Good morning Susan and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Hi Jo, and thanks for inviting me to your blog.
I live near the Hampshire coast, write historical romance, tinker on the piano, eat too many biscuits, and wonder why I feel twenty years younger than my reflection in the mirror.
When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
For many years I wrote short stories for my enjoyment and to share with my weekly writing group. Then I started submitting stories (lots of them) to publishers. Back then, there was a woman’s magazine market for fiction where I constantly sent my offerings. When I finally had a story published in The People’s Friend, I thought – Yes! I can do this.
That first modest cheque kickstarted me into writing in earnest. It took another two years, a lot of frustration, knockbacks and rewriting before my first novel Rebellious Cargo, was accepted by a publisher. But it was worth it. Like most ventures if you really want something you will achieve it – just don’t give up.
Who are your favourite authors? Have they in any way influenced your writing?
The late Patrick O’Brian’s sea stories were responsible for my decision to base my novels against the backdrop of the Royal Navy at the time of the Napoleonic wars. Although his books are not of the romance genre, I adored his Aubery/Maturin series – all twenty of them. I loved the way he depicted how a ship’s community functioned. The friendships forged, the call to duty, and the politics of the day all played out with superbly crafted characters. Plus, some wonderful subtle humour.
Georgette Heyer and Mary Balogh are also great favourites of mine. The former for her authenticity of the period she writes. The way she portrays the wit, manners and conversations of the Regency drawing rooms is unrivalled.
I picked up a Mary Balogh book in a charity shop many years ago and from them I was hooked on Regency romance. I think I have read and enjoyed all her titles. The Bedwyn series of stories, are amongst my favourites.
Which destination is top of your bucket list and why?
I would love to hire a yacht (with a crew) and sail around the Pacific Islands. Also on my list are the Galapagos Islands, Alaska and Finland. I love peace, space and tranquillity. Wild, untouched landscapes fascinate me – which is probably why I always wanted to be an astronaut.
What makes a good heroine?
She must have her weaknesses. And she needs to make the reader care about her, even if her actions exasperate them at times.
I also think a good heroine should never be too predictable.
My heroines often step out of their comfort zones, and that ends up with them making a few alarming choices. I frequently feel like slapping them, but they always redeem themselves in the end.
Esmie Elstone does something very bad in the first chapter of Captain Rockford’s Reckoning.
Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
The sequel to Captain Rockford’s Reckoning, which was published in April this year and follows the story of Esmie Elstone and her lifelong neighbour Richard Rockford. The book is about friendship, first love, betrayal and a secret betting book run under the guise of a sewing club. Needless to say, little embroidery was achieved.
My present, work in progress, takes up the story of Patience Wetherby;
already known to my readers as the shy member of the club.
Patience had been promised to Colonel Hemmings who is on his way back from war. She has only met him once, years ago, and remembers nothing good about the event. Patience has her own plans and flees London determined to lead a modest yet independent life. But Patience finds turning her back on society and the safety of marriage calls on all her skills to survive – even the ones she never knew she possessed.
And lastly, you are planning to take a year out and get away from everyone. What four essentials would you take with you and why?
Photo of the loved ones.
Notebook and pens to write the next best seller.
Kindle full of books I need to read. Or a very fat book if there is no internet.
Susan Lodge was brought up with five brothers in the West of England and spent her formative years climbing trees and watching westerns. Leaving home, she headed for London and embarked on a career in the Civil Service, gaining a science degree along the way.
Over the years she has worked in several historic cities, where the streets still resonate with the Georgian period, providing a wealth of inspiration for her stories. Her romantic novels are often set against the backdrop of Nelson’s navy, and she always manages to inject a fair dose of humour into the plot.
Susan always wanted to be an astronaut but would now settle for a flight into space. She loves tinkering on her piano, perfecting her swing dance routines and discovering new destinations for her characters.
Married, with two children Susan now lives in Hampshire.
Link to my latest release – Captain Rockford’s Reckoning
Amazon author page.
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Lodge/e/B00B8UD0MQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Other titles –