S.R. Claridge (Susan to her friends and family) is the author of the novels No Easy Way, Tetterbaum's Truth, Traitors Among Us, Russian Uprising and Death Trap. She believes in the power of prayer and forgiveness and loves autumn, moonlight, Grey Goose vodka martinis, Mexican food on a Friday night and extra spicy Bloody Mary's on Sunday mornings. Find out more about Susan at her blog, Feeling The Fiction.
What have you learned from writing your novels?
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to write every day – even if it’s just a line or two. I’ve learned that writing demands a certain discipline of making yourself do it even when you’re not feeling entirely inspired at that moment.
Do you use an outline or just begin with an idea and write toward a conclusion?
Never. As the plot develops I will occasionally take notes so that I remember what has happened, what type of gun was used, a specified time frame, etc. Most of the time I begin a story having no idea how it will end or what will occur along the way. This drives my husband crazy. When I was writing Tetterbaum’s Truth (the first book in the Just Call Me Angel series) I killed off someone I thought was going to become a main character in the series. After killing him, I deleted what I had written and kept him alive. A couple chapters later, I killed him again. I shook my head, deleted what I had written and un-killed him again. Several pages later he died again. This time, I took my fingers off of the keyboard, shrugged and said to myself, 'okay, obviously this person must die…now, how does that change the story going forward?' All that to say, when I write, the story sort of takes on a life all its own and I, at times, become as much of a spectator as I am the writer.
What book makes you say, "Damn, I wish I'd written that!"?
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown is one that I wish I had written, as well as many Mary Higgins Clark books, the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and countless books by John Grisham. At the end of the day, I’d like to have written almost anything on the bestseller list… anything that makes readers think about and talk about the book long after they’ve finished reading it. And sells millions of copies.
Leave a comment below to win a copy of Tetterbaum's Truth or one of S.R. Claridge's other novels. Winners will be announced on Dec. 11. Update: Because of a snafu, my post on Earl Stagg's blog won't appear until Dec. 3.