Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday Promo- Susan Macatee

I first met Susan through the Hearts through History online RWA chapter,then learned more about her through the Slip into Something Victorian blog. I'm happy to help her promote her debut novel, Erin's Rebel.

Bio: Susan Macatee is the author of a newly released time travel from The Wild Rose Press, Erin’s Rebel. She also has two short stories out with TWRP and four releases coming out this year all set during the American Civil War.

Susan is a member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History and The Scandalous Victorians, a small writer’s group that hosts the group blog, Slip Into Something Victorian.

How much research do you do for your books? And what is your favorite resource?

I’ve been a Civil War reenactor for years, so through my research for that, I learned a lot about clothing, what they ate, how they lived… and also learned a lot of information about the war; not the dry, history book stuff, but how it was for soldiers engaged in battle, what they ate, how they spent their free time, how they dealt with boredom. I found all of this so fascinating, my first inclination as an aspiring romance writer was why not show the personal side of the Civil War? Of course, at the time, I didn’t know the American Civil War wasn’t very popular with romance readers. I mean, what about Gone With the Wind?

Before I wrote Erin’s Rebel, I also read a lot of biographies of people who really lived through what my characters do and I also like to read letters, diaries and journals of people of that period to get a feel for what they thought and how they dealt with the war in their day to day lives. And for all those little details, like dates a battle in my story was fought, what the weather was like that day, and other things the characters would experience first hand, I use the internet.

What comes first- the premise or the characters?

My stories are all character-driven, although I do a lot of plotting before I write, but the characters pop into my head first. They first appear in an interesting setting and situation and the story grows around them.

Why do you write historicals set around the Civil War?

The more I learned about the Civil War period, and immersed myself in it for reenacting, the more I knew I wanted to set my stories there. Erin’s Rebel came from my desire to place a modern day heroine in that setting. Sort of like you do as a reenactor. You have to learn to live as Victorian people in a camp setting did, even if just for a weekend.

I love the period and, although not all my stories include paranormal elements, like Erin’s Rebel does, I do have a reenactor/ghost story and two vampire stories set during the period. They were really fun to write.

Philadelphia newspaper reporter, Erin Branigan, is engaged to marry an up-and-coming lawyer, but dreams of a man from the past change those plans and start her on a journey beyond time. After a car accident, Erin wakes to find herself living in the 1860s in a Confederate army camp.

Captain Will Montgomery, the man of her dreams, is now a flesh and blood Rebel soldier who sets her soul aflame. But the Irish beauty holds a secret he needs to unravel before he can place his trust in her.

Can she correct a mistake made long ago that caused his death and denied her the love she was meant to have? Or is she doomed to live out her life with nothing but regret?


The sound of her name on his lips made her skin tingle. She tore the paper off the package. At the sight of the brooch, her breath caught.

“Do you like it?” he asked anxiously. “I had it made just for you.”

Eyeing him, she had a hard time finding her voice. This was Erin O’Connell’s brooch, the very one that had sent her back in time. It shone in her hands, new and unworn from time and wear.

What did this mean? She must be following Erin’s O’Connell’s footsteps. As far as she knew her being here hadn’t changed anything. Will was still destined to die this year.

“I didn’t mean to upset you, Erin. If you don’t want the brooch—”

“No.” She clasped the pin against her chest as the meaning of his gift sank in. “It just means so much to me.”

His look of concern softened into a lopsided grin. “I’m happy you feel that way.”

“Thank you, Will.” She slipped the brooch into the pocket of her wrapper, then stood on her toes, lifting her arms to circle his neck. She kissed his cheek, inhaling his musky scent.

His mouth was on hers, hot and urgent. The softness of his moustache and chin beard tickled her lips. She opened to him, her tongue slipping inside to taste him thoroughly. He groaned, pressing the length of his body against her.


Helen Hardt said...

The Civil War is fascinating on so many levels. And I love that you've worked time travel into your story. Good luck with the release!


Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Helen! And thanks Paty for having me on your blog today!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Waving, Susan. You've done an excellent job with setting your romance into the Civil War time period. I so enjoy your voice and the way you draw your readers into the battles and how this country struggled at that time. Good luck with lots of sales.

Beth Trissel said...

Susan, your being a Civil War Reenactor is so interesting. I've known a few. My family is steeped in the Civil War here in the Shenandoah Valley of VA and from elsewhere in VA. I grew up hearing all these accounts and visiting the old home in nearby Augusta County VA called Chapel Hill, circa 1816. Sheridan didn't burn that far or it wouldn't still be standing. We also have a family archives of letters and journals from the Civil War.

I love the time period for your new release and think it's fascinating.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Paisley and Beth! As you can tell, I just looove the period!!

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Great interview, Susan and Paty!

Susan, I'm so envious of the CW re-enacting. I'd love to do that but my husband would never be interested, LOL.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Nicole! One of my husband's sister-in-laws said the same thing about my husband's brother.

She said her husband's only into medieval. If he could run into battle with a big sword and horns on his hat, he'd be there! LOL.

Eliza Knight said...

Sounds fabulous Susan!!! Can't wait to read it :)

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for stopping by, Eliza!

Skhye said...

I still want to know what you chose to be in the Civil War re-enactments. LOL

Tanya Hanson said...

Susan, this sounds absolutely fantastic! Paty, thanks for sharing Susan with us today!

How totally fantastic to be a Civil War reenactor. My great grandfather marched with Tecumseh Sherman...but was discharged with disyntery before getting to Atlanta. I found his papers in my mom's old house.

Thanks for a great blog, ladies.

(My word verification right now is "harhell". Somehow that sounds like a vampire character LOL.

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Skhye and Tanya! Thanks for stopping by!

In answer to your question, Skhye, I'm a member of the civilian group. Although we stay in tents, out of necessity, we set our camp up separate from the military camp and try to show specators how civilians lived during the war.

Hywela Lyn said...

Great interview, Susan and Paty

I've taken part in 'Western' re-enactments although not Civil War ones. There arent too many of either in the UK,but I do find that period of American history fascinating.

Wishing you loads of sales Susan, I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed learning about Susan and found her research very interesting. The excerpt was very good. I really want to read Erin's Rebel. Time travel is fascinates me to no end. Weaving it into a Civil War story is fabulous.

LoAnna /aka Cierra James

Jennifer Ross said...

Great interview, Susan (and Paty).

I didn't think about Erin's Rebel--a woman from now travelling back in time to the Civil War--being the same as a re-enactor (a woman from now travelling back in time to the Civil War).

But of course! Heh, and some people say romance novels aren't realistic. Hah!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Enjoyed the post Susan and Paty! I have your book beside my reading chair at this moment. Can hardly wait to get there. I admire you for taking part in the reenactment activities. I think I would enjoy that if I didn't have to camp out. ;-) Did that already growing up with a dad who loved to camp out and go fishing. :-)
Wishing you many sales.

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for stopping by Lyn, Jennifer, LoAnna and Jeanmarie!

I have to credit my years as a reenactor for giving me a true feel for how my time traveling woman would react to her unusual circumstances.

And thanks for your purchase, Jeanmarie! It's much appreciated. Hope you enjoy the story.

Kris Kennedy said...

I can see how being a Civil War reenactor helped drive you to write. (That sounds like the phrase "drive you to drink" but I meant it in a good way. LOL) I'm really interested in what you said you do, showing the civilian side of the times. Very cool.

Congrats on your release, and here's hoping for lots of sales!

J K Maze said...

I love time travel and this looks like a wonderful story. The Civil War also fascinates me. I'm going to buy your book.

Joan K Maze
Murder By Mistake available now from Red Rose Publishing
Framed In Fear coming soon