T. Sue VerSteeg writes from the heart, which explains the different genres in which she writes. Though they span from time travel romance, to romantic comedy, and cozy mystery, the common threads are love and humor.
How did you get started writing fiction?
I started out with a very intense passion for time travel romance. The Outlander series hooked me, and it just grew from there. When you link that with my love of castles and all of the history within those walls, the time travel went to medieval England. My husband is the main reason I’m even published. So many times he shoved my chair to the desk and insisted I write. I sure do love that man.
I happened into Cozy Mysteries by sheer luck. I’d read Gemma Halliday’s Spying in High Heels and realized I could get paid for being funny! She helped with a romantic comedy I was working on, then sent the fated email, asking me to co-author the Tahoe Tessie series. Once I regained consciousness, I accepted. 😉
Both books of yours that I have read (Luck Be a Lady and Killer Closet Case) list you as the co-author. How does team fiction writing work, and why do you prefer to write as a team instead of individually?
Writing with Gemma is a dream come true. She’s one of the most real people you’ve ever met. Being able to bounce ideas back and forth is such a great way to build on an idea. Tahoe Tessie is her baby. The first book was mostly her. She wrote the first three chapters and sent an outline for the rest. I got to breathe life into the characters, and she then decided what stayed and what needed changed. The second, Hey Big Spender, was started by me, then she built the outline and, well, see above. 😉 The holiday short was all me though. I had a blast with it. As for Elizabeth Ashby, she’s a fictional character that binds the Danger Cove series together. I guess you’d say that she’s the editor at GHP who keeps all of the details from everyone’s books fluid. She’s very easy to work with. 😉
You call yourself a “Romantic Escape Artist.” What do you mean by this and what inspired the moniker?
When I first started writing, it was all time travel. A romantic escape from reality, if you will. Even my cozies have strong romantic elements in them. Love is what drives all of my storylines.
Luck Be a Lady is book one in a series that takes place amid the casinos in Tahoe. Do you spend much time in casinos? What is your favorite activity in them?
I’ve been to Vegas a few times and a nice casino close to home on occasion. I’m not a huge gambler, but I do like to put $20 in a penny slot on occasion and see what happens.
Your website references long letters that fill your drawers. I feel an affinity with that because I came to love writing when my best friend moved away at the age of 9 and we corresponded every week. To whom did you write all these letters or from whom did you receive them? How did your own letter writing help shape your writing career?
I moved away from my very best friends right out of high school. We wrote to each other a lot! With email, FB, and text, we are closer than ever now. I also wrote letters to myself, so to speak, in journal form. Lots of those are tucked away. It’s fun to revisit them on occasion and torture myself. 😉
You also talk about having lots of research. What kind of research do you do? Can you describe for us your research process?
Well, most every Cozy has a dead person in it somewhere. I like to find different ways for the people to have died. If the FBI ever shows up, Hubby is under strict orders to delete my search history! Lol
What did you like to read while growing up, and what do you like to read now?
I remember stealing romances from my mom’s closet when I was young. I guess that’s what made me such a romantic at heart. But I also adored anything Judy Blume wrote. I transitioned into Danielle Steele then onto Nora Roberts as I got older. I’m still an avid romance reader, but now I like to keep up in the cozy world, too.
What advice do you have for any of your readers who may want to become published authors themselves?
Never. Give. Up. Seriously, make a little bit of progress every day, even if it’s just a bit of editing. Learn all you can, and follow what’s in your heart, not just what’s hot at the time. Trends change faster than wardrobes at a Lady Gaga concert. Follow your passion.
Catch up with Sue at http://tsueversteeg.com
Read my review of Luck Be a Lady here.
Read my review of Killer Closet Case here.