Romance By Catherine: Guest Blogging with Susannah Sandlin

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Blogging with Susannah Sandlin

Today I have with us, Susannah Sandlin...who is talking about heros and heroines. 

Breaking Down the Stubborn Hero and Heroine

Susannah Sandlin

I had a struggle on my hands when I began writing Omega, the newest book in my Penton Legacy series (out February 5). I usually have a good grasp of my hero and struggle with my heroine, or vice-versa. Every once in a serendipitous while, I’m in sync with both hero and heroine from the start. (The second series book, Absolution, was like that—thank you, Mirren and Glory!)

Then there was Omega. I did character charts. I plotted scenes. I made several false starts on the book before I finally set the laptop aside and put myself in time-out. Literally. I made myself sit in a chair in a quiet room and do something you’d think authors do a lot, but which in fact we rarely take time to do:  stop and think. Just think.

I finally figured out the problem with Will and Randa, my couple in Omega. They were both alike. That in itself is a challenge. Not only were they alike, however, but they handled stress in the same way—by erecting a wall.

Randa hides behind a tough-as-nails attitude. The only girl in a family of military guys, she feels she has to prove herself just a good a soldier as her brothers and her father the colonel. Nothing gets beneath that steel armor. When she was turned vampire, she lost her human family but inherited a new family in Penton—and has to prove herself all over again with another bunch of domineering guys (only these guys have fangs instead of uniforms).

Will has had a truly horrific upbringing, emotionally abused by his wealthy father in New York as a child, then turned vampire by that same father when he was 22, when the mental abuse turned physical. Outside, he is handsome and brilliant, with a quick wit and outgoing personality (and, yeah, a bit of a jerk). Inside, he feels like the inadequate screwup his father always told him he was. Like Randa, he hides himself behind a mask. He plays a role. He doesn’t want to be exposed.

So when two Teflon-coated characters come together, something extreme has to happen to get them to open up and, slowly—ever so slowly—begin to reveal bits of their hidden selves. In the case of Omega, it took a projectile grenade, a cave-in, and the lure of Army underwear. I can’t say more, or Will would sink his fangs in me.

So in the end, I got Omega written, and fell in love with this hard-to-understand couple that used up more than their fair share of my brain cells.

What kind of romantic couples do you prefer? The opposites-attract type (like Mirren and Glory), or the work-through-some-issues types (like Will and Randa)—or is it all about the chemistry? Enter the Rafflecopter for the tour prizes, and leave a comment to be entered for a choice of Penton Legacy print book, Kindle book, or audiobook (CD or mp3).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Penton Vampire Legacy, Book 3
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: February 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1612183596
ASIN: B0073XV3L2

Number of pages: 328
Word Count: approx. 88,000

Amazon        Barnes & Noble        Book Depository

Book Description:

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.

Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.

Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.        

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.


miki said...

For me it's all about Chemistry!
I loved the relation between Mirren and Glory but i also love Will and Randa. Both couple are different and it's wonderful to see they evolve together. You really managed a good work with both and randa and will personnality is well buit and well described

really wonderfully done^^ congrats!

A series to recommend without a doubt!

Roger said...

Thanks for the background info on Will and Randa. Patiently waiting for Omega, 5 days to go now. I like the work-through-some-issues types.

shellbelle said...

It's all about the chemistry between a couple. Every couple is different, has different dynamics, and different issues to overcome. From beginning to HEA it is the chemistry that keeps them committed to their HEA. I cannot wait for Omega. I love Will! I keep telling my reading buddies about this series. It is fantastic!

Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! I agree the chemistry has to be there in order for the couples to go through their issues.

@Shellbelle...I hope you like Omega--you might be surprised at what Will's been hiding :-)

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I'm struggling with the same thing in my currently incubating WIP--and the heroine sounds a lot like Randa, so I can't wait to see how you deal with them!

I definitely like characters who have to struggle to let other people see who they really are...there is physical courage, that's all nice, but emotional courage...that's HUGE.

Suzanne Johnson said...

That's always such a challenge, Teri. When I'm sketching out characters now, I make two lists: physical flaws and emotional flaws, and make sure there's at least one or two in each category. I'm finding the emotional flaws are the ones that really drive the romance--and sometimes the emotional flaws come out of the physical flaws. In Randa, her emotional flaws come from her childhood and growing up in a male-dominated world. Her physical flaw is that she hasn't embraced her vampire nature, so she never feeds well or uses her full potential strength. Good luck with your WIP!

Steelerlady2379 said...

Yes it has been chemistry that has been building between and Randa. can not wait for Omega to get here!! I am excited to see just how Susannah has written it.
Happy reading and writing*

Carole Remy said...

Hi Susannah,

Thought I commented before, but it didn't show up. Apologies if this turns out to be a duplicate...

I loved the chemistry between Will and Randa in Absolution, and can't wait to read the rest of their story in Omega! Thanks for sharing the process of their evolution as a couple.


Suzanne Johnson said...

Thanks, Teresa! I hope you're pleased with what happens. Omega is a wild ride!

Susannah Sandlin said...

Thanks, Carole! I used to hate character development but now find it really rewarding. Hope you enjoy Omega!

Catherine Bybee said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone.
For me, the characters have to sizzle when they're around each other. Chemistry!

elaing8 said...

Enjoyed reading today's post.
Every couple needs to have chemistry.And build the relationship from there. I also like the opposite attract. The way character knock heads (sorta speak) and see things from different views, then the steamy make up scenes :)

Susannah Sandlin said...

Thanks, Elaine. Yes, the chemistry's got to be there to make all the rest worthwhile--especially for the opposites-attract couples!

Thanks again, Catherine, for having me on the blog today!

Martha Lawson said...

Got to havethe chemistry!! Enjoyed the post. Can't wait to read Will and Randa's story. Thanks for the chance.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Susannah Sandlin said...

Thanks, Martha! And chemistry is fun to write, which makes it even better :-)

bn100 said...

I like all kinds of couples.


Rachel V said...

I like the chemistry but I think the opposites attract is one of the most common couple used. Especially when it comes to the good girl meets bad boy romance. I haven't read to many where they are alot alike and deal with things the same way so I can't wait to check this one out and see how I like this relationship also. Thanks for the post.

Maria said...

I'm all for the opposites-attract type!! I love to read how they menage to work their differences and bild a relation.
I totally love that type of stories.


Eva Millien said...

I like couples with lots of chemistry, but they fight really hard not to give into it

Susannah Sandlin said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been checking in as often as I'd like--my day job is becoming really annoying. I mean, they actually expect me to WORK. Sheesh.

Totally agree about the "opposites attract"--they're also a lot of fun to write. Writing a couple like Will and Randa in Omega, who are a lot alike, is much harder.

jmcgaugh said...

It's all about the chemistry!