I’m delighted to welcome my fellow Wild Rose Press author, Susan Macatee, here today for an interview and a new peek at her new time travel romance, Thoroughly Modern Amanda.
Congratulations on the new release! Tell us a little about Thoroughly Modern Amanda.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Babette! Thoroughly Modern Amanda is a sequel to my 2009 time travel romance, Erin’s Rebel. Although the first book was set during the American Civil War, my new book is set in 1880 in a small Pennsylvania town. Amanda Montgomery was a child in Erin’s Rebel, the daughter of the widowed hero. The hero is from our time, in love with a Victorian home that he’d hoped to restore, but is now set to be demolished. He finds the heroine’s tintype photo in the house and starts to dream of her before being hit with a rotted beam and ending up in the past where he meets her in person in the very same house now under construction.
Blurb: Believing anything is possible, magazine reporter Amanda Montgomery dreams about being a modern woman in a nineteenth century world, much like her exceptional step-mother. But society expects well-off young ladies to focus on finding a suitable husband and raising a family. And then Jack appears—with no past and unconventional ideas. Does he hold the key to another century as well as her heart, or is she destined to stay in her own time?
Construction worker Jack Lawton wants to preserve an old home that’s scheduled for demolition. But when he sneaks inside for a final look, a loose beam falls on his head, and upon waking, he finds himself in the arms of a beautiful woman. His only problem—he’s no longer in the twenty-first century. Can he find his way back home? Does he really want to?
What inspired this story?
I love time travel romances and, since I already had one out, I wanted to revisit those characters with a brand new story.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
My WIP is an historical romance, set just after the Civil War in a small Pennsylvania town. The hero was a surgeon in the Union Army, the heroine an Irish immigrant being pursued by a villain who’d sold her to a brothel, but she escaped before the Madame paid him his commission. The hero in this story is based on a character from my 2009 Civil War romance, Confederate Rose.
I’ve had four book releases this year and this is the last for 2012. I don’t have anything coming out next year.
What are your writing goals for this year?
I plan to revise and edit my WIP before submitting to my editor. Then I want to start plotting out a contemporary story. I’m thinking romantic suspense.
How do you come up with ideas?
Most of my stories are Civil War or post Civil War settings. I spent ten years as a civilian reenactor with a Civil War reenacting regiment. I’m fascinated by this period in United States history and am always researching the true stories of those who lived in the period.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
My favorite part is coming up with the initial idea and working on the characters until they come to life.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
After the initial idea, it’s always the characters. I pick out names for them and list their physical characteristics, then work on their psychological profiles, then their backstories.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I get to call my daydreams work. Lol
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
I learned that I needed to plot out the story in its entirety, before I wrote the first draft. My first book was submitted way too early before it was fully formed and I had to spend months revising it, several times, before it was ready for submission. All the books I’ve written since are fully plotted out before I start that first draft.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Afternoons work best for me. Mornings are just too hectic with chores, outings with the dog and my workouts. If I get the physical stuff out of the way early, it’s easier to clear my mind for my writing session.
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
Erin Branigan, from Erin’s Rebel, is my favorite heroine. I think it’s because her experiences as a modern-day woman trapped in the past in a Confederate Army camp, are partly based on my experiences as a reenactor.
What do you like to read?
Time travel romances and historical. I also enjoy romantic suspense and science fiction.
These are few of my favorite things:
Her footsteps sounded hollow on the unfinished wood floor as she paced. He lifted his gaze to study her. Her skirts nearly touched the freshly sanded floor as she braced her hands on either side of her hips. Her brow furrowed, lips twisted into an expression of anxiety.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
She turned and faced him. “Sorry?”
“For putting you to all this trouble.” He realized he didn’t even know his rescuer’s name. “I’m Jack Lawton, by the way and you are…?”
She pursed her full lips. “Miss Montgomery.”
“You don’t have a first name?” he asked.
“Sir, we are strangers to one another.” Her face reddened.
“But I gave you my first name.” He spread his hands.
She propped her hands on her hips. “My father would have a conniption fit if I gave my Christian name to a strange man. On the other hand, my step-mother…” Her lips curved into the hint of a smile. “…always introduces herself by her first name to the consternation of my father.” She lifted her chin as if appraising Jack. “I’m Amanda.”
Jack smiled but winced as a shot of pain sliced through his skull. “Amanda Montgomery. I’ll be sure to remember that name.” He lifted his hand. “Now, if you could assist me to the front door.”
She stretched her arm down toward him, and he used the wall to hoist himself so he wouldn’t put all his weight on her.
A brief wave of dizziness halted his progress, but he steadied himself. “Lead on.”
By the time they reached the door, he realized how eerily familiar this house looked. Almost as if the house he’d been in had traveled back in time. Could the new owner have changed his mind and decided to rebuild the place?
Amanda threw open the door.
Jack’s mouth gaped. Not only was his car gone, but the entire block was transformed. What had been a paved walk and blacktop street was now packed dirt.
Heat rose to his cheeks. “Where’s my car? Did they tow it away to tear up the street?” He couldn’t have been unconscious long enough.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Amanda’s gaze scanned the road.
Jack froze in the doorway, not sure what to do. This was insane. He had no car, no cell phone or ID. If he made it to his house, would it even be there? For one chilling moment, he wasn’t sure.
Amanda glanced at him, then back at the road, not saying anything for a long moment. “Mr. Lawton, if you’re able to walk a short distance, I’ll take you to my home. My step-mother may know how to help you.”
Bio: Susan Macatee writes American Civil War and American-Victorian romance, some with a paranormal twist. From time travels to vampire tales, her stories are always full of love and adventure.
She’s spent many years as a Civil War civilian reenactor with the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. She’s a wife, mother of three grown sons, and has recently become a grandmother. She spends her free time watching favorite old movies, and inhaling books.
You can find Susan at:
Buy link for Thoroughly Modern Amanda http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5074