Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Meet Prolific Writer, Susan Page Davis!
Don't forget to leave your comment and email address for a chance to win her historical book! Sounds fantastic.

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

I’ve always written stories, since I was a young girl. I started writing “books” in junior high. But then life got in the way. There was College and Work and Marriage and Children. Then I wrote nonfiction for many years, for a newspaper and magazines. When I was 45, I decided to try a serious attempt at writing fiction. It took a couple of years for me to begin selling short stories, and four years to sell my first book. It was published the year I turned fifty.

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I write in several genres. The book we’re featuring today is historical romance. These are romantic stories set in the past. They might include real events, places, and even real people sometimes. In The Blacksmith’s Bravery, I made up a town in southeastern Idaho, and all the characters are fictional. But the setting is the Idaho mountains in the 1880s. This series couldn’t have taken place anywhere else.

I also write in the romance, mystery, and romantic suspense genres, and I have a couple of book for young people on my backlist. Whatever strikes me as a compelling story, I write.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

Right now I usually spend most of the day at writing or writing-related tasks. I am blessed to have a room for my office. The amount I write per day depends on my deadlines. Right now I am writing an average of 2,000 salable words per day, as well as doing some editing and promotional material.
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?

The Blacksmith’s Bravery

This is book 3 in The Ladies’ Shooting Club series, about a group of women in 1880’s Idaho who support each other while learning to shoot in order to protect themselves.

By age twelve, Vashti Edwards was orphaned and working her way west in saloons. Life in Fergus, Idaho, has given her new hope in Christian friends from The Ladies Shooting Club and an employer who turned her saloon into a restaurant. But money’s tight, and Vashti tries to get the job she’s dreamed of—as a stagecoach driver. Griffin Bane, local blacksmith, is overseeing the stagecoach line and admits he needs more help. But can a woman—even one known to be a good markswoman—handle the challenges and dangers on the trail? And can he brave the beautiful distraction she makes riding alongside him?

Vashti and her boss, Griffin, turn to the Ladies’ Shooting Club of Fergus for extra gun power when the stagecoach line is targeted by robbers. Members willing to defend the passengers and mail can ride the Fergus-to-Boise route for free. Throw a little unforeseen mayhem and romance, and you’ll find this journey unforgettable.

The Blacksmith’s Bravery is the third installment in the Ladies’ Shooting Club series, from Barbour Publishing. These books are available in stores or online at Christianbook.com, Amazon.com, bn.com, and other booksellers’ sites.

What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

Acceptance and forgiveness are very important to this story and the entire series. Vashti and Griffin must learn to accept themselves and each other as they are. Forgiveness from God, from others, and from themselves brings them along their journey.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?

I have had days like that, when I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” But those days are fewer and farther between than they were five or six years ago. Before I had an agent, I remember I always tried to keep at least ten short stories or book proposals in the mail to editors. While they were out, I would write away on the next one. I remember one day I got back three rejections in my mailbox in one day. That was very painful. Now I’m in the delightful position of not usually writing the book until after it is bought. That doesn’t mean I don’t have discouraging days. I received a rejection on a book proposal—cushioned through my agent—just a few days ago. It definitely helps to have a squishable agent. He /she can take the worst hits for you and help you put them in perspective. (One of my agent’s stock lines is, “She doesn’t hate you, Susan.” So I guess that tells you I do still have “those” days.)
Who’s inspired you the most?

Many, many people have taught me things that have helped in my writing—other authors, teachers, my parents, my critique partners. But there are three people who always encourage me and make me want to do better, and I’d like to recognize them here. Pat, you taught me to read and so much more. You always have a word of cheer for me. Pam, you’re always ready for whatever comes next, and you urge me to get out of my own little box. Mim, I’ve tried to emulate your graciousness and generous spirit. These are my sisters. We didn’t pick each other, but we choose to remain close friends.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

I’ve been privileged to work with several publishers, and I believe the connection is in God’s hands. But I believe in taking steps as you seek God’s will. For my first published book, I deliberately targeted Barbour’s Heartsong line. I’d already received several rejections on a police mystery series, and was beginning to think that would never sell. (It hasn’t. Any editors out there want to see it now?? )

But seriously, I began to study the Writer’s Market for publishers open to unagented unknowns. Ones that would publish books from a Christian world view. Ones that paid royalties. The intersection was Heartsong. I read several of their books and determined to sell to them.

I sent Tracie and Jim Peterson several manuscripts and got several rejections (encouraging rejections, but still “NO’s”) before Jim finally called me on the phone and told me that Heartsong was buying my book. I’ve had a great relationship with Barbour ever since, and I say that even though ALL of their editors subsequently gave me rejections. So far I’ve published 14 Heartsongs, three mysteries, two novellas, and three trade books with Barbour, and more under contract.

For my other publishers (including Summerside, Harvest House, Love Inspired, and JourneyForth) it’s been a case of sending or having my agent send the proposal to the publisher where it seems it would fit best. Guideposts was a little different—I auditioned for a spot in their Patchwork Mysteries series by submitting a sample chapter, and they chose me from a fairly large pool. I’m now working on my second book for them. And no, I’m not sitting back and relaxing yet. I don’t plan to retire for a while, and it’s still vital to find the right publisher for a story and vice versa.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

There are tons of places I’ve never seen and would love to see. I wonder if one of my editors would be interested in a story set in Switzerland…or Tahiti…or New Zealand. I’ve always loved animals (right now we have a cat, a dog, and a horse), and I enjoy puzzles and reading and genealogy. I also like needlework but haven’t had time to do any for a while now. I hate to cook. I also dislike vinegar and mustard.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

Come see me at http://www.susanpagedavis.com/. At the end of each month I draw at least one name (sometimes several) to win a free book, and the winners choose the books they want. I won’t use your name for anything else, so feel safe in entering (there’s a little “enter the monthly contest” form on the left side of my home page).

The Blacksmith’s Bravery can be read as a standalone if you haven’t read the other books in the series—but why would you want to miss the fun? Look for The Sheriff’s Surrender and The Gunsmith’s Gallantry too.

I also have a page on FaceBook that my daughter Amy maintains for me. I can’t answer your comments there, but she tries to post my interviews, book signings, new releases, and other events: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Page-Davis/139580589399172?v=wall


Don't forget those comments, readers, and your email address! You don't want to miss a chance to win this book!
 
Blessings!

36 comments:

Kathryn Page Camp said...

Great name for an author. I assume Page is her maiden name, as it is mine.(No relationship as far as I know, though.)

Michelle V said...

I love this series and I've been wanting this one! Please enter me!

Blessings
Michelle V
lifeinreviewblog[at]yahoo[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

I've read Susan's first two books in this series and loved them! I'd love a chance to win Blacksmith Bravery...thanks for the entry. I enjoyed Susan's interview...its an interesting way to get to know an author.

Many Holiday Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot}com

Charity said...

I would love to be entered in this giveaway:) I love Susan's writing. Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

misskallie2000 said...

I love this story line and can't wait to read Susan's books. Great interview.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

dawn said...

the book sounds fabulous! please enter me in the giveaway.
dawn_escobedo@yahoo.com

Digging for Pearls said...

This series looks wonderful.

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe
digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

Wendy said...

I love her books and this one looks great.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

Anne Payne said...

Excellent interview. Would love to read this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Patti Lacy said...

You keep going, Susan! Thanks for being real!

Blessings,
Patti

Rose McCauley said...

I loved reading more about Susan and learning how similar we are in starting to write after marriage, college and raising kids! I also agree with her that God is in charge of who will publish our books, but we do have to/get to write them! Thanks for a great interview, Carole and Susan.

Rose McCauley said...

I enjoyed learning more about Susan. We are at similar stages in our lives and both started writing after college, marriage and kids! I also agree with her that it is up to God who decides to publish us, but we do have to/get to write the books!

Jan Marie said...

I already own The Gunsmith's Gallantry and would love to have The Blacksmith's Bravery to go along with it. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

Martha A. said...

i have loved the first two in this series!!! I am sure this one will be great!!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Susan Page Davis said...

Hey, Kathryn! Are you related to the Mass./Maine Pages? It's a big family, but room for more cousins anytime! Blessings,
Susan

Mozi Esme said...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/12/blacksmiths-bravery.html

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

I enjoy reading books from this time period. Please enter me.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

by Pegg Thomas said...

Being a pretty good marksmen myself... I love the idea of a woman's shooting club! Please enter me in your drawing.

Pegg
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Susan Page Davis said...

Wow, great turnout. It's wonderful to see so many readers here. Also thanks to those who have read other books and had kind things to say. I'm signing books today at my kids' school. I hope you all have a great day.

Arlene said...

It would be nice to win the book. It would be a good one

apple blossom said...

Thanks for the interview.

Love to be included in this giveaway. thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Caroline said...

Her book does sound exciting. So glad to see all the comments!

Katie M said...

Ohh, looks like a great book! Please count me in!

- Katie M
legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

Tina Pinson said...

Just wanted to say the cover for Blacksmith's Bravery,(which I like by the way) and snippets reminded me of a story I was just discussing with someone else. Calamity Jane with Doris Day.

Maybe your character isn't a calamity waiting to happen, but I like stories about independent and tough women. Well tough when they need to be.

I wished I was one.

tpinson.co(at)netzero.net

Leah said...

I am reading the first in the series right now. I LOVE it so far!
This book looks and sounds amazing!
Cant wait to read it!
Please enter me!
dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

Maureen said...

I enjoy reading historical fiction. Very interesting that a woman, back then, would be allowed to drive a stage coach! Love it!


alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

April said...

This book looks great from the cover to the plot. Thank you! Susan's book are my favorites!
April
apeygirl at gmail dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

Carman sent me, and I'm so glad she did!!!!!!!!!!!
I would love to be considered in this giveaway:)

Many Blessings and Smiles,
Charlotte
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Cindy W. said...

I love books set during this time period. The concept of a Ladies Shooting Club in that time period sounds very interesting. I would love to be entered into your giveaway and thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Charlotte Kay said...

I enjoyed the interview!
Please enter me in this giveaway:)

Thanks,
Charlotte
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

I've read some of Susan's books and they are great. Would love to win and read this one.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I would love to read this book. She is a great author.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Kait said...

Enter me please!

Kait
momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

Katie G. said...

Please enter me! I would love to win this book! Thanks so much!

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, everyone! Tina, there is a bit of calamity following Vashti around and waiting to happen. :) In reading about women who lived in places like this in the old days, it seems to me that the strong ones coped best with issues like isolation and physical hardships. In my series, some of them are not strong at the outset, but the club lends them courage and endurance. The women know they have to grow tough if they hope to survive. To be honest, I don't give a truly accurate picture of how hard the life was in those mountain towns. My ladies have it pretty good.

Emma said...

Great interview.This book sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.