Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Guest Blogger: Susan Sizemore

Welcome Susan Sizemore to the convertible today! This writing powerhouse has been scribbling tales all her life. Her first professional sale was in 1990. She's published 32 novels, quite a few short stories and novellas that have appeared in romance and fantasy anthologies.
[Update: I forgot to post earlier that Susan is giving away a copy of one of her Primes books and one from the Laws of the Blood. We'll draw two winners from the comments tomorrow morning and post the winners' names. So check back!]

We posed a few questions, and here are the results:

What genres do you write in?
SS: You name it, I’ve done it. I’ve written a bunch of time travel romances, eight historical romances, a couple of romantic suspense, a lot of vampire novels, one vampire series I write is romance, a second is urban fantasy. There’s two epic fantasies written in collaboration with Marguerite Krause. There’s a science fiction novel I wrote that I hope to someday turn into an entire series but I haven’t had time to do more in that universe. One media tie-in based on the tv series Forever Knight. I obviously don’t have the attention span to stick to any one genre. I read in many genres, therefore I write in many genres.

What genre is the LAWS OF THE BLOOD series?
SS: The Laws of the Blood fall under the sub-genre of urban fantasy – or you might want to call them dark fantasy, or modern fantasy. Definitely fantasy, not horror, even though vampires are the protagonists.

There are five books in LOTB, with a novella due out (when?).

SS:There will be a novella, called “Cave Canem” (although the editor likes the title “Must Love Hellhounds”) to be published in a future fantasy anthology, but so far I have no information about when it will be published, or what other authors have stories in the book.

Tell us about the vampire romance series?
SS: This romance series is called The Vampire Primes. The sixth book, PRIMAL DESIRES will be released in August. And there will be a Primes story in the MOON FEVER anthology out in September. I’m currently working on the seventh book in the series.

What are the differences between the two series?
SS: In each universe the vampire rules, history, culture and goals are very different. Magic plays an important role in the Laws universe. Science plays an important role in the Primes universe. The vampires in the Laws books are physically helpless during the day. The Primes use modern medicine to allow them to live in the daylight. The Laws vampires are created through magic, the Primes are born. The Laws vampires are immortal, the Primes are long-lived but die of old age after a few hundred years. The Laws vampires are compelled by a curse to create more vampires, Prime vampires cannot turn ordinary mortals into vampires. The Primes vampires are allergic to garlic, silver, hawthorn wood and other traditional vampire deterrents – however they can counteract these allergies with drugs. None of this garlic, silver, wood or crosses stuff bothers the Laws vampires. Both types of vampires are fast, strong and very psychic. Both types have romantic relationships with mortals. The Laws universe is ruled by a mysterious Council. The books’ protagonists are vampire cops, enforcers of the Laws of the Blood and they go around saving the world, protecting vampires from humans, and keeping the other vampires in line. The Primes vampires are ruled by matriarchs of their Clans and Families, and the patriarchs of the Tribes. The Clan Primes work to protect humans. The Families try to get by in the modern world undetected by humans. And the Tribes are the bad guys, inimical to humans and other vampires. The Laws books have more fantasy elements, the Primes books have more romantic elements, though I blend both genres in both series.

Are the worlds different?
SS: The Primes series feature handsome, sexy, alpha vampire males falling passionately in love with kick-ass mortal females. The romance and relationship between the Prime and the woman who is his bondmate are at the center of the story. The Laws of the Blood books all have romances, but each book is about resolving a crisis that threatens humans and vampires alike. They are both action adventure series, but the Laws are darker and grittier than the Primes books.

I keep copious notes on both universes, and I just know the differences when working in either universe.

Do you ever see the worlds overlapping and having the characters from either series meet?
SS: Oh no, never.

Why vampires? And what about vampires appeals to you?
SS:You know, I’ve always just had this thing for vampires. I read Dracula at thirteen, then Dark Shadows came along when I was in high school – the love of vampires caught me early. Notions of writing my own vampires started with the Dracula pastiches of Fred Saberhagen, then the idea of romantic vampires was put into my head by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Anne Rice. Then the notion of vampire as action hero was planted by P.N. Elrod and Tanya Huff, and Forever Knight. I’m obviously not the only one who loves to read and write about vampires – look at the wonderful wealth of vampire stories that are available in bookstores these days. I’m in heaven as a reader, and I get to be a part of it as a writer.

Thanks for crusing with us, Susan!

So, do you have any questions for Susan? What are your paranormal reading tastes? Vampires? Werewolves? Something completely different?


flip said...

Love the new covers of the Laws books. I was tempted to buy one even though I own the entire series.

I have enjoyed paranormal, time travel, and fantasy romances long before they became popular. I don't have a favorite genre of paranormal. It is really about the story. If it is a great story, I want to read it. If it is not a good story, I don't want to read. It doesn't matter the genre.

My Own True Love is one of my personal favorites. What are the chances of a reprint and a sequel???????

Anonymous said...


I CANNOT tell you how excited I am to know that you are revisting The Laws of the Blood! Some of my favorite vamps live in that world--

And I have the release date for your next Prime book circled on my calendar--

Alexis Morgan

Debra Dixon said...


I'm thrilled you're riding with us today! Love the book covers.

I didn't realize you'd done a media tie-in book for Forever Knight. How did you like the experience of playing in someone else's universe?

Susan Sizemore said...

Ah, MY OWN TRUE LOVE, that was a fun one to write! I've always thought that the magic ring's voice sounded like Denis Leary. Some of my older books have been reissued by in both ebook and paperback, but I haven't submitted that one to them...yet. However, as far as sequels...well, if you've read my historical romance CAPTURED INNOCENCE you will see that the princess heroine is from the country I made up for MOTL, and the ring and brooch do put in an appearance.


Karin Shah said...

I'm a big fan! Wings of the Storm is one of my favorite books. I think I've read most of your romances. Can't wait for the next one in the Prime series.

Jane Kaufenberg said...

All vampires, all the time! Although I'm mighty fond of the werewolves you've added to the PRIMES universe, must be the doglover in me.

Anonymous said...

I love The Laws of the Blood universe. I'm glad there will be a new novella coming out. I do hope we see more in that universe some time in the future!

Marilyn Pulley

Helen Brenna said...

Susan, thanks for joining us in the old convertible! Fun to have you here.

I don't read much paranormal, but let's just say your creativity amazing and astounds me! I'm not sure I could ever write in different genres!

Anonymous said...

Well, you KNOW how I love the Laws books, and Wings. How about that Alternate Alex story, now...

Anonymous said...

Oooh, great cover for Primal Desires! Having read both vampire series I was definitely aware of the differences between the worlds, but it was fun to see them all laid out so neatly in your discussion. Good luck with all the upcoming projects!

denise little said...

Love the new covers of the Blood books!

I know that you read voraciously. What sorts of books, fiction and/or nonfiction, have shaped your writing, both in the beginning and now?


Marguerite said...

I'm another person who enjoys the various were-people in the Primes universe. I know that it's a vampire series, so I guess we'll never see a were-person at the center of a story.... but I hope they continue to appear as interesting supporting characters.

I also love your neat summary of the differences between the Laws and the Primes universes -- but then, I expect you'd have to be able to keep them straight in your own mind in order to write coherently in both worlds. The complex and evolving society of the Laws books fascinates me, and it would be great if you some day have an opportunity to write more novels in that series, to give us further adventures of the Enforcers, the various mortal "hangers-on" to vampire society, and so on.

Thanks for many hours of satisfying reading, and I look forward to enjoying many, many more!

Virginia Lady said...

I love your writing, thanks for stopping by and giving us all these details! Have you had trouble getting anything published when it wasn't in the genre you started in? How did you broach the idea of publishing in a new genre?

Christie Ridgway said...

Thanks, Susan, for joining us today. I love listening to paranormal authors talk about what inspired them and how they do their worldbuilding.

Susan Sizemore said...

Thanks for all the comments. To answer some questions -- Deb, I wrote a long answer to your FK question earlier, but the post didn't post. Let's just say it was "Interesting" writing in someone else's universe, especially just as the show was being cancelled and the creator decided to kill off all the characters. The "vampire in a bowling shirt" cover did not help that book, but I loved writing it.

Yes, Terri, we need to get back to work on our alternate history Alexander the Great fantasy. You will have an email from me on this.

Alexis, why didn't your book arrive in the package I got from Amazon on Monday? I thought it was out -- I want it!

Denise, I think the most influential writer for me is Mary Stewart. Not only do I love her mysteries and her Merlin books, nobody could set a scene and do descriptions like she could. Over the year's I've been to the Isle of Skye and Carmarthen, Wales because she set books there. And this fall I'm going to Corfu, where This Rough Magic is set. Oh, and Frank Herbert's Dune may be my second favorite book of all time. I can't stand the rest of the Dune series, but that one still blows me away.

Is it hard to change genres? Yes and no. No, in that I have no problem writing in different genres -- story is story is story and any story can be told in multitude of ways. Yes because publishing is a business -- and I shall diplomatically say no more on that.


tetewa said...

With the paranormal being my favorite genre, looks like I will have to add both vampire series to my TBR pile. Enjoyed the interview today, I'm always looking for new authors to read!

lois greiman said...

Sizemore!! I forgot you were going to be with us today. Greetings.

Just for everyone's edification, Sizemore and I and Jane started a critique together a million years before any of us were published. You've made us proud, SS.

Anna And Sean said...

I was so bummed that I missed the "ride" today...didn't check the emails until late afternoon.It was great to read the comments from Susan Sizemore and I loved the new Prime cover. I'm sure my husband will groan at the next new additions to the book shelves. He thinks I have too many favorites, as if that's even possible.

Marj said...

Had to wait until I got home to add my 2 cents-work monitors us now-ah the joys of working for a big company! One of the challenges I face-as a 'still trying to get an agent and get published' writer is that there are so many good vampire cultures out there. I don't want to encroach or clone but it's hard when you like some of them so much that you just naturally revert to them. Which is a compliment by the way! You've created 2 totally different yet completely workable societies. If there are vampires around they should maybe take notes!

And believe it or not this is my first blog!

Kaitlin said...

I have a question! :) How did you really go about creating these worlds & how do you keep everything straight?

I'm working on a series (unpublished author at this point) and I'm finding it kind of difficult to keep everything together & cohesive. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you!

PS. Now I've got to go look for these books. More books to read! Yay! :D

Kaitlin said...

Oh! Also, are these in ebook or print form? I can't do ebook (which sucks).

As for what I like to read...I'm actually pretty open. One of my favorite series is Kim Harrison's Hollows series. Witches, vamps, fairies, pixies, etc. etc. :) Gotta love variety! :)

anne frasier said...

Hi, Susan!
I'm late to the party, but I wanted to say it was great meeting you at the signing last Saturday. I can't wait to read Laws of the Blood!

JenH said...

Dang! Didn't find out about this till now :( I've read both LOTB and Primes. I must say Primes are my favorite. Can't wait for Primal Desires to come out. I read a lot of paranormal authors, use to only read historical romance until I found such fantastic stories with vampires, were, you name it!

Sue A. said...

This was a great interview and I'm seriously pumped up to go looking for your books. Especially after reading some of the comments of your loyal followers.

Pam said...

Hi Susan, I've got most of your books and waiting for the next Prime book, too. Interesting discussion on the differences between your vamps.

I'm a fan of them all, your vamps, historicals and time travels.

Betina Krahn said...

Susan! I was out all day yesterday and didn't get back to the blog-- I hope you had a wonderful time! From the looks of things, it was quite a party!

I'm more and more fascinated by paranormal books. . . interesting that eight or ten years ago, they were proclaimed "dead" by a number of publishers. Now they're all the rage! And we eat 'em up! Just goes to show how "expert" the publishing world is on the market!

Sus-- come back and see us again. Or come for a Happy Hour sometime!