Thursday, June 11, 2009

Enchanting Interview: Susan McBride

Interview with SUSAN McBRIDE, author of LOVE, LIES AND TEXAS DIPS

1. What do you like best about writing a series?

Probably being so familiar with the characters and getting to know them better with each book. It's like meeting friends and spending time with them, finding out more quirks and secrets. I also like building on the relationships and developing the drama and tension. Seems like you can never have enough drama these days!

2. Can you describe 'Love, Lies and Texas Dips' in three words?

Juicy, complicated, unexpected.

3. Who is your favorite character to write?

I love writing about all of them, because each girl is unique with her own quirks and issues. I love that Ginger is embracing her artistic side and is so passionate about the environment. She's from a long line of matriarchal Southern women, but she isn't about to tow anyone's party line. Mac has a soft spot in my heart because she lost her mother during high school, probably one of the times a girl needs her mom most. She tries to be so independent and strong, but she's going to have to learn to reach out and let others help her. Jo Lynn is another story entirely! There's something about developing a character who's outwardly so evil and trying to explore what makes her tick. She's more complex than she seems. Laura is a lot of fun, too. She's so uninhibited and willing to go for it (in terms of emotions and relationships). I think it takes a lot of guts to be so unguarded and risk making so many mistakes. I'm a lot more cautious in my life, so I actually admire that about her.

4. How much fun is it to write a character like Jo-Lynn?

It's a blast. Although it's kind of hard making her come off as three-dimensional when she's so intent on destroying Laura. Her perfectly ordered world definitely takes a hit in GLOVES OFF, the third in the series. In fact, a lot of secrets will unfold in that book.

5. Did any of the characters surprise you while you were writing 'Love, Lies and Texas Dips'?

Probably the boys more than the girls. I started out picturing Dillon, the quarterback and Jo Lynn's boyfriend, as this golden boy who has an easy life. Then I realized that's not who he is at all. He's got so many things inside him that don't fit the mold, and he's having a hard time pretending to be perfect when he's not. He's kind of a quietly ticking time bomb. Also, Avery has more to him than it appears. Believe it or not, he truly cares for Laura, but he's connected to Jo Lynn in a way that no one understands. It's a tricky issue for him, because he feels guilty and indebted to Jo and she uses that. I actually thought maybe someday I'd write a book from the guys' point of view, but I'm not sure that's ever going to happen!

6. What was your favorite scene in the book?

The scene with Mac and Alex in his childhood tree-house when she realizes that their friendship has changed, and it's never going to be the same again. I truly felt her pain!

7. You start off each chapter with a quote, one from a celebrity and one from one of the characters. How do pick which quotes to use?

I have loads of books with great quotes, like WOMEN'S WICKED WIT, WITTY WORDS FROM WISE WOMEN, and SECRET LIVES OF GREAT AUTHORS. I try to hunt down real quotes that relate somehow to what's in that particular chapter. Then I kind of loosely interpret that quote from the mind-set of whichever character's narrating the chapter. For the first chapter of LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS, I have a Mae West quote: "Don't let a man put anything over you but an umbrella." Right after that is Jo Lynn's version: "No one jerks me around and gets away with it." It's very fun working those out! Sometimes I change them as I go along until I feel like they really fit.
8. What would readers be surprised to know about you?

Hmm, that I love vegetables now but hated them for most of my life; that I married a computer software engineer who doesn't read much fiction except for my books; and that I'm a big-time animal lover and envision someday having a house with a barn that Ed and I can convert to a comfy spot for keeping lots of rescued fur-kids!
9. What can we look forward to in the next book?

I'm just about to correct the page proofs of GLOVES OFF now, which will really refresh my brain about that one. It's kind of weird to be writing a completely different kind of novel (THE COUGAR CLUB) between LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS coming out and going through all kinds of drafts of GLOVES OFF. Let's see, Mac tries to forget Alex and see other guys, Ginger falls harder for Kent only to find out a deeper and darker secret from his past, Laura might very well have found the key to toppling Jo Lynn, and, well, Jo Lynn realizes she can't control everyone forever. Fun, fun, fun! ;-)

Interview By Lisa
June 2009

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