Bella: What is the common thread binding the books in this series?
Susan Meier: Because the brothers were estranged from their father, he had made arrangements for his attorney to become the triplets´ guardian if the brothers didn´t want to parent them. As guardian, the lawyer would not only have control of the children and their share of the profits from the family´s lumber mill, he would also have controlling interest in the business because he would represent the interests of three people, while each of the brothers represented only himself. True to family values instilled in them by their parents, the brothers want to raise the children, but their father´s attorney wants custody, too, and finds an angle in all three books to prove them incompetent, which the brothers must overcome. In some cases, the heroine helps them in their struggle. But in one case, the heroine is actually the problem. It´s a very interesting series. Something just a little different from what readers might expect from Romance.
Bella: What do you read for fun--ie, when you´re not working?
Susan: I go from one extreme to the other. I love short romance novels, like Desires and Romances, something I can grab and read in one or two sittings. But I frequently get in the mood to read something longer and more involved and reach for authors like Jennifer Crusie, Susan Anderson and Barbara Freethy. I love subplots and I also think subplots and secondary characters with a point of view give texture or layering to the plot it wouldn´t have otherwise.
Bella: What´s on the schedule after this series?
Susan: Two stand alone books about blue-collar women. One of the women is actually a supervisor in a manufacturing plant, who can be tough and authoritative at work and soft and mothering at home with her children...not to mention feminine and sexy with the hero. I think she is the woman all of us were meant to be. The hero, who owns controlling interest in the stock of the corporation which owns her plant, though she doesn´t know that, actually fits better into her world than his own, and the story ends up being something like reverse Cinderella. The next book revolves around how a spunky beautician tries to rope an enterpreneur into investing in her flood-ravaged West Virginia town, then ruins all her plans when she falls in love with him and scares him out of town. Both stories are fun and full of energy.
Bella: This is a terrible question to ask another writer, but where do you get your story ideas?
Susan: Absolutely everywhere. One of my sisters gave me a thread of a plot recently because of a dream she had. I have dreamed ideas. I have had flashes of brilliance while peeling potatoes. The trick is conflict. If you can envision a real reason why an attracted man and woman wouldn´t pursue that attraction and marry, you can easily build a story around it.
Come back next week for the final part of our chat with Susan.