should too. I pity them.

So what do you find is the hardest thing about being an author?

Sue: Uh, please see last question. ;) Actually, it tends to be whatever part of the process I’m on at the time. Looking back, it doesn’t seem nearly as daunting as it did then. Honestly though, I’d have to go with promotion. I’m really a very introverted person in real life and coming out of my shell to scream, “Hey y’all, look at what I did!” is very, very, very difficult for me. If the spoken word had an edit function, I’d be a freakin’ awesome public figure, though.

Mia: I think most writers are introverts, the notable exception being my friend Jade Lee. She is never at a loss for words, written or spoken, and always has something outrageous to say. Let’s go the other direction now. What is the best thing about being an author?

Sue: Hearing from someone who enjoyed reading something I wrote. Knowing that I made them laugh or escape reality with one of my books is still one of the best feelings in the world.

Mia: I know just what you mean. Remember the letter from a reader Kristan Higgins shared at Nationals. It was from someone who said her boyfriend smacked her around, but reading Kristan’s books made her realize how a man should treat a woman and she is no longer with that boyfriend. That’s not just entertainment. That’s life-changing fiction. 

If you had the opportunity to co-write with another author who would you pick and why?

Luck be a LadySue: Funny you should ask that. I was blessed to have one of my all-time favorite authors email ME to ask just that. Gemma Halliday and I met on an online romance writer’s site just as she was breaking into the business. I always joked about being her biggest stalker fan, but it was pretty much true. I devoured everything she wrote, and often told Super Hubby that I wanted to write something like her books, something that made people laugh and hug the book when they were done reading. She helped me with my book Click! and felt we had a good fit as a team. I know I had a blast writing Luck Be a Lady with her and look forward to writing the next in the series! And, just an FYI, she’s just as sweet, funny and awesome as she comes across.

Mia: Luck Be a Lady is an Amazon Prime ebook (which means you can download it FREE if you have a Prime membership!) It will be available in other formats on September 13th! And now we come to the rapid-fire questions portion of this interview:

– Favorite Food? Yes! Oh, pick one? Pizza.

– Favorite Vacation Spot? Warm, sandy beach.

– Favorite TV Show? Big Bang Theory

– Favorite Paranormal? (witch, vampire, zombie etc) Time Travel

– Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate? Tea

– Favorite Fruit or Veggie? Strawberries

My Lady Below Stairs

Click to order!

Thanks for being with us today, Sue!

Now it’s your turn, dear reader. Leave a comment or question for Sue and you’ll be entered in the random drawing for some great prizes from Sue: $10 Amazon gift card, winners choice of one of Sue’s books, or from me: my Regency comedy: My Lady Below Stairs , a tale of mistaken identity and misdirection. We’ll announce the 3 winners next Sunday!

I’ll kick off the discussion with a question: Has a book ever made you laugh out loud? What was it?


57 thoughts on “Luck, Laughter & Love

  1. Rhonda Kirby says:

    I have always thought a great romance book is like making an escape and going on a mini vacation whenever needed. Medieval, Regency, Scottish, Time Travel, oh yes to all of them. I think those who do not read romance are missing out on so much and they dont even realise it. Thats sad.

    1. Toni Sue says:

      It really is sad. So many worlds to discover from your own couch.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Armchair travel…gotta love it. You can have all sorts of adventures without a single scratch, fall in love and sleep in your own bed that night!

  2. Wonderful questions and responses! Can’t wait to read Mia’s new book and Luck be a Lady. How fun :)

    1. Toni Sue says:

      I had a ball writing it with her! Thanks for stopping.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Morganne. I’m really excited about my upcoming release Plaid to the Bone. It’ll be out August 27th!

  3. Sandy says:

    Congratulations on the new release-to both of you.

    As for laughing out loud..several books and authors come to mind but for me G.A.Aiken (aka Shelly Laurenston) writes with so much humor and sarcasm. And of course I cannot forget Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series…sassy wit and comebacks….

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I always love characters that make me wish I’d thought to say that!

  4. Cate S says:

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books always leave me laughing!

    1. Toni Sue says:

      I’ve not heard of her. Off to Google!

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a delight! Love her style. Do you know she sold her first book to Dell when it was only 1/2 finished? She claims it was because the market was red hot then and publishers were hungry for authors, but I think Dell knew a winner when they saw one.

  5. Toni Sue says:

    Instead of moving away from my family, I moved away with my family! Even my parents and sister moved south to Missouri. I still love going back to see aunts, uncles and cousins, though. :) Can’t wait to have Mia back here with her family!

  6. laurie weil says:

    Delightful interview! As for the rude lady, obviously she couldn’t read or she would have understood she was holding a “real book.”
    Living around family is nice- we moved 14 times and ended up back at “home.”

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      We’ve lived close to our family and we’ve been half a continent away. Close is better. My DH told me this morning we only have 36 weeks till he tenders his resignation.

  7. Ann S. says:

    A friend gave me the first Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich, it had me laughing out loud. I think my family thought I was crazier than usual. I

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Janet is one of the best at making readers laugh!

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      People who don’t read will never get it.

  8. Julie says:

    Lynn Kurland was the first to make me fall in love with time travel romances and I still harbor a hope that it’ll come back in style. ;) Lisa Kleypas always makes me laugh! Shelley Laurenston has been known to positively make me guffaw.

    And that lady needs to loosen up.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I enjoy a good time travel too and actually have about 200 pages of one already written. Sort of waiting for the market to swing back…

    2. Toni Sue says:

      Oooh, a Mia Marlowe time travel?! Yes, please!

  9. Barb Bettis says:

    Great interview, Ladies. I’m looking forward to reading your book, T.Sue. I’m speechless about the lady who asked you that question. I fear I would have had a come back. Your lack of response was probably a good thing :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      There is no good response to that sort of question. Someone who has never read a romance probably can’t be converted. I was speaking with someone who styled herself a “literary” author recently. After waffling on about her work for most of the conversation, she finally asked me about my WIP. When I told her it was about a couple in 16th century Scotland who were struggling with infertility in an age when an heir was essential, adoption unheard of and in vitro impossible, she gave me a “deer-in-the-headlights” look and said, “That sounds surprisingly good.”

      There are no words.

    2. Toni Sue says:

      Anyone who knows me in a casual setting knows its best that I didn’t find the words while she was there. ;)

  10. Mary Anne Landers says:

    Thank you, Sue and Mia. I can’t remember ever laughing out loud while reading a romance. Or any other fiction genre. But that’s not why I read. I read for escape. And to be moved in ways that in the real world are at best unlikely, and at common worst impossible. If I want to laugh, I can always look at funny pictures on Facebook. I look for something else when I’m reading.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Actually eliciting a belly laugh from just the written word is a good trick. Not every writer can do it. So much of what we find funny is visual.

    2. Toni Sue says:

      Well, my tag line is Romantic Escape Artist. I love to hop into a book and lose myself.

  11. Marcy Shuler says:

    All Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins books make me laugh out loud. :D


    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Kristan Higgins is even funnier in person, if you can believe it. I’ll never forget the year she won a RITA and when the other winners were thanking their husbands for their support, she got up and thanked hers for GREAT SEX!

    2. Toni Sue says:

      When they’re that funny in person, how could they not make you giggle with their writing! I’d love to meet her.

  12. catslady says:

    I’m horrible at titles but my favorite books are ones that me me laugh out loud and/or cry. That means they really hit me emotionally. Some authors would be Jill Shalvis, Grace Burrowes and Kathryne Kennedy to name just a few!


    1. Toni Sue says:

      Very strong authors! I love when they punch right in the heart.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Grace is a favorite of mine. She makes me forget I’m a writer too. Plus she’s a delightful person.

  13. bn100 says:

    Cute cover and title

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Thanks. I’m kind of partial, too. ;)

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      It really telegraphs the type of story you’re getting–lots of laughs!

  14. Diane Sallans says:

    Oh my yes! Can’t remember which titles, but it’s great when a book brings a giggle & smile – tho it’s better when I’m alone rather than reading ‘quietly’ around strangers and have to turn the chuckle into a cough.

    ps – is there a way we can get these blog posts sent to our email? that way I won’t miss any

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Eh, just laugh. That let’s everyone around you know it’s a good book. ;) I’m sure Mia will be around soon to let us know how to get notifications. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      I’ll have to ask my webmistress about that, Diane. Offering a sign up for a blog feed is a good idea.

  15. Woohoo for time travel! ;) And for Mia moving back to the Ozarks–I’m looking forward to meeting her in person. And for T. Sue’s amazing success with “Luck Be a Lady.”

    A book that made me LOL? I’ve always loved Jane Austen’s humor. Her subtle satire never ceases to amuse me.

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Oh, good choice with Jane Austin. She’s always good for a veiled zinger. ;)

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Good point, SD. A book doesn’t have to make us laugh out loud to be considered funny. If a writer makes us smirk, give a quick snort, or lift our lips in a knowing smile as we recognize ourselves on the page, these are hallmarks of a great wit.

  16. Kathleen OD says:

    What a great interview ladies.. I would have to say I am an extrovert. I have been told I am very outgoing and lively…lol

    If would love to write with Bertrice Small or if she was still with us Kathleen E Woodiwiss… These were the two ladies who started me on my road to Historical romance in any era…

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Two fabulous authors. I think many people started their love for romance with Ms. Woodiwiss. She is a legend.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      My first romance novel was a Woodiwiss. The Flame & the Flower, I think, though I ended up reading all of hers after that first one.

      The only thing better than finding a new author is finding one who’s prolific.

  17. Nicole Laverdure says:

    Great interview!Always fun to meet new authors! Sue, I adore time-travel too! Mia, I am looking forward to read My Lady Below Stairs! I don’t remember if I read a book that made me laugh out loud, but I remember one that made me cry, it was Sweet Madness by Heather Snow. I have emotions up and down with this story!

    1. Toni Sue says:

      If you want to laugh, anything by Gemma Halliday will get you tickled. Might I suggest Luck Be a Lady? ;) Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Heather is a terrific author–and a terrific person too.

      The books that stick with us are the ones that touch us deeply–either in the heart or the funny bone!

  18. Xoun J. says:

    Great interview! I think reading romance has change a few aspects in my life. I wasn’t always an introvert as a kid, but when I got older in my late teens, my parents became strict and slowly I was an introvert. I turned to reading, and thats what has kept my dreams alive. It gives me the motivation to want to do thing in my life. If I didn’t have reading, I would probably be very isolated from everything.

    Sue! I love time travel paranormal too! My favorite has got to be Legend by Jude Deveraux!

    I’ve had several laugh out loud moments from books! I can’t seem to pick just one, but I’ll go with the latest book I’ve read that has made me l-o-l, “Time Thief” by Katie MacAlister. Its an awesome read.

    1. Toni Sue says:

      So glad romance has enriched your life. As for Time Travel, I even wrote two of them. I’ve always wanted to go back to medieval England. Just for a visit, though. I’d want my comfy bed and tooth brush. ;)

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      I agree, Xoun. Katie has a great comedic voice.

      I always say we read to know we are not alone. Others have felt as we do, have faced some of our fears and overcome them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Wanda says:

    Great interview ladies. And congrats to my writer friend Sue on the success of this latest release. And Mia, I can’t wait to meet you when you move back here. My response to that rude lady “And, what have you written?” Betcha nothing.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      We’re counting down the months, Wanda. Though we enjoy New England, we have family in the Ozarks, so it will be a very happy move for us.

  20. Mia Marlowe says:

    Very smart of you to plan ahead, Marin and get that snappy comeback ready.

    I love it when my intermittent giggles make the DH ask, “What are you reading anyway?” I just discovered the Amelia Peabody mysteries which features a delightfully quirky heroine.

  21. Marin Ritter says:

    Sue, I think we might be the same person, except I’m still trying to get published, and I like vampires instead of time travel. I am now planning the retort to that snooty woman in my head, ready to go whenever. :) Lots of books make me laugh out loud–Jennifer Crusie and Suzanne Enoch come to mind, as they always make me guffaw at least once per book. I am currently reading An Accomplished Woman by Jude Morgan, which is witty and funny, and I am alternately smiling, laughing, or thinking “oh, man, I wish I’d written that!”

    1. Toni Sue says:

      Love the positive outlook! Keep honing the craft and writing. Your day to face Ms Congeniality is coming if you keep pushing forward. :)

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