The Convenient Wedding: An interview with Susie Warren

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A reluctant socialite is pulled into a scandal and must choose between her families’ reputation and her future happiness.

Lucia Montgomery is from an old and powerful political family in Connecticut and desperately wants to shed her reputation as a superficial socialite. Against her family’s wishes, she seeks a position working for a fiercely contested political campaign and the dark horse in the race, Anderson Adams. She is thrown into the middle of a scandal of her own making when she is tricked into going to his hotel room. Anderson persuades her to play along with a pretend engagement then an actual wedding to save her reputation and his campaign. The media falls in love with the charismatic couple and they must figure out how to reconcile their public image with their private life.

An excerpt from The Convenient Wedding

BookCover_TheConvenientWeddingEven though she had seen many images and video clips of him, Anderson was more impressive in the flesh. His intense presence drew her closer to him, and the rest of the party faded from view. His confidence was not surprising, but his relaxed charm was and it put her at ease.

She nodded. “Lucia Montgomery.”

He met her gaze. “My campaign manager seemed to think you go by Bella.”

Lucia gasped and shook her head. “Bella was a childhood nickname. It’s Lucia these days.”

“Bella suits you.”

“I was hoping I would have an opportunity to speak with you.”

He raised his eyebrows slightly, and she cringed at her forwardness. He didn’t need more adoration. She fiddled with the slim rope belt on her gown and smoothed the fabric down, trying to remember what she wanted to say to him.

His penetrating gaze sent a slow blush over her skin. “Do you have advice for me? It seems everyone in this room has an opinion on how I could win this race.”

Her mind went blank. “I don’t know if winning is possible.”

He looked at her intently. “Would you care to dance?”

Lucia straightened her spine. Why had she said that? Was it because she didn’t want to fall into the category of people wanting something from him? Or had his nearness elicited the truth from her?

He led her to the dance floor and she could feel his hand resting lightly on her lower back. The band was playing a love song and she realized she hadn’t even attempted her pitch for Isabel. She didn’t want to date Anderson Adams. She wanted to spark his curiosity in creating a documentary and tactfully mention her cousin. She had also wanted to appease her grandfather by being seen speaking with the candidate. But she had no intention of seeking a position in his campaign.

He gathered her into his embrace and she could feel her body respond to him. The evening was not going according to plan. She could barely string two words together and now she was dancing with him.

Her body stiffened and he said, “Relax. We can talk about the campaign later.”

She looked up into his eyes. “How did you know I wanted to talk about the campaign?”

He drew her slightly closer as they continued to dance. “There are very few secrets in politics. My campaign manager informed me that your grandfather mentioned that you are seeking a public relations position.”

She shook her head. “No, I’m not interested in working on your campaign, but I have an interesting idea for you.”

“Do you?” His face showed no expression.

She decided to go ahead and pitch her idea. “My cousin is an enormously talented filmmaker and I wondered if you had given any thought to recording your run for congress? Images of you campaigning could be used as a powerful marketing tool if done well.”

He smiled at her. “I agree. Maybe we could get together and discuss it further?”

Lucia nodded and allowed herself to let down her guard slightly and enjoy the dance. Anderson was agile and impressed her with his ability to dance. She stopped worrying about the intimacy of their embrace and let him lead her through a series of intricate moves.

After a second dance and then a third, she was slightly breathless and laughing at her inability to keep up with him. When the song ended, he said to her, “Let’s get a drink.”

She followed him to the bar and he ordered two glasses of Perrier with lime. Lucia cautioned herself not to be too taken with him. He was an expert at luring people in and impressing them. It didn’t hurt that he was a marvelous dancer.

He lifted his glass to her and said, “May that be the first of many dances.”

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An interview with Susie Warren

How long have you been writing romance, and what inspired you to get into this genre?

I’ve been writing romance sporadically and attending writing conferences for ten years or so. I began writing stories in high school but when I went to college at seventeen, I worried that a writing career would be too elusive or risky so I gravitated toward more established career paths. I’ve used my writing ability in other pursuits, technical writing and business administration, and wrote reports, speeches, articles and technical documents until finally I decided to take a leap of faith and begin writing fiction.

I became much more serious two years ago and decided to independently publish in June 2014. I read widely but my favorite genre is romance. I’m drawn to the emotional aspects of why two people fall in love.

What gave you the idea for your latest book?

The Convenient Wedding started with the idea of a candidate needing a wife to seem respectable. He was enormously talented and ambitious but not so interested in the happily ever after. She had the family connections and work background to help him but was somewhat impulsive and had baggage. So how would this couple resolve their differences and trust that their relationship was meant to be?

Who are some of your favorite romance writers or other literary inspirations?

There are so many talented romance writers. I just returned from the RWA National Conference with so many recommendations. I always read the writer who gives a great workshop. I was lucky to get into a chat with Nora Roberts. She is incredibly hard working and I just downloaded her latest novel. I also attended a few indie workshops and was hugely impressed with Bria Quinlan and Rachel Grant so they are next on the list.

Describe your typical writing routine. Where do you usually write? How many words/pages per day? Do you keep set hours? What does your workspace look like?

Working as a CFO in a small independent school takes up most of my day. I write early in the morning or late at night. In the next month or so, I plan to transition to a part-time position so I have more time to write. If I’m “in the zone,” I can write a thousand words an hour.

I live in an 1830s stone house in upstate New York. My home office has an historical feel with refinished plaster walls, built in bookshelves and deep window seats. I much prefer to write in my home office but sometimes, I’ll take a notebook or my laptop and write wherever I happen to be – waiting at the orthodontist, a ballet class or in my car.

Do you have any favorite foods or beverages that help keep your creativity flowing?

I like to start my writing each day with a scalding hot cup of coffee from my French press and almost always wear an old cashmere sweater. Beyond that I don’t take food into my home office because I would mindlessly eat it and not focus on writing.

Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals when starting (or ending) a new book?

I don’t know if it is a superstition but I’ve learned over time not to put a story idea down for too long. I think if I were to lose the thread of a story then it wouldn’t come together. So I try to write each day even if it is only for fifteen minutes.

What do you think makes for a good romance?

I think it is the emotional impact. The reader should be drawn into the story and care about the characters as if they are real people. But it can be tricky because readers have different emotional triggers and interests. For example, the idea of being abandoned may relate or resonate with one reader but not so much for another. As a writer, this is particularly difficult for me. I learned as a child to turn off all emotions so I have to work very hard at discovering or sharing openly emotions. In my office, I have a post it that reminds me to ‘be brave’. I have to remind myself to be emotionally open and share those emotions on the page.

What’s your favorite euphemism for genitalia?

I don’t write erotica but my contemporary romances have sex in them. (My novels are similar to a Harlequin Presents in length and heat level). So I have a tendency to use realistic language and not euphemisms.  I’ve read some erotica where an unusual word took me out of the story. My goal is to have the reader not leave the story or begin to wonder about word choice.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked by a fan? And what was your response?

I’ve been asked if my husband inspires the sex scenes that I write. I’m never sure how to answer this question. I don’t want to share too much about my life or be too quick to say “no, never.” But in general each character is unique and has unique desires and motivations. It is fiction and therefore it is “made up.”

If you were in charge of adapting a scorching summer romance for the big screen, what book would you like to see made into a movie, and who would you pick to star as the male and female leads?

I would be so crazy, happy if any of my novels were ever made into a movie. If The Convenient Wedding was made until a movie, I would cast Scarlett Johansson, an A-list Hollywood actress, and Robert Pattinson, who rose to fame when he landed a leading role as Edward Cullen in film adaptations of the famous Twilight novels.

The movie version wouldn’t be a typical romantic comedy or romcom. The plot is complex and the actors would need to be deeply introspective and expose their own vulnerabilities while dealing with the media. Part of the challenges that the actors would face is how to portray on screen the internal pressure of choosing to do what is expected of you versus what you may want out of life. The basic premise of The Convenient Wedding is a reluctant socialite, Lucia Montgomery, is pulled into a scandal and must choose between her family’s reputation and her future happiness. She is from an old and powerful political family in Connecticut and desperately wants to shed her reputation as an impulsive and emotional young woman.

Lucia, played by Scarlett, has to contend with the spotlight while distancing herself from stories about being previously rejected at the altar. She is trying to establish herself as a public relations powerhouse but has to fight against her family wanting her to stay in a neatly defined role. Scarlett Johansson is not typically cast in purely romantic roles but she has the ability to portray a complex character and the skill to act out the emotional scenes. She also has the ability to go from a “girl next door” look to an ultra-glamorous appearance.

Robert Pattison has the right look for a young architect turned politician and also has the ability to portray complex emotions on screen. His character, Anderson Adams, is a candidate in a contested congressional race, who meets Lucia at a fundraising event and the two enjoy a spontaneous evening out. He is charismatic and down to earth at the same time.

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_TheConvenientWeddingSusie Warren writes contemporary romance. Besides being an avid reader, she spends much of her free time crafting intense and complex stories about falling in love. When she is not writing, Susie works as an administrator in a small, independent school while caring for three teenagers and keeping tabs on her inventor husband. With the launching of her first book, The Forgotten Heiress, she has slowly begun to navigate the social media realm.

Susie loves to hear from readers and responds to each email and Facebook post. Please reach out to her via Facebook or Twitter @susiecwarren.

For more information on her upcoming releases, new excerpts and other related postings, or to sign up for free promotions, please visit SusieWarren.com.

The Rosa Legacy Series

The first novel in The Rosa Legacy series, Ruthless Perfection, started with the idea of a traditional Italian mother who wanted her only daughter happily married. The mother, Carla Rosa Neri, along with her two sisters, Francesca and Marie, had emigrated from Italy as young girls and each went off to create a dynamic and successful family.
Each of the sisters had an only daughter and they made sure the girls spent time together. They attended the same boarding school in the northeast and visited each other’s homes in the summer.

Ruthless Perfection

Carla Rosa married into the Neri family with a long history in the Carrara marble industry. Her daughter, Isabel Neri, being a filmmaker and wanting to honor her grandfather’s legacy, approaches a reclusive billionaire, Marc Santoro, to ask permission to produce a documentary about the life of a quarry worker. Ruthless Perfection is the story of how they fall in love.

The Exiled Jeweler

Francesca Rosa married into the Berceto family with a long history in the jewelry making business. The Second novel in The Rosa Legacy series, The Exiled Jeweler, is about her daughter, Emelia, who went into seclusion after a scandal tore the family apart. Emelia is a talented jewelry designer who lived a sheltered life and was drawn into a passionate encounter with her family’s rival, Alexander Armati at a gala. Outside in the garden, photographs were taken on them and sold to the tabloid press. Her family was shocked and embarrassed and sent Emelia off to Florida. Four years later, she returns when her grandfather has a heart attack and her parents are deciding to sell the family business.

Giveaway

Susie will be awarding $50 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. To enter please use the widget below – and don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! All tour stops can be found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 Responses
  1. Susie Warren says:

    Thanks so much for having me today!

  2. Trix says:

    It’s an informative interview!

  3. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  4. Victoria says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing the excerpt and interview, I enjoyed reading them :)

  5. Betty W says:

    I loved the interview! I really enjoyed learning more about you and your book! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ree Dee says:

    I enjoyed the excerpt and the interview. Thank you.

  7. Karen H says:

    I enjoyed reading your interview