I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time
Please welcome Susana Carr author of Prince Hafiz’s Only Vice
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Prince Hafiz’s Only Vice
by Susanna Carr
What a royal wants…
Prince Hafiz devotes his days to his people and his nights to indulging his desires with his stunning American mistress, Lacey Maxwell. But duty requires him to marry a “suitable” bride.
In her deepest secret fantasies, Lacey naively hopes to one day wear Hafiz’s ring, until her dreams are shattered and he chooses someone else.
Faced with the reality of a passionless union, Hafiz realizes the years spent with Lacey have done nothing to slake his hunger for her. Instead he’s determined to turn his only vice into a virtue for the sake of his country…and each other!
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
I think reading a lot of romances inspired me to start writing. I often thought about what I wanted to see in a story or what kind of characters interested me. I started jotting down ideas in a notebook and after a while I would write down scenes. I eventually built up to writing short stories and finally book-length manuscripts.
2. How do you come up with ideas for your books?
Sometimes I have an idea about a character or an archetype and I build a story around them. Other times I know I want to write a classic storyline and give it my personal twist. With PRINCE HAFIZ’S ONLY VICE I wanted to write a forbidden romance. I had to think what would be considered “forbidden” these days and decided to set the story in a conservative desert kingdom.
3. What components are necessary for the genre in this novel?
It’s all about the characters and how they, as one of my editors puts it, “emotionally save” each other. That’s how the reader will get an emotionally satisfying read which I think is necessary in romantic fiction.
In PRINCE HAFIZ’S ONLY VICE, Lacey makes an impact on Hafiz’s life when she helps him reconcile with his past choices. It changes the way he views himself and his future. And at the beginning of the story Hafiz is the worst man for Lacey if she wants to heal her emotional wounds, but by the end of the story he is the best man–the only man–who can give her what she needs.
4. What would you want readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I consider myself a romance reader first and a romance author second. I have read Harlequins since I was ten years old. I was immediately hooked and I haven’t stopped! I’m thrilled to write for Harlequin and I geek out every time I meet the authors I have read for years.
5. As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I want to keep writing sexy contemporary romances. These are the books I love to read and write. I want to take a classic storyline and challenge myself by giving it a twist. I also want to create memorable characters that are familiar and yet, at the same time, unexpected. I guess I want to play with the genre and still meet readers’ expectations.
6. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I have had critique partners in the past. It helped when I first started writing but there comes a time when you need to trust your instincts. These days I might send my manuscript to my twin sister when I have a specific question. Most of the time I keep the story under wraps until I have to send it to my editor. I have a hard time showing my work when I don’t feel it’s ready.
7. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
It was pure enthusiasm that had me submit my first story. I was proud for finishing a manuscript and I wanted to keep writing. I thought the only way to excuse spending this much time and energy on a project was to get paid for it so I needed to get it published. I had been nervous sending it out and the immediate rejection had stung, but even at that time I was glad that I had submitted my work.
8. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing and publishing)
The best writing advice I heard was during a workshop given by historical romance author Elizabeth Boyle. She recommended that you should write the story all the way to the end. Many authors stop and revise as they go along. I followed her suggestion and it made a big difference in how I write.
The worst advice I received was also given in a workshop. The presenter insisted that you should know everything about your characters and the plot before you write your story. She had all of these character sheets and diagrams to fill out. I tried this method because I like to know where I’m going in a story but I found you just have to write the book to learn more about your characters.
For example, in PRINCE HAFIZ’S ONLY VICE I thought I knew why Hafiz kept putting his duty before he needs but it turned out there were deeper reasons. I didn’t know until he explained it to Lacey. And once I wrote it down, I paused and wondered if that were true. I had to finish the rough draft to decide if it worked.
9. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I usually make an outline. I had outlined PRINCE HAFIZ’S ONLY VICE. My outlines look just like the ones you had to do in school. However, the end result didn’t follow the outline! Hafiz and Lacey went off script a couple of times.
10. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
It feels like there are a couple of black moments in PRINCE HAFIZ’S ONLY VICE. Hafiz or Lacey had choose letting go at different times of the story. They had to turn their backs on what they really wanted and at those moments all hope was gone.
11. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I’m revising my next Harlequin Presents at this time. In this story, the heroine is getting her revenge on the hero but she has met her match. They both play to win and neither one will back down from a fight. TYCOON’S DELICIOUS DEBT comes out in July 2015.
“I will miss you, Hafiz,” she said brokenly as her throat closed up. The tears she thought couldn’t happen beaded on her eyelashes.
Hafiz let out a shuddering breath. He swept his fingertip against the corner of her eye, taking her tears with him. The moisture clung to his knuckle, and he rubbed it into his skin with his thumb, silently sharing her agony.
The image took a chink out of her hard-earned resolve. Lacey wrapped her arms around her stomach before she crumbled altogether. “I had so many questions to ask you, and now I can’t remember what they were.” All except for one that danced on her tongue. “Did you ever love me?”
Silence throbbed in the air.
Lacey blinked at the question that had tumbled from her mouth. Of all the things to ask, her mind screamed.
Hafiz went unnaturally still.
“I don’t know why I asked.” She shrugged as her pain intensified. “Please, don’t answer that.”
The words were ripped from deep within her. She desperately wanted to know the answer. She never questioned it before, but she had been living in a fantasy.
Lacey had always felt Hafiz loved her. It was in his touch, in his eyes, and in his smile. But he never said the words, even when she chanted her declaration of love in the height of ecstasy.
It was too late to find out. If he didn’t love her, she would never recover. If he did love her, then she would never let go. Even if he was married, even if he kept her hidden. And she couldn’t let that happen.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Susanna Carr is an award-winning author known for her contemporary romances. Readers throughout the world find Susanna’s stories a delightful escape that has often helped them through difficult times. Reviewers frequently describe her work as “fun”, “sexy” and “a must read.” When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family in the Pacific Northwest, Susanna enjoys reading romance and connecting with readers online.
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