Monday, November 21, 2011

Susan Fleet's Diva

My special guest today is Susan Fleet, author of  Diva Desire.
Welcome to the blog, Susan.

                   It's great to be here, Susan.

Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.

In my former life I worked as a professional trumpeter in the Boston area playing a wild assortment of gigs ranging from the Ringling Brothers Circus to operas, symphonies and solo recitals. While teaching music at Brown University and Berklee College of Music, I took a scriptwriting course that turned me on to writing fiction, and my dark side. In 1990, unbeknownst to my colleagues, I began killing people. Fictionally, of course.
How many books have you written?

Between 1990 and 2000 I wrote five thrillers. I threw three of them away because they weren't ready for prime time, but it wasn't a waste of time. That's how I learned to write a novel. In 2001 I moved to New Orleans. That's the setting for my first published novel, Absolution, which I'm happy to say the Premier Book Awards named Best Mystery-Suspense-Thriller of 2009. My latest novel, Diva, was published in June 2011.

What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?

My favorite experience is getting feedback from readers. I've only done one book club event (for Absolution) but it was fabulous and I'd love to do more. I also do library talks. I did one recently in Brunswick, Maine, and the people had some fantastic comments and questions. Many readers also email me through my website:
Tell us about your latest release.

Diva is a fast-paced thriller set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Many reviewers have commented on the way I meld the elegant world of classical music with the dark world of drug dealers. Beautiful, talented and ambitious, flute soloist Belinda Scully wants to be a star. But fame can be dangerous. A psychotic man is stalking her. Chantelle, a homeless teenager, is desperate to escape a menacing drug lord. NOPD detective Frank Renzi tries to save them both. Diva is available in print, Kindle and Nook formats.
What are some of the problems you faced while plotting a series with ongoing characters?

My biggest problem is hinting at events in previous books without revealing the outcome. But I love writing a series. Now that I've done two books with my protagonist, NOPD detective Frank Renzi, he feels very real to me. He's driven by a desire to get criminals off the street, but he has a dark past. After being a detective for the Boston Police Department for many years, he moved to New Orleans, partly because of a devastating work-related incident, partly because of a messy divorce. But he's still close to his daughter, who is now in college, and several other characters also make repeat appearances in the series.

How do you choose your setting?

After I moved to New Orleans, I decided to set my novels there. It's an exotic city with great music, which I use in my novels, but also with some racial tensions, which figure in both my books. I set some of my Diva scenes in London at the Royal Festival Hall, which was fun because I've been there. I also show the devastating impact Katrina had on New Orleans, its residents and the police department.

Can you tell us about current or future projects?

The rough draft of my next novel is done and should be out sometime in 2012. It involves two murders twenty years apart that take place in New Orleans. Frank has to solve the earlier murder in order to solve the current one. He also makes a brief visit to Boston because of a murder related to the New Orleans case. And the killer might be a woman!

Sounds intriguing. Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Please visit my website:  Individual pages for my books feature video trailers, and free sample chapters and book club questions to download.



And let me take a moment to offer my thanks to you, Susan, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog!

My pleasure, Susan!


Jonathan Wilhoit said...

Great interview! Please tell Susan that her books sound very interesting. My to-read shelf is pretty well stocked right now, but I might have to look into some of her work when I get a little more space. Thanks for posting this!

Susan Fleet said...

Hi Jonathan, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's a busy time of year, but sometime in the dead of winter, when it's cold and there's snow on the ground, pick up a copy of Absolution or Diva and visit hot steamy New Orleans!

JD Webb said...

rethrogiI love New Orleans and will check out your books, Susan. My wife often tells acquaintances that I go up to my room and kill people.
Much luck with Diva.

Susan Fleet said...

Thanks, JD. I don't live in NO anymore, but I do visit the city often.