Q&A With Susan Stoker

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Q&A With Susan Stoker

This latest Q&A is with New York Times Bestselling author of Romantic Suspense, Susan Stoker. Susan is the author of many series and standalone novels that have men in the military role. Some of her series are, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, Ace Security & Mountain Mercenaries. 


Q: What is it about writing romantic suspense that you enjoy writing so much?

A: I really love that the story has “external” factors that affect the main couple. There aren’t any communication breakdowns. There aren’t silly things that break the couple up. There’s a little bit of mystery about maybe who the bad guy is, or when they might act. And the Hero has to step up to help save his heroine (and most of the time she helps save herself too!) 

Q: When did you know that being an author was your calling?

A: Honestly? It wasn’t something I ever “wanted” to do. I kind of fell into it. I was proofreading stories back in 2013 and thought the half stories on my computer were just as good as what I was proofreading. So I decided to take a chance. And thankfully, people seemed to like my stories! 

Q: What advice do you give to anyone on writing great romantic suspense? 

A: Romantic Suspense isn’t necessarily a mystery. Sometimes the reader knows who the bad guy is in the story. It’s a matter of building anticipation as to when the drama is going to go down…and of course how the characters are going to rise above it. For me, that’s what I love in a good suspense story…that main drama. So be sure to not skimp on that part of the book. Don’t end it too soon. It feels like a cop-out for a reader when that happens. Because they’ve spent the whole book anticipating the climax and they don’t want it to be over too soon.

Q: Is it fair to say that the characters and places in your stories are taken from real people and places? I love it when authors can create fictional worlds and people by using real people and places. 

A: The people, probably not as much as the places. Most of the locations in my stories are cities or states I’ve been in and loved (or hated! Ha!). Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world. I lived in Colorado. The San Diego area is amazing. I grew up in Virginia. I went to college in Indiana…and yes, those are all places my military teams (and former military groups of friends) live.

Q: Does Hollywood have any interest or rights to your work? Hollywood is long overdue for creativity, and they could use more great books for original content.

A: I wish. Most deals in Hollywood happen because of agents, and I don’t have one. Sometimes they can happen if someone “knows someone in the biz.” It’s very difficult to get a film or miniseries deal. But I wouldn’t be opposed to one of my series being picked up…so if anyone has any contacts…pass my name/books along! Ha!

Q: If you were to write a genre that wasn’t romantic suspense, which genre would it be and why?

A: I don’t think I’ll ever write anything other than what I write, because I love it. But I love reading alien romances. But only the kind where the woman (or a group of women) get kidnapped from Earth and brought to a far-off planet where they have to band together to survive. I think I like this genre because the “Hero” is immediately into the heroine. And he’ll do anything to show her that he’s a good being and will cherish her. Meanwhile, the women are like, “Slow your roll, buddy,” because they’ve been kidnapped and aren’t sure about this whole “fated mates” thing. The male has to win against the woman. I love that. 

Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, can you reveal any details? 

A: I’m in between books right now, but I’m about to start a new series. I’m going back to active duty Navy SEALs and the team is going to be stationed in Riverton, CA. Which is basically San Diego (it’s my made up town). And I’m excited because they’re going to be working with the original SEALs from the SEAL of Protection series, Wolf, Abe, Cookie, and the rest of the gang. So long-time readers will get to see some of their favorite characters pop in and out of the series in sort of a mentor/trainer capacity, and they’ll get a new group of guys (and women!)