Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Meet Susan Page Davis - Interview & Book Giveaway

Meet Susan Page Davis!
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What fun to welcome Susan Page Davis, author of Just Cause (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense #86). Let’s get to know Susan!

The Bio

Susan Page Davis and her husband, Jim, have been married thirty-one years and have six children, ages thirteen to thirty. They live in Maine, where they are active in an independent Baptist church. Susan is a homeschooling mother and writes historical romance, mystery, and suspense novels. Visit her Website at www.susanpagedavis.com.

The Interview

JA: You’re a prolific author, but your latest novel, Just Cause, is your first from Love Inspired Suspense. Tell us a little bit about it.
SPD: I hoped for a long time that I could sell to Love Inspired—any of their lines. The first few times I tried, I was rejected. Just Cause underwent several rewrites before it was right for LIS, and even then Krista Stroever, my editor, had several suggestions for changes. It’s a better story now, but it seemed to take forever to get it into the right shape.

JA: In Just Cause, your heroine, Laurel Hatcher, is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. A deadlocked jury gives her an opportunity to find proof of her innocence. Did anything about the legal system surprise you while researching this book?
SPD: As I began to write the investigative and courtroom scenes, I realized how ignorant I was. I interviewed an attorney for KeepMeInSuspense.com, where I am a host, and asked him what mistakes he sees most often in mysteries. He said courtroom procedure, especially the compression of time in fictional legal cases. This, among other comments of his, prompted me to do more research and seek another trial lawyer’s opinion on several aspects of the story before I submitted the final version. One event that I had put in without much thought was that Laurel was allowed to leave the state of Maine after her first (hung jury) trial. I learned this would be highly unusual, but not unheard of. I got the details on what would be required of her and incorporated it into the story. I was also surprised to learn how prison inmates get their treats. They can’t just go buy a candy bar out of a vending machine. They have to order it in advance, and someone outside the jail has to put money in their accounts before they can order anything.

JA: Many of your books are set in Maine. What makes it such a good location for a mystery?
SPD: Maine is mysterious—dare I say exotic?—to many people. It’s beautiful, and it’s off the beaten track. It’s also a border state with a very long, mostly unguarded border, which makes it ripe for smuggling and illegal immigration stories. Most of my stories portray the “other Maine,” that is, inland, away from the coast. I don’t think I’ve put one lobsterman in my books yet, but that could change. There’s a lot of sparsely populated acreage in the state, where all sorts of crimes might take place undetected. Also, Maine people are notorious for being terse, eccentric characters.

PhotobucketJA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading Just Cause?
SPD: Most of us don’t go through anything as bad as Laurel does—the murder of her husband, being accused of killing him, spending time in prison, losing her home and everything dear to her, and being stalked by criminals. But even in these horrific circumstances, God is with her. He has a plan to restore joy into her life. I want my readers to feel that hope.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
SPD: All sorts of fun stuff! My daughter Megan and I are finishing our “Mainely Murder” trilogy; I’m doing a Christmas novella for fall 2008 with Barbour; a new historical set from Heartsong based on the 1689 massacre at Dover, New Hampshire; and my third Frasier Island Series installment, Inside Story, from Harvest House.

JA: One of your hobbies is genealogy. Who’s the quirkiest relative you’ve found hanging from your family tree?
SPD: Oh, wow, if you had asked me about my HUSBAND’s family... No, seriously, I have some great ones, too. My mom is descended from John Alden of the Mayflower, and my dad from Nantucket whalers. One of my favorites is Joel Richardson, who walked up the bank of the Kennebec River in 1774, with only an ax and a musket to build his farm in the wilderness. Of course, when the American Revolution came, he paid a substitute to take his place, so he didn’t win any medals. But he and his wife, Sarah Wyman, were the first white couple married in what is now the town of Belgrade, Maine (my home town), and progenitors of a large tribe of Mainers who are gritty and persistent.

JA: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
SPD: I had a major stroke (an embolism) in January, 1997. God is good! For a day or two, I couldn’t read or write, but I made a quick and complete recovery. It’s been eleven years with no repeats.

JA: Almost every author I know has a stack of to-be-read books a mile high. What’s in your stack?
SPD: Oh, yeah, I hate to admit it, but I’ve got Trish Perry’s Too Good to Be True, which I bought at the Dallas conference in September, and my sister has read it and loved it, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Also, Tosca Lee’s Demon: A Memoir, and a book on Counter-Guerilla Operations (that’s research for an upcoming book).

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with the latest Susan Page Davis publishing news?
SPD: My website at www.susanpagedavis.com is updated near the first of every month by my awesome webmaster, Tiff Stockton. She’s good at keeping things current for me. Come visit me and enter my monthly book giveaway. My agent, Chip MacGregor, also posts new contracts and other author news on his site at MacGregorLiterary.com.

Thank you, Susan, and continued blessings on your writing journey!

Win the Book
Just Cause is in stores now, but you can win a copy here. Just leave a reply to this blog. The winner will be picked at random on January 23rd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

11 comments:

Janna said...

This looks like a great book by Susan! I just finished her book, "Sarah's Long Ride" and it was great. I'd love to read more by Susan - please enter me...

Janna
ryanx6 at msn dot com

Hannah said...

I love Love Inspired Suspense books! I'd love to win a copy! great interview! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com
thanks!

stampedwithgrace said...

sounds so exciting! please enter me, thanks!

Donna Moore said...

Sounds like a great book please enter me in your contest. runninmama(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

ladystorm said...

I would love to be entered, this is my type of book.

Stormi
ladystorm282001@yahoo.com

Ausjenny said...

Wow great interview and Inspiring about the fact you had a stroke.
The research into the court system sounds good too and will make the book all that much better.
Please enter me im an aussie.
ausjenny (at) gmail dot com

Pamela J said...

I really enjoy suspense stories. The cover picture of the book and the description of the plot, Just Cause, has me sitting on the edge of my seat, preparing for the white-knuckle, wide-eyed adventure. Please enter me in the drawing.
Thank you.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

gheidema said...

Sounds interesting, please enter me.
Gail
bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Refreshing One said...

I am so glad you were able to finally get published through Love Inspired Suspence. What a great line of books.

I would love to win a copy of Just Cause, if it's not too late.

So please enter me in your drawing.

Thanks, and best of luck with your writing!

Lynne

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Gail (gheidema)! Congratulations, Gail, and thanks to all who stopped by!

gammawfox said...

I would love chance to win this book! It really looks wonderful! I enjoy reading so much. I am pretty well homebound so find great pleasures in stealing away into the pages of a book that looks especially good.
PLease enter me in the drawing.
thank you

Lela Fox- bubbysgammaw@peoplepc.com