"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." Graycie Harmon
Monday, October 6, 2014
Book review of Hot Pursuit by Susan Dayley and Interview with Author and GIVEAWAY!!!!
When Susan Dayley is not writing, she squeezes in some of her other favorite things, such as teaching children (she’s a private tutor and teacher of small classrooms), preparing lessons, trying new recipes–raw desserts are her latest passion, and being in her garden. She will take a hike at the drop of a hat. She loves all seasons, but her favorite time of year is October with its snuggly, sweater days, pumpkins piled on porches and warm, spicy treats.
Susan Dayley is the author of Redemption, the story of Jonah, and Cold Pursuit.
I had the pleasure of reading Susan's new book and am excited to share a little bit about it with you and give you a chance to get to know this awesome author a little bit better.
About the book:
Kennady thought she’d found the perfect summer escape—working at a resort in Jackson Hole. But then Atticus comes to town, an international conference threatens world finances, and a Mexican cartel shows up to stop the conspirators. When Kennady’s friend Chelo gets entangled with a handsome and possibly dangerous man, her own life is threatened. From eco-terrorism and kidnappings, to gunshots and an earthquake, Jackson was not an escape after all.
BONUS: Hot Pursuit offers two storylines with two different endings for each. Also includes links to pictures, songs, music videos, info about story locations, and other exciting details.
The tone of Hot Pursuit is quickly set when a senator’s aide exchanges cryptic text messages with an unknown sender. Next we read of a man in a South American country who also receives a text that informs him that his wife and daughter have been tracked down at a Jackson Hole resort. Questions flood the reader’s mind and the quest to find answers begins and with heightened anticipation we are then introduced to the book’s main characters. First we meet Kennady, who is just finishing a year of college where she also worked as a TA for Dr. Keane, the chair of the English Department. Next we meet her friend Chelo, short for Consuela, who doesn’t hide the fact that she is a flirt in every sense of the word and is on the hunt for a husband. The two girls have accepted summer jobs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Chelo’s mother works.
Much to Kennady’s surprise she runs into Atticus Keane, the last person she’d expect to see in Wyoming. Atticus and Kennady began dating at the beginning of the year but Dr. Keane, the professor she worked for, had informed Kennady that she felt her “friendship” with her son could stand in the way of his future.” Kennady had graciously bowed out but Atticus never knew why. Their fortuitous meeting in Jackson Hole gives them a chance to revisit their relationship and for Kennady to explain why she ended it. However, their dream of enjoying a fun-filled summer is soon turned into a nightmare of suspense, intrigue and high-octane action.
Hot Pursuit is the sequel to Cold Pursuit. Like Cold Pursuit, there are four endings. Both stories were designed to be interactive stories for the growing eBook market. This includes links to places, music, and other interesting things.
It was fascinating to read different storylines and be able to choose an ending as well as click on some of the links. Author Susan Dayley did an admirable job of keeping storylines consistent and exciting and turned eBook reading into a whole new experience.
Hot Pursuit and its prequel, Cold Pursuit are available on Amazon.
My interview with Susan...
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
S.D.: When I was old enough to know I should have started much sooner—it was after my children were grown.
M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?
S.D.: I began writing verse in kindergarten and wrote creatively up through high school. Then I stopped pursuing it. I took classes at ISU, where I met my husband, and a couple of years ago I took more classes at UVU where I wowed everyone by still commanding a 4.0.
M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?
S.D.: I love words and stories and the ideas and stories can form in the mind from the words, letters, black marks written on a page. There is something magical about that.
M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
S.D.: Not a shining one.
M.B.: I get that. My was far from shining. Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
S.D.: Only from my publisher’s business practices. I never went into this expecting fame and fortune, well not right out of the gate, so I just keep writing and learning.
M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?
S.D.: I tutor in the mornings, so afternoons and evenings divide with writing and e v e r y t h i n g e l s e. I can sit down at my keyboard and disappear for hours without realizing it.
M.B.: Lol! Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
S.D.: They grow from ideas. For Cold Pursuit, I wanted to write for the new turn in the industry—eBook sales. I decided to write an interactive book—complete with links to places, music, even a recipe or two. Then I took it to the next level and wrote it with four endings. Hot Pursuit is the sequel, but with a totally new adventure and location. My WIP started as the story of a family where I grew up and grew to something much more fabulous.
M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?
S.D.: My great-grandpa homesteaded a small town on the Idaho side of the border of Jackson Hole. I grew up visiting that area. I thought it would make a great setting, but I needed something intriguing to happen. Then I read about the international financial conferences that happen there every year and about the large caldera beneath Yellowstone. I already knew about the lightning storms.
M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?
S.D.: A fun read that they can return to and each time (at least four times) find a different ending.
M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
S.D.: I am such an outliner. Don’t throw potatoes please. It still takes creativity, but when a book has four endings, outlining is essential.
M.B.: I'm an outliner too. It's the OCD in me. Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
S.D.: Not really, unless it’s like, how can I improve the pacing on this part of the story? With my current WIP, I’ve deleted big chunks, moved things around, and rewritten scenes completely to increase the level of interest. So not writer’s block so much (thanks to an initial outline) as a moment that needs engineering.
M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
S.D.: I never remember to put music on. But yes, I enjoy quiet.
M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?
S.D.: There are quiet times when inspiration comes, like lying in bed at night, but the biggest help is conversations with my husband. Sometimes he contributes something valuable, and sometimes just hearing myself voice the situation has moved me forward.
M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
AUTHOR: My husband. He encourages me and brags about me and even finds beta readers at his work. He’d rather I tell him what I wrote that day than that I accomplished anything else. If everyone believed in me as much as he does, I’d be a best seller.
M.B.: What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?
S.D.: I like to pattern some of them off people I know, but not quite, and others just introduce themselves to me. A fan favorite in Cold Pursuit is Chelo—she’s back in Hot Pursuit, though a bit more sober. I’ve never met anyone like her. In my WIP, one of the most intriguing characters is the antagonist. I don’t know what dark part of me he crept out of. It’s a bit scary to think I wrote him.
M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?
S.D.: No. Sometimes I wish I did, sometimes I wonder how I would fit one in.
M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
S.D.: My WIP. It’s the current baby at home. And I don’t have to figure out four endings. ☺
M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?
S.D.: I grew up with 6 other sisters (and two brothers) and one shower. I shared a bedroom with two sisters and we borrowed clothes, jewelry, and took turns with the family station wagon. I get snarky, vain, selfish, and sarcastic. But I also get dancing to music, telling secrets, defending each other, and crushing on boys.
M.B.: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?
S.D.: Currently, cottage cheese or something equally mushy until my braces come off.
M.B.: I want a picture when they do come off so I can see that killer smile! What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?
S.D.: I’d recommend new writers publish traditionally first so that they can better understand the level of production that is expected before they venture into self-pubbing. And keep writing.
M.B.: What are you working on now?
S.D.: It’s called The Kavanagh House. It’s a YA paranormal. A mechanized house is haunted by the man who designed and created her. His spirit seeks revenge and control of the house. When Parker moves there, she finds a journal by the original daughter of the home. The wrapping on the journal says, “Please undo what I’ve done. My father’s house is haunted and it’s my fault.”
M.B.: That sounds awesome! I can't wait! Any final words you would like to share?
S.D.: Thank you Michele for reviewing Hot Pursuit and offering this interview. Please feel free to edit.
M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?
S.D.: Redemption HERE , Cold Pursuit HERE and soon, Hot Pursuit. All are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
GIVEAWAY INFO: To find out about Susan's fabulous GIVEAWAY click on the link HERE
To enter please leave a comment on this post. To get more entries go to Susan's Social Media Page HERE and "follow" "friend" etc. on the various media formats. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT MONDAY!!!!!
My greatest claim to fame is my family. I am married to my prince charming and have four awesome children. This year I experienced the joy of becoming a grandmother to my sweet baby girl Halle. I love to travel and I love to write books.