Monday, 17 January 2011

Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Susanne Marie Knight

STEPH: I don't know much about The Ill-gotten Insurance. What's it about?

SUSANNE: The Ill-gotten Insurance is Book 2 in the Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series, which features our gal, Minx, a fitness instructor who has a knack for solving puzzles--puzzles concerning dead bodies. Her counterpart, Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris, wants to be her love interest. In Book 2, he *may* be getting closer to his goal! Here’s the book blurb:

An odd string of coincidences leads Minx Tobin to an old friend, Bill Gutierrez. Only Bill died five years ago. Before Minx has a chance to question the man, he turns up dead... again, with a slip of paper in his pocket with her name on it. Whether she likes it or not, Minx is involved in another murder. Will the Case of the Ill-gotten Insurance turn out to be deadly for her as well?

Los Angeles Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris regrets that the fitness trainer who piqued his interest is a murder suspect once again. But at least he has a legitimate reason to see Minx. Maybe he can even convince her to go out with him. And maybe he can prevent L.A.'s newest murderer from adding Minx to his... or her fatality list.

STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the story?

SUSANNE: I like to plot a story on the basis of the title. Beginning this series is The Bloodstained Bistro. Naturally, the location figured prominently in the book. For The Ill-gotten Insurance, there is an artist who already “died” once before. Next up for Minx are: The Duplicitous Divorce, The Virtual Valentine, and The Yuletide Yorkshire.

STEPH: What attracts to writing Romantic Suspense?

SUSANNE: I love to figure out mysteries along with developing a romance. Seeing how the couple react to each other, along with how the romance progresses... or not keeps me glued to the computer chair. :))

STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

SUSANNE: I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of writer, which means I don’t have the action plotted out for my book. This is probably not the best way to write, but it works for me. I use the “what if” scenario to figure out where I'm going, then I choose my characters and let them decide what will happen next. I enjoy writing this way because I rarely know how my characters are going to solve their problems! After I’m finished with the book, then I do the synopsis.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write The Ill-gotten Insurance?

SUSANNE: In 2009, I must’ve been on a writing roll. I started and finished The Ill-gotten Insurance in only two months. Wow. This past year’s been different, however. My hope is that 2011 allows me more time to write.

STEPH: Do you cast the characters? If so, who are the leads?

SUSANNE: For this series, I didn’t use actors as inspiration. Thinking back on it now though, I’d say Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris has a little of James Bond’s Daniel Craig in him. :))

STEPH: Can you tell us a little about the state you live in?

SUSANNE: I’ve lived in Washington for many years now. It’s such a large state that I’ve only explored a tiny bit. Next summer, I’m hoping to visit Mount St. Helens... as long as it doesn’t decide to erupt again first!

STEPH: What was the last book you read?

SUSANNE: I came across a book I’d read MANY years ago, and decided to read it again. Way Station by Clifford D. Simak is a science fiction story about a U.S. Civil War soldier who is chosen by aliens to be a gatekeeper on Earth, without anyone else on Earth knowing about his activities. It’s thought provoking and an excellent example of Simak’s fine storytelling.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

SUSANNE: Yes, I do! I love ebook readers. My main one is a Sony, and it sorts my book inventory by title, by author, and by date loaded onto the reader. I also have an eBookwise reader and the Rocket reader. Each reader has its own advantages.

STEPH: Renoir, Monet, or Picasso?

SUSANNE: Definitely not Picasso! Choosing between Renoir and Monet, I’ll pick Monet. Monet was an impressionist painter, specializing in landscapes. I find I’m drawn to the scenic outdoors. Renoir, also an impressionist, was known for his portraits.

Thank you, Stephanie, for this interview!


  1. Good morning all. Hope you are enjoying a fine Martin Luther King Day. And thanks again, Steph. :)) Here's an update to the eBook reader info. I *just* ordered a Kindle and can't wait until it arrives. One whole month of battery power? WOW!

  2. Susanne, a kindle! Awesome. I love the text to speech feature on mine and it can even do audio books.

    Moderator Steph

  3. Steph, that IS awesome! I've a huge library (different formats) to load onto the kindle and am excited to get started! Very cool that it does audio, too. :))