Cate: I'm happy to have Susan Macatee as a guest today. Welcome Susan! Will you please share a short bio with us?
Susan: Thanks so much for having me, Cate! Here’s the official bio.
Susan Macatee writes American Civil War romance, often with a paranormal twist. Along with her husband, she’s been a Civil War reenactor for a number of years. Her other loves are sci-fi, watching major league baseball, camping and baking.
Cate: Tell us about Confederate Rose and where it's available.
Susan: Confederate Rose is the story of a woman who decided to fight alongside the men in the American Civil War. Since women weren’t allowed to serve as soldiers during the Victorian era, women with a desire to fight or to stay with a husband or lover, joined the ranks disguised as men. I took details from real life stories of these women as a basis for my fictional heroine, Katie Rose O’Reilly.
Confederate Rose is a new release from The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: Fascinating! Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Susan: This is a short excerpt from Confederate Rose:
“What? Are you telling me you were kissing him?” His blood heated at the thought of her moving on to another man.
“I was tryin’ to escape.”
“By kissing him?”
“Aye.” Anger flashed in her eyes. “And it was working until you came along and hit the poor lad.”
He grasped her forearm and pulled her from the guardhouse. They couldn’t stay here debating. “Come on, we’ve got to get out of camp. I fear I’ve compromised my cover.”
“But what about Nate?” she protested. “You may have killed him.”
Sighing, Alex knelt and felt for a pulse. The lad’s breathing was regular, his pulse steady. “Reckon he’ll be out for awhile, but aside from a nasty headache and some bruising, he should be all right.” He rose and glanced into the guardhouse. “They’ll reckon you clobbered him when he came for your dinner plate.” He caught her worried gaze. “Now, let’s skedaddle.”
She nodded, but eyed him again. “Why are you dressed as a priest?”
“It’s a disguise. I’m ministering to the Rebel soldiers.” His eyes roved to the white vee of her bosom. “Button your shirt before we go. We don’t want to attract any more attention.”
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Susan: As I said, the real life stories of women who actually fought as men were fascinating. One of the books I read by Elizabeth D. Leonard, All the Daring of the Soldier, contains the accounts of women like Sarah Emma Edmonds, Jennie Hodgers and Rosetta Wakeman, just three of the hundreds of women who lived as men in order to fight on both sides of the conflict. I love to write about adventurous women and decided I just had to write a story with a heroine soldier.
Cate: Oh, I'd love to read that too - in addition to yours!
How do you pick the character’s names?
Susan: After I envision my characters, I go through character name books and pick names that seem to fit. Most of the time this works, but once in a while, I have to go back and change the name, because it doesn’t feel right.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Susan: That depends. If I put a story I’m working on aside for too long, I start to dream about the characters. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Come on, you’ve left us alone long enough. Finish our story.”
Cate: What's next for you?
Susan: I’m currently working on two new projects. One’s a science fiction romance. I love reading the genre, so decided I should try writing one. The other’s a spin off of a story I had published years ago. It’s a post Civil War romance following characters from the first story as they mature and rediscover their love.
I also have two contracted novella-length stories coming out with The Wild Rose Press. The first is a stand-alone e-book, a Civil War vampire story called Sweet Redemption coming out in November. The other is a Civil War Christmas story, part of the anthology An American Rose Christmas coming this December.
Cate: Very cool! A Civil War vamp's a new twist.
At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Susan: When I was in the third grade, I wrote a composition about my pet, an imaginary dog, since my parents wouldn’t let us have a real one. LOL. Writing that was so satisfying and it started my imagination going. My first full-length romance novel, Erin’s Rebel, a Civil War time travel, came out this past July. I’d been submitting and revising this manuscript for years, but no one seemed to want it. Then I tried a fairly new e-publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The editor told me she couldn’t put it down and contracted it. About a year and a half later, I had the print copy of my first romance novel in my hands.
Cate: That's a great call story!
Describe your writing in three words.
Susan: Romance, adventure and fun.
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Susan: I try to write nearly every day. Early afternoon is my most inspirational time. I start with rereading what I wrote the day before and jump right into the story. When I’m writing a first draft, I try for a word count of 1000 words per day. I set up daily page goals when I have a lot of editing and revising to do.
Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Susan: Most challenging has been to put my writing ahead of other obligations. I always felt a little guilty for pursuing my passion. But now that I have time for writing scheduled into my day, I find my family respects that and doesn’t impose unless it’s an emergency. LOL.
Most rewarding is to read great reviews or to have readers tell me how much they enjoyed the story.
Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Susan: My website www.susanmacatee.com, blog www.susanmacatee.blogspot.com and my group blogs www.slipintosomethingvictorian.wordpress.com and www.acwbeyondscarlettandrhett.wordpress.com
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers Susan?
Susan: I’ve been told by readers that they stopped reading Civil War romances, because they’re all the same, featuring an embittered Southern belle pitted against a Yankee officer. My question for readers is, would you be willing to try a Civil War romance that is entirely different from that stereotype? And I guarantee, no two of my CW romances are the same. LOL.
You've certainly piqued my interest! Let's hear it from you, readers.