Saturday, February 22, 2014

Writing Inspiration: Writing Under Two Names by Susan Stephens

USA Today best seller and Harlequin Present author Susan Stephens explains why she decided to branch out as well the pitfalls and perils.

I always wanted to write professionally, but having written all my life just for the sheer joy of playing with words, from humorous poems to serious essays and newspaper articles, the question was what shall I write about and submit to an editor...?

The answer of course was my wildest flights of fantasy for Mills and Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents. Romantic sheikhs, ruthless Spanish grandees, Italian billionaires, Scandinavian ice men, hot Greek heroes, rampaging Argentinian polo players - I can never get enough of them!

I love those powerful romances and adore writing the books. Escaping into such a glamorous and exotic world might be sheer indulgence, but it is an absolute pleasure for me - even if I do feel wrung out like a rag by the time I finish writing one of these emotional reads.

I have two series running currently in this style, my yummy polo players, The Acostas, and then my ice meets fire series, Skavanga Diamonds. I am also starting to write Book 1 in my latest 4 book series for Mills and Boon/Harlequin, entitled THUNDERBOLT! which features more hot polo guys, and this first book will be a Christmas 2014 release. 

Susan Stephens has two more upcoming releases in the Skavanga Diamond series: THE PUREST OF DIAMONDS? April 2014 and HIS FORBIDDEN DIAMOND August 2014

But I have so many more ideas to explore.  And I have always loved a good fairy story, especially stories featuring a large helping of fantasy and magic, which is why I also write under the name, Xandra King.
Xandra's current 3 book series, entitled, Once Upon A Time Tales, features the type of fantasy story I have always enjoyed, along with a large helping of hot, spicy action to keep those supernatural beings in the erotic zone. 

Xandra has 5 Ebook releases in 2014. HUNTER available now, WARRIOR in April, ENCHANTRESS in June, and then in August, a 2-in-1 boxed set for Harlequin-E, introducing my feisty little heroine Celestina in CELESTINA AND THE SULTAN and CELESTINA WARRIOR QUEEN.

How does writing under 2 names work?
It's hectic. But it's amazing. 
It's fair to say that many of these books have been brewing in my head for a number of years and spill onto the page faster than my fingers can work the keyboard, and several have been in first draft stage waiting for me to sharpen them up. And I never really stop writing. I start work at 5am to get a jump on phone calls from family and friends that I wouldn't miss or postpone for the world, and even when my husband described our holidays to someone it was to say, 'a holiday is something where Sue writes books in another country'.
I have the most supportive family imaginable - I couldn't do any of this without them, and I also have the best and truest friends anyone could hope for, together with the most amazing readers on earth, whose enthusiasm fuels my urge to write.

I can't offer you more encouragement with your own writing than to say, it's AMAZING... it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE... You will meet some of THE NICEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD... 

With my warmest good wishes to all of you,

Susan xox
aka Xandra King xx

Twitter: Susan_Stephens

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