Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Elementary Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her debut novel, Running Back to You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.
- At any given time do you work on only one story at a time and maybe plot out the next one or are there many ideas racing around your head?
All of the above. I try to focus on one story at a time, but sometimes ideas just "pop" in completely uninvited. When that happens, I have to immediately stop what I'm doing and write it down. I have pages and pages of typed notes that I refer to constantly. When one book is done, I copy all the unused ideas and start a new list for my next project. Right now, I have a list of names for my next series, a potential title, and I know how and where the two main characters will meet.
- Is there a genre you haven't written in but would like to? Or wish you could write in?
I'm completely envious of the authors who create alternate worlds in dystopian fiction and sci-fi. I love to read books like the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and the Premonition Books by Amy Bartol. I also enjoy books that are rooted in science fact, like Michael Crichton. Whenever I read one of his books, I walk away feeling like I learned something. Recently, I discovered a series of books by Michael Scott about Nicholas Flamel, which is science fiction, alternate reality, and historical fiction all rolled into one -OMG! If I could write a book that transfers the reader to another place and time, change all the rules of nature, and keep them entertained, I'd be a very proud author, indeed!
- Do you add an element of romantic suspense in your stories?
YES! That's the genre I'm most comfortable writing. Each of the books in The Running Series (Running Back to You, Running Home to You, and soon-to-be released Running Away With You) have an element of suspense that (hopefully) keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.
- Say you have unlimited funds: What kind of writing office/cottage would you create for yourself?
Great question - I've never thought about that before now. Money has ALWAYS been an issue for me. I worked for a short while in someone's home office receiving phone calls from teachers and finding them substitute teachers. The office was on a river and my day would start at 4:30 in the morning, so I would get to watch the sunrise on the water. It was relaxing and thrilling at the same time. Winter, summer, and fall, all had different views and unique beauties to enjoy and marvel. If money really were not an object, I would recreate that, but move it from a river view, to an ocean front view. There would be a large screen TV, built in stereo with an iPod dock, and a margarita or Pina Colada machine.
- If you could turn your novel into a TV show, which novel or series would you do? Where would it be set? Network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS), Cable (AMC, BBC, Lifetime) or Premium Cable (HBO, Showtime, Starz)?
The Running Series books would make great movies for Premium Cable, so I guess I'd have to start with HBO. There are some NC-17 moments woven into the plot, so that would eliminate network and cable TV. However, those scenes are carefully written and could easily be tamed down to PG or PG-13, which would open up conversations with channels like Lifetime.
- Finally, tell us about your latest release!
Running Back to You is my debut novel. It's my first foray into the world of writing. I've taken bits and pieces of my life, my friends, my family, and my community and added some fantasy to come up with a story rich with romance, humor, and suspense. I hope the readers enjoy reading the books as much as I've enjoyed writing them. I'm currently writing the third and final book in the series, and I'm a little sad to see my friends go. They've been a major part of my life for quite some time now. Maybe they will have to make appearances in my next books!
- Suzanne will be awarding a $25 Visa Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Running Back to You:
Juliette Fletcher is a girl with a plan. Not one to sit back and wait for life to happen, she moves back home after graduation and begins to carve out a life for herself.
Evan McGuire is desperate for a fresh start. His career in the NFL depends on it. Years of partying and carefree living have caught up with him. After buying a beach house in need of renovations, he begins to rebuild his life and his reputation.
What Evan doesn’t expect is a chance meeting with Juliette out on an early morning beach run with her dog. A strong mutual attraction draws them together, but fear of scaring her away keeps Evan from revealing his true identity. Evan finds himself in an unfamiliar situation – forced to work harder than he ever has before to prove himself worthy of her affections.
Tragic misunderstandings and unexpected obstacles threaten to derail a fragile relationship. Someone is watching, waiting, and tormenting Juliette, desperate to destroy everything. Can they find the strength to overcome jealousy, insecurity, and fear before it’s too late?
Running Home to You:
Running Home to You: continues the journey of Juliette and Evan that began in “Running Back to You”.
Juliette Fletcher thought she had it all – a strikingly handsome man who adores her, a new business venture with her best friends by her side, and a dream house right on the beach. But appearances can be deceiving and everything comes at a cost.
Evan McGuire has just survived a vicious attack that almost ended his professional football career. He’s on the mends now, trying to piece his life back together again, and build a life with Juliette.
But Evan’s erratic behavior has Juliette worried. She must figure out how to save her struggling restaurant, her fragile friendships, and her now unhealthy relationship with the man she loves. Juliette and Evan find that they’ve placed their trust in the wrong people and the price they pay for that mistake may ultimately cost them everything.
Running Home to You is the second book in the Running Series.
Running Home to You excerpt from Chapter 2: Made in the Shade
When I step into the living room, I find Evan sitting on the couch with the playbook in his lap, listening to Queen’s Greatest Hits. The music is so loud and his concentration is so deep that he doesn’t even hear me enter. I don’t mind, really. It gives me a chance to appreciate the beautiful man that can still make my heart skip a beat. It’s not his perfection that appeals to me the most, it’s the small imperfections that I’ve come to know and love. The unshaved whiskers on his face that tell me he’s been too busy to shave. The messy, unkempt hair that suggests he hasn’t left the house since his shower. The slightly crooked angle of his nose from being broken one too many times on the football field. The bare feet propped up on the table tapping away, keeping beat with the music. Those are the things about him that I adore.
A smile slowly etches itself on his face, and I know he’s acutely aware of me watching him. When we are in the same room, even after all these months, there is still a tension that fills the air and has a profound effect on both of us. He shuts the book and closes the distance between us in three long strides. He sweeps me up into his arms and kisses me long and hard. When he finally releases me, I can hardly stand straight.
“Wow! What was that for, chief?” I’m not complaining, of course, but I am curious.
“Guess who was at the training center today, Juliette.” His eyes are sparkling with such joy and excitement.
“Um, let’s see. Was it Jeff Probst asking you to be on the next season of Survivor?” I tease.
“No, but that would be pretty cool,” he admits. “Guess again.”
“Gee, I was pretty sure about my first guess. Could it be NASCAR calling to offer you a spot on the circuit this year?”
“No, but again, that sounds great, too. Should I just tell you? Because frankly, you’re not even close.”
I nod and add, “You definitely need to tell me or we could be here all day.”
“Dr. Geiselman drove all the way down to the training center to meet with the team physicians and they all agreed – I can start weight lifting immediately, a whole week early. If everything goes well, that means I might be able to start practicing with the team soon, too.” He can hardly contain his elation.
“Oh, sweetheart, that’s incredible. You worked so hard, I could tell you’re doing so much better than anyone expected.” I wrap my arms around his waist and lay my head on his chest. Evan takes a deep breath, and I can tell a weight has been lifted from his shoulders.