Suzanne Smith writes dark romances and I bumped into her on Facebook. I love learning about new genres. Her new book is The Brute and I.
I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago. I attended Wells High School, then North Park College, where I graduated with a BA degree, my major in psychology. Currently, I live in River Grove, a small suburb just outside of Chicago. My days are spent managing a very busy dental office in Chicago’s Gold Coast area. My nights are mostly quiet ones, spent in the company of my two rescue cats, Zilly and H.K. and my dog Sammy, with an occasional night out with friends.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Chicago, IL. I went to North Park College and earned a Bachelor Of Arts degree with a major in psychology. I currently live in River Grove, a suburb just outside of Chicago. By day, I am the office manager of a busy dental practice in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. By night, a writer.
2. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Well, I really didn’t plan on being an author. It just sort of happened. I started taking online writing classes (with a wonderful teacher and editor named Laurie Sanders) a few years ago. My intention was to find a hobby that would keep me busy when I retired not too far in the distant future. I soon became hooked when I realized how stimulating and satisfying it was to bring the characters that I had created in my head to life on the page. The freedom writing gives the writer is phenomenal. Freedom to travel back and forth in time, to go anywhere in this world or any other, to kill someone without consequences. Lol.
3. What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
Though I write romance, I like to read all genres. I just finished reading We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. By no means is this a romance, but it was a fascinating book. Before that, I read a biography of Marcus Aurelius by Frank Mclynn. My current read is Killer Secrets by Zia Westfield. It is a great romantic suspense story, a real page turner.
4. Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
5. What is your current release or project?
The Brute And I, my debut novel, was released in July. It is a dark romance with a strong psychological slant, meaning that the reader will spend as much time in the character’s head as they do in the character’s bed. The book also has a bit of spirituality, and some danger and suspense. The structure is a little different from many romance novels as the beginning starts with the hero and heroine already having fallen out of love. The Brute And I is a standalone book. My current WIP is titled Monsieur Renault. It is about a slightly disfigured masked man (think Phantom Of The Opera on a lesser scale) who falls in love with a whore.
6. Tell us about the key characters
The unlikely hero in The Brute And I is named Marco. He is a young man who has been deeply affected by the premature death of both of his parents. He feels bitter and alone and often acts out his anger. The heroine is named Alex. She is a young woman who has been scarred by years of neglect from her alcoholic father. Unable to deal with her feelings of inferiority and isolation, she suppresses them. After a life changing event and a lot of intensive therapy, Marco and Alex get their HEA ending. But I must say, I make them work for it.
7. What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
The Brute and I
When Marco struts into Gigi’s grill, Alex wonders if she has found the one. When he takes the seat next to her and strikes up a conversation, she is immediately aroused by the heat of his animal magnetism. There is something she sees in his vulnerable, piercing green eyes that touches her heart. She realizes that she wants this handsome man to be more than just her bedmate. She wants him to be her soulmate.
Marco was instantly smitten the moment he fixed his eyes on Alex. There was something about her warm, sympathetic gaze that filled him with hope. Maybe he had a chance to overcome the bitterness and despair that had blighted his life. Perhaps finally some measure of happiness is within his grasp.
The love between them quickly blossoms, but there is a dark cloud on the horizon. For no reason Marco can see, Alex suddenly becomes sullen and withdrawn. He worries that she is slipping away from him. The idea of losing her affection and being forced to retreat back into the cold, black, pit of despair, is more than he can stand. He only knows one way to deal with the pain he is feeling.
Can their love survive the turmoil and grow into something good once more?
8. Share an excerpt.
His thick brown curls were still wild but neatly combed behind his ears. His smooth olive skin was still deeply tanned from the lingering rays of the summer sun. He had lost a little weight overall, but the muscles in his broad shoulders appeared more defined than ever. I had missed everything about him since we had separated. His humor, his tenderness, his intelligence. But nothing more than the warmth of his naked body pressed against mine. My pulse raced as I fantasized about having my way with him right there on the table. Ripping his shirt and Levis off his body and humping him like a dog in heat. I wondered if he felt the same. His eyes locked on mine.
“Why the strange look? What are you thinking about?” His deep sexy voice fueled my erotic image.
“Nothing.” I was glad that the lighting was subdued so he could not see how flushed I was. The mischievous little boy grin on his face made me smile. I knew that stare. It was his silent way of saying that he wanted me without having to put it in words.
“Yeah. I was thinking about nothing too.”
9. Do you have a favorite scene?
I have a few favorite scenes. One is when Jake, Marco’s estranged best friend, reenters the picture. You really get a feel of the dynamic between Marco, Jake, and Alex.
10. What advice would you give a beginner?
I know it’s been said a thousand times, but I would tell an aspiring author to keep writing. Do not get discouraged. Also, write what you want to write about not only what you feel will be acceptable. If you write about what you are passionate about, it will show in your work. Your readers will love you for it.