SUSAN STOKER: MY NEW SERIES TEXAS HEROES IS STARTING IN AUGUST
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Susan Stoker is a Texan author specialized in SEAL romance stories. She has firsthand experience being married to an army veteran. Both of her series SEAL of Protection and Beyond Reality are well respected by the readers with very high Amazon rating and grateful reviews.
In our next interview we will receive valuable info about the future plans of Susan Stoker and something more about her person.
– Susan, SEAL of Protection series continues with the next two episodes – Protecting Summer and Marrying Caroline. What the readers may expect from your new novels?
– Marrying Caroline is a novella that includes the people from the first three books. It’s about Caroline and Wolf’s engagement and wedding (the couple from the first book in the series). Because they were first, I wanted to show their wedding because a lot of people are emotionally involved with them…and they are featured in every book in the series. Protecting Summer continues with the men on the SEAL team and introduces Mozart.
As far as what to expect…more hunky SEAL goodness and strong women that get into hairy situations and need help getting out of them.
– How did you decide to write the story of SEAL of Protection series?
– I’ve always had a “thing” for the damsel in distress stories. Mr. Stoker is retired from the Army and there’s just something about a man in uniform. What better group of heroes to highlight than Navy SEALs?
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– My personal challenge was keeping everyone straight. Lol. Who was married, who is engaged, the little details. It’s not hard in the first book, but by the time the seventh book in the series came about, there were not only the two main characters to write about, but the last twelve from the previous books as well. It’s a balance…to introduce the new people and tell their story, while giving readers a glimpse into what the previous characters are doing.
– Tell us something more about your main characters? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– Not really. They are sort of a mix between what I think we’d all like to see in the people in our lives, and what I’d like to think I’d be like if I was in that situation. I wanted to make them “real” people. Complete with flaws and not model gorgeous looks.
– How much time you need to finish a novel and to publish it?
– Every writer writes differently. Some have to write a little bit every day, others have to plot their entire story out before they can start. That is really not me! I currently work full time and have to “fit” writing in when I can…which is usually on the weekends. Once I start a story I feel a need to get it done. I can actually write the first draft of a story in a long weekend…now that’s writing 10 hours a day…but I can get it done. Then I put it aside for a while and let it all sink in. Then my betas get it, then I re-read it about a million times, THEN it gets sent to my editor. That being said, I’m about six books “ahead” right now. I don’t think I could put a book out there, and not have the next one already done. That would be way too stressful for me.
So to answer your question, (sorry, I tend to ramble, ha!)…it depends. 🙂
– Beyond Reality series is another great piece of writing by you. The romance stories are praised by readers. Is it easy to write two different series at once?
– Again, everyone is different, but for me, I like to finish one series before I start another. Otherwise it’s hard for me to keep everyone straight. I had completed the Beyond Reality series before starting on the SEALs. But that’s not to say in the future I won’t want to branch out and try my hand at writing paranormals or other kinds of writing…and I might need to mix it up so I don’t get bogged down in one genre.
– Who are you?
– I honestly think I’m just like everyone else. I’m normal. If you saw me in a crowd, you’d never know I was a writer. I got good grades in school, have worked my entire life, and am just trying to find my way through this crazy world, with my sanity intact, just like everyone else.
– What are your writing habits?
– As I eluded to earlier…I write in “chunks”. I have to write as much as possible at a time. I can’t write 1000 words and call it good. I usually write on the weekend…no shower…wearing my PJs. I write a bit, surf the internet, let the dogs out, write some more, take a break and check out facebook, help my husband with something, write again, eat a snack, write some more…you get the picture.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your books?
– OMG yes. I never thought I’d be as successful as I have been. It’s amazing and humbling at the same time. I’ve been a reader my entire life, my ereader is FULL of books…I’m embarrassed to say how many. So to be there, to be an author that people can’t wait to read, is amazing.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– Anything I can. Marketing is such a hard thing. You never know what will “work” and what won’t. I try to be friendly to readers that find me on social media, I advertise where I can, I go to book signings when I can…basically anything that can get me noticed. Someone can have the best book ever…but if readers can’t find that book, it won’t sell.
– As a specialist in describing SEAL relations, your opinion on Taya Kyle character in book/movie American Sniper?
– Being a military spouse is tough. Many times the military member can’t tell their spouse anything about their missions. There are long periods of time when they have to be separated from their loved one. Many times the spouse ends up raising kids almost single handedly.
Mr. Stoker was in the Army for 22 years and we were married for eight of those years. We spent four years living apart. He was a drill sergeant and gone early in the morning not to return home until well after dinner. He spent 2 years in Korea, and then wasn’t sent back to the same state I was living in when he was done.
I really tried to put some of this into my SEAL stories. SEAL spouses have to be extra tough because they know their loved one is in a dangerous situation every time they are sent on a mission and they also know they can never know what exactly, and where, their loved one has been.
I have the utmost respect and sympathy for Taya Kyle. Chris lived through his dangerous missions only to be murdered on his home soil. All military spouses, male and female, have my upmost respect and gratitude for what they go through.
– Protecting Cheyenne, part 5 of Seal of Protection series, is scheduled to be released for May. Give us some hints about the novel?
– Dude is the explosives expert on the team and he gets called to a bomb threat at a grocery store. He finds a scared, but tough, woman who has had a bomb strapped to her chest. They get to know each other and find (surprise! Ha!) that they like each other. Dude is more…intense…than the other SEALs. He likes what he likes in and out of the bedroom.
And of course, I have to torture my female lead character, she gets in trouble and Dude and the team have to use their skills to save her.
– You are traditionally and self-published author. Would you share your personal experience on the benefits of both ways of releasing books?
– Being traditionally published with small publishing houses is a great way for authors to get started. They walk you through the process and create your cover, edit your book, format it for online, and generally answer questions that you might have in the process.
When you are self-published, you have to do all of that yourself. It can be more expensive on the front end to pay an editor and graphic designer and to figure out or pay for formatting.
But the bottom line is, no matter which way someone chooses to go…it’s so exciting to see your book “out there”…and to see people purchasing and enjoying the stories you’ve created.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– What can we expect in the future from Susan Stoker? I’m so glad you asked! (hee hee).
The SEAL series will end after book 7 in September. (Although I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a follow up book to come out around December to re-visit everyone and see where their lives are two or three years down the line).
But the GOOD news is that my new series: Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes is starting in August! There will be 7 books in this series, all focusing on law enforcement personnel in San Antonio, Texas. You will meet a Texas Ranger, Game Warden, Medical Examiner, SAPD officer, FBI agent, Sheriff Deputy and Highway Patrolman.
And after THAT? The Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes continues with a series about firefighters in San Antonio.
I’m very excited to keep writing about strong men and women and to keep torturing my main characters. But throughout it all…they will always find their happily ever afters.
Take a look at her books:
SEAL of Protection series
Protecting Caroline: SEAL of Protection, Book 1
Protecting Alabama (SEAL of Protection) (Volume 2)
Protecting Fiona (SEAL of Protection) (Volume 3)
Protecting Summer (SEAL of Protection) (Volume 4)
Marrying Caroline (SEAL of Protection)
Protecting Cheyenne (SEAL of Protection Book 5)