Saturday, June 09, 2012

Meet Susan Roebuck!!

Week two of our summer tour has arrived and I'm so please to introduce Susan Roebuck to you. Susan is an exciting writer that treats you to several genres including romance, mystery, suspence and a touch of gay. Her books hook you on the first page and keep you page turning to see what her characters are up to next as they move through the clever plots Susan puts them through. So read along and enjoy!

Susan Roebuck
“Hewhay Hall”, my new novel, was born out of a challenge.  With just one or two prompts a group of friends and I challenged each other to write a story in a genre that we hadn’t tried before. And I chose paranormal.

It does make sense, when I think about it. I’ve read so much paranormal romance, dark gothic paranormal and horror. I devoured Stephen King’s early work (“Carrie”, “The Shining”) and Ann Rice’s Lestat the vampire novels. But my favorite book of all time is the “Gormenghast” Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (

It’s one of the few books I can read over and over because it’s populated by peculiar, quirky characters (think Swelter the cook and Steerpike the crook). With every read I peel another layer off and find pure genius underneath.
While I was writing “Hewhay Hall” it was strange trying to imagine an evil, cruel and maniacal demon. I’m basically a peaceful person who hates violence, but I loved pushing my imagination to what is hopefully acceptable limits. The only drawback where the nightmares I had during the writing. Those characters just wouldn’t leave me alone.

Sharon asked me to answer a couple of questions so here goes.
1. How do you respond to major changes suggested by an editor?
I may be one of the few people who actually like the editing process. I'm always open to whatever people have to say about my writing because that's how I learn and can improve. I've never had huge changes to make, although I was told once not to have all my characters' names beginning with the same letter. With Hewhay Hall the biggest change was that the editor suggested I took away Jude's prosthesis and that affected the story when he gets swallowed (if that doesn't make sense, you'll have to read the book!)
2. Do you enjoy research.
I have a mammoth amount of research to do because I never keep to the adage "write about what you know". Perfect Score was set in the States (and I'm a Brit) so that meant we did spend some time there - actually in the Catskills, Upstate New York because the book was first set at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. For those of you who read it, you'll see the setting changed and ended up right on the other side of the country. My present work in progress involves fishermen and a bullfighter. I've already interviewed a bullfighter, but I still have to find a fisherman who'll take me out in his boat! For Hewhay Hall, I did have to research Jude's profession, but the demon is straight out of my imagination (he talked to me at night and scared the living daylights out of me).

Blub from Hewhay Hall: 
An unsung hero's destiny--Slater's house of horrors.
Fire-fighter Jude Elliott loses part of his leg trying to rescue a family held hostage during a terrorist attack. He journeys to mysterious Hewhey Hall, where it is told there are wondrous, magical cures. Little does Jude know that his destination is Slater The Prince of Envy's lair where demons reside and courageous souls are tormented... Can Jude escape Slater's house of horrors, or will he suffer for all of eternity?

Excerpt from Hewhay Hall:
Jude stared down the hill at the glint on the water and then across to the fields baked hard by weeks of sun. He’d followed the directions to the letter, so this was the right place. But where was Hewhay Hall?

A row of swallows balanced on a wire stretching overhead, each facing the same way as Jude, who rested against a five-bar gate. They too seemed to be eyeing the fallen tree trunks that littered the overgrown path down the rocky hillside. They were lucky—they could fly, but Jude had to hobble.

The air moved on the other side of the marshland. He didn’t imagine it. A definite ripple, the kind that alters your vision when a migraine’s about to start. Although the shift was fleeting, he had the idea something was down there after all, very faint and hard to describe. The outline of a building? Or maybe just heat haze. Whatever, he’d come this far—he’d go and investigate.

The latch and hinges on the gate were so rusted, Jude couldn’t open it. Nothing for it, then, but to climb over. He propped his crutches against the wooden bars, placed his hands on the top, and hauled himself up so his right leg got a footing on a lower rung. Now he could sit on the top. He bent down, picked up what was left of his other leg, and maneuvered it over until he straddled the gate. It creaked under his weight. As he swung his right leg over, he teetered, tried to grab the top bar but lost his balance and fell headlong into a bramble patch.

Prickles stabbed him as he lay on his back, his whirling gaze locked on a wiggly jet trail in the cloudless sky. Once the world righted itself, he pushed himself up on his elbows and extracted some of the more painful brambles before rolling onto his right knee. His bum in the air, he hoped no one was looking and that he retained a shred of dignity as he balanced on his right leg and wobbled his way upright. As he tried to stand, his knee locked. He was a second away from landing back on the ground but he grabbed an oak tree trunk for support.

Bloody hell. Wasn’t it about time they gave him a prosthesis? He bent to rub his stump, still raw after all this time. Why wasn’t he healing?

Blurb from Perfect Score: 
Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam's two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister's medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word "dyslexia" is generally unknown so to most people he's just a "retard". From the severe knocks life's dealt him, Sam's developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player. Despite his defects, Alex's love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex's powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle. As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex's evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what's the mystery behind Alex's father's death? Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?
Contact Susan at:

Hewhay Hall available at:
Barnes and Noble

Perfect Score available at:
Prize Question
Answer the following question and win a copy of Susan's novel Perfect Score and be entered into the drawing for a $50 Amazon gift certificate to be awarded July 29th.
Question: Name two professions that are mentioned in the two blurbs (Hewhay Hall and Perfect Score).
Go to the comments section below and send in your answer. Good luck!


Unknown said...

Thanks for your lovely introduction and for letting me "take over" your blog today, Sharon

Missy said...

Hey! Happy Sunday. You said something in your post that resonated with me -- I've always loved gothics and lately I've seen several posts about Susanna Kearsly and her gothic romances. Also, at my local B&N they have a whole section devoted to Georgette Heyer - oddly they treat it like she's a hot new author instead of a mainstay for gothic fans -- do you think there is a resurgence in gothic romance on the rise?

Gina said...

Very nice and informative post! I am glad to learn more about you and your writing, Susan. Your books sound really interesting. Good luck to you! And Sharon, your blog is lovely. I'll try to check back again soon. Cheers, Regina

Christine London said...

Brave you, Sue--jump genres on a dare, so to speak (even if you do read in it broadly)

Fire fighter --singer/songwriter. Two great professions--both deserve higher salaries. :)

Christine London