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Guest blogger: Susan Fox

17 December 2017

What’s it all about?

Did your English teachers always ask, when you were reading a great work of fiction, ‘What’s the theme?’ Along with ‘What do you think the author was trying to say?’

I have mixed feelings about those questions. As an author, I kind of resent the ‘trying to say’ question. If my writing is effective, I have said what I want to say. I may have conveyed it expressly or perhaps more subtly, and readers may have received it consciously or subconsciously, but I’ve said it.

There’s another question authors often obsess over, one that’s the subject of many writing workshops and articles, and it is ‘what’s your author voice?’ It’s similar to ‘what’s your brand as an author?’

For me, all these questions centre around something very basic: Why do I write? I have loved reading fiction all my life (I confess, I’m an addict), but why am I compelled to write it? And here’s my answer. Ever since I sold my first book (Champagne Rules, an interracial erotic romance/women’s fiction novel) in 2005, all through the thirty or so titles I’ve written as Susan Lyons, Savanna Fox and now Susan Fox, I write not only to entertain readers but also to share my values and world view.

When it comes right down to it, there are three themes in all my books: (1) the strength of human beings and our ability to change and grow; (2) the fact that everyone deserves to love and be loved; and (3) the wonder of diversity. I write about diverse characters who face major life challenges, who find love but have to fight to win it, and who, over the course of the book, grow into stronger, better people.

When I say diverse, I’m not talking just about multicultural characters. I have for example written the love story of an amputee soldier hero with PTSD and a single mom fire chief whose son has cerebral palsy (Ring of Fire). I’ve written about a recovering alcoholic who has bipolar disorder, and the undercover cop who crashes his motorbike through her white picket fence (Gentle on My Mind). Those books are among the eight titles in my Caribou Crossing romance series from Kensington Zebra.

Currently, I’m writing a new series for Zebra, titled Blue Moon Harbor. The setting is a tiny fictional Gulf Island called Destiny, which is located near my home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The scenery is ruggedly beautiful, the residents are quirky, and it’s the perfect setting for romance.

In the first title, Fly Away With Me (July 2017), the hero Aaron Gabriel is a pilot who runs the local seaplane business. He’s half indigenous, with a father he’s never known, a mom who was a drug addict and died of an overdose. His sister is a single mom, and Aaron would do anything for her and her daughter. The heroine, Eden Blaine, is an Ottawa lawyer who comes to Destiny to hunt for her mom’s long-lost sister, a runaway hippie back in 1969 who joined a commune on Destiny. Eden’s mom is fighting cancer and desperately wants to reunite with her sister—and Eden would do anything for her family. Aaron and Eden are different in almost every way, except for their deep loyalty to their families, and their love of their careers. But those families and careers are 4000 miles apart …

The second title in the series, the novella ‘Blue Moon Harbor Christmas’ in Winter Wishes (November 2017) reunites single parent Jillian (a pilot who works for Aaron) with her son’s father, Michael, an Indo-Canadian architect. They haven’t seen each other in eight years, since she got pregnant and rejected his marriage proposal. But now he feels compelled to meet his son.

The third title, Come Home With Me (which comes out on 26 December), is a romance between two single parents. Aaron’s younger sister, Miranda, was damaged by her dysfunctional upbringing and has always fallen for the wrong guys. Now she’s totally committed to furthering her education and building a better life for her little girl. She’s wary of love, and so is Luke, the island veterinarian and the father of twin boys. He found the love of his life as a kid, and married her—but she died in childbirth.

Diverse characters, some of them with pasts that have damaged them severely. Some believe they’re not worthy of love, or capable of loving. Yet when the right person comes along, that can be a catalyst for so many things. For hope, for courage, and ultimately for that happily-ever-after that we all, as readers and as human beings, seek and deserve. Those are my beliefs, my themes, my voice as a writer. My stories.

Thanks for letting me visit with you today. I’m closing my eyes and envisioning myself in Australia with you. Having visited New South Wales and Queensland several years ago—and researched a novella called ‘Hot Down Under’ (in The Firefighter)—I have some idea of what an amazingly beautiful country you live in!

You can find Susan Fox here: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Fly Away With Me

Known for its rugged beauty and eccentric residents, tiny Blue Moon Harbor is big on love …

For busy lawyer Eden Blaine, a trip to a Pacific Northwest island she’s never even heard of is far from a vacation. Eden’s ailing mother has tasked her with finding her long-lost aunt, who once had ties to a commune on the island. Still reeling from a breakup with her long-time boyfriend, romance is the last thing Eden is looking for. But her gorgeous seaplane pilot has her wondering if a carefree rebound fling is exactly what she needs …

Aaron Gabriel has no illusions about happily ever after. His troubled childhood made sure of that. But he does appreciate a pretty woman’s company, and Eden is the exact combination of smart and sexy that turns him on. Still, as he helps her search for her missing aunt, the casual relationship he imagined quickly becomes something much more passionate—and much harder to give up. Can two people determined to ignore romance recognize that their heated connection is the kind of love destined to last?

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