Come in. Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Still summer in Texas, but maybe we can take our iced tea to the front porch swing and catch a cool breeze while we talk about one of my favorite subjects…Time Travel. Susan is also giving away two of ebooks, Time And Forever and Maybe This Time (love those titles, don’t you?) Post a comment with your email address and enter the drawing for a chance to read!
Susan writes second chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James and children’s books as Susan J. Berger. She writes older heroines because she is chronologically gifted and enjoys creating characters who remember that change is only on the outside. Inside our older shells is a much younger psyche.
Susan’s other career is acting. In 2016, among other things, she killed Kathy Bates on American Horror Story- Roanoke. In 2017, among other things, she got stabbed by a pen on Future Man and played the victim on Major Crimes. Karma? Her 2018 began with a role on Lucifer. More to come.
TIME TRAVEL? Worst birthday present ever!
London stage star Jennifer Knight, is perfectly happy until a freak accident sends her tumbling back in time from London, 2001 to 1988, landing her at the feet of computer genius Lance Davies, the man who’d captured her heart and then stomped on it – her ex-husband.
Lance follows Jennifer back to the future, tangling time, and landing them both on the world’s missing-and-presumed dead list. Now the only hope of righting the universe is to change a past they have yet to experience. Maybe this time – just maybe – Lance and Jen will get it right.
Jen looked into the face of the man she’d adored since she was nine, and actively avoided for the last twenty years. Lance looked almost the same as the day they’d parted. A few more lines framed his hazel eyes, now sea-dark with concern. His brown hair showed no trace of gray. It was still too long, with the same stupid lock falling over his forehead. She automatically reached to brush it back. Stopped herself. Her throat was so dry. Where was a cough drop when you needed one? “You’ve aged well.” Jen’s knees buckled.
Lance kicked out a chair and sat, pulling her into his lap. “It’s okay. Whatever it is, we can fix it.”
His warm, strong hands sent shock waves shivering through her body. She shook her head mutely.
Lance’s voice sharpened. “Is it Jeremy? Kathryn? Has something happened to them?”
“Uncle Lance!” Kathryn stopped in the living room archway, eyes child-solemn. “Why are you hugging Aunty Jen?”
Jen slipped out of Lance’s arms and landed on the floor. Could this get any worse?
“Aunty Jen says you are a stupid head with a big brain and no feelings.”
Jen rose with all the dignity she could muster. “You shouldn’t repeat things grownups say, Kitty-Kat. It’s not polite.” She reached for the packet Mrs. Flannery left behind, willing her hands not to tremble. “Here are the papers, you came for. Nice to see you. Goodbye.”
Lance glanced from Kathryn to Jen. “Where’s Jeremy? I know he and Kitty-Kat went to Sussex. Why is she back without him, and what are you doing here?”
“We couldn’t get home, Uncle Lance. So we came here.” Kathryn scuffed her foot, now shod in a plastic Jelly shoe, against the wood floor. “I thought Jen would like the machine, but I don’t like being young again. My brain is too small. I want to go home.”
Lance’s hand tightened on the papers he held. “Kathryn,” he said carefully. “How old are you?”
“I’m nineteen and I want to go home.”
Lance catapulted out of the chair. “It worked. By all that’s good and beautiful, it worked. I didn’t think he could do it.”
“You knew? You knew what he was working on?”
Lance’s grin changed to the expressionless mask she used to hate so much. “Of course, I knew. I divorced you. Not your brother. I was helping him with the theory. He probably would have told you about it, had you been interested in anyone but yourself and your career.”
Jen resisted the urge to punch him. One of them reverting to childhood was enough. Too bad. Her boxing trainer said she had a fantastic right hook. She kept her tone smooth and even. “I don’t know when we are, but I turned forty-nine yesterday, Lancelot, and you don’t know half as much about me as you think you do. I am very interested in my niece, and she’s standing there listening to every word we say.”
Lance turned to Kathryn. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. Your aunty and I won’t fight anymore.” He crooked his little finger at Jen the way they used to do when they were children. “Pax?”
Resisting the temptation to break it, Jen hooked her little finger in his. “Pax,”
Kathryn curved her little finger around theirs. “Pax. Now can we get ice cream?”
Susan has consented to some of my quirky questions so we can get to know her better. Thanks!
How long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously in 1993. I began with children’s books. It wasn’t until 2009 that I thought about writing an adult romance.
Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?
I am a total pantser. My first romance, Time and Forever came about because I had written a post for my children’s book blog, Pen and Ink, about how to use NaNoWriMo. I had to sign up for that year’s Nano event to write the post properly. After I posted it I felt so guilty that I thought I had to try doing my own NaNoWriMo novel that year. I started with a question and eventually came up with a first draft. The funny thing about it is I have been told that the plot is so intricate and so perfectly worked out. I am pretty sure I pantsed my plot.
I’m a pantser too, but I’m learning to do some plotting. Makes it easier to wrap my poor little brain around the story.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.
I can’t name just one author. It depends on who I am reading at the time. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sarah Addison Allen, Jayne Anne Krentz in all three of her identities, Robert Heinlein, Georgette Heyer, and Jude Devereux.
I love Sarah Addison Allen! A friend of mine loaned me her books and I’ve binge read all of them the past few months. Great stories!
Tell us about your current WIP.
Right now I am working on a novel that starts in Victorian England and jumps to 1940 wartime England. The heroine is a real person from history. Ada Augusta Lovelace – Lord Byron’s Daughter. Lord George Gordon Byron was a leading poet, politician and scandalous rake. His wife left him shortly after Ada was born. She saw that her daughter was given an excellent education in science and mathematics, hoping to avoid the strain of madness Lord Byron exhibited.
Ada grew up to be a brilliant mathematician. She invented the first computer language in way back in 1843 for a machine that was a mere an idea – Charles Babbage’s Analytical Machine.
Her story has fascinated me since I learned of her in my first computer history class. I wanted to time travel her to 1940 when Alan Turing, hero of the movie, The Imitation Game first made his machine to break German codes. I knew he had used Ada’s work. I’m on the third draft.
If you met a genie, what 3 things would you wish for?
I am well versed in wish lore and I know asking for more wishes is out of the question.
A castle in Scotland with modern plumbing and an elevator? (My knees don’t do well on stairs.)
One of my books optioned as a movie. (I’ll leave which one up to the genie.)
A regular role in a popular TV series. (Prefer three funny lines and off per episode.)
What is the one thing you never seem to have enough time for?
Jigsaw puzzles. I love them and it’s difficult to find time to do them.
Great answers, Susan. And I enjoyed our visit. Please come back when you’ve finished your WIP. And good luck on Maybe This Time. It sounds delightful!!!