Please help me welcome Raven Hart, otherwise known as Susan Goggins. Shhh, don't tell.
I've known her since around 1991 as a member of Georgia Romance Writers. This woman loves questions, so ask away!
Raven, what was your first published book and to whom?
My first sale was to Harlequin Duets. Shortly after that I sold two books to Kensington Bouquet. Even though the Harlequin sale came first, the first Kensington book came out before the Duets.
How many books did you write before selling one?
Three, but I wound up selling two of those after the first sale.
What themes go through your books?
Romance, of course, but with my current Savannah Vampires series from Ballantine books, I bring in heavier themes as well. Vampires think about how short life is for their human friends, what it’s like being cut off from the grace of God often through no fault of their own, what it’s like not being able to walk in the sun with the humans you love, that sort of thing. But there’s also lots of comedy and adventure in my series: (“The Vampire’s Seduction,” “The Vampire’s Secret,” “The Vampire’s Kiss,” “The Vampire’s Betrayal,” and the upcoming, “The Vampire’s Revenge”)
How would you best describe your books?
They’re sexy, funny, and scary. I have a traditional old-world vampire and a younger NASCAR-loving, womanizing redneck vampire. Both are devastatingly handsome of course. There’s also a voodoo queen, some shape-shifters, and some fey folk.
How do you handle deadlines?
I’m pretty bad about procrastination, so I’m always playing catch-up at deadline time. When you’re on deadline, the only way is to apply your behind to the chair and your keys to the keyboard for as long as it takes.
How many books have you published?
Three series romances and five single titles.
What other jobs have you had?
I wrote computer manuals for over 25 years. I’ve also been a speech writer at a K Street PR firm in Washington, DC, a newspaper reporter, and assistant editor of a trade magazine.
What do you love most about writing and do you not like?
I love writing because it’s fun to make up interesting characters and use them to tell exciting stories. I also like being able to do my work at home in my comfy clothes with my dog napping by my side and a mug of hot chocolate in my hand. There’s not much about writing that I don’t like, in fact I can’t think of anything except the occasional case of writer’s block.
What are you writing now?
I’m contemplating the next book in my vampire series and working on a couple of new projects that are so new I can’t even talk about them yet.
What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?
I like writing fantasy because your characters can do anything you can think of. If you want them to fly, they can fly. It’s very liberating. I also want to do funny southern fiction.
Why do you write?
It seems to be what I’m good at, I like it, and luckily people seem willing to pay me to do it.
How do you write?
I use an outline because it helps me organize my thoughts and keep track of my ideas. I’m not a draft writer. I seem unable to leave a paragraph until I’m completely happy with it. So I don’t write fast, but I write cleanly. I can’t write scenes out of order because I think in a very linear fashion, so I write a book from front to back.
Do you write what you know?
Well, I don’t know any real vampires so I suppose I’d have to say no.
What’s next for you?
I just hope to get another contract. I don’t think too far in advance.
When and why did you change genres?
Opportunity knocked when I was asked to partner in authoring a vampire series, so I answered. I’m glad I did. That was about four years ago.
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Susan also writes for Belle Books, the perfect place for old styled Southern Fiction