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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author Susan Hawke to Stories That Make You Smile! Susan is here today celebrating the fabulous first book in her new Davey’s Rules series, Rules to Follow. She’s brought along a nice excerpt and kindle sat down for an interview. Read on to discover Susan’s writing methods, and find out who should play Susan Hawke in a movie! 🌟
Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke
Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.
Series: Davey’s Rules (Book #1)
Release Date: July 14, 2019
Length: 284 pages
Pairing / Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance, Daddy/boy
Davey’s Rule #86: A good Daddy will never lie to his boy… even by omission.
Travis Miller has a pretty solid life in the small California beach town he calls home. He’s working his way up in the district attorney’s office, he owns a home with an ocean view, and he has close ties with his family. Life is good. If only he could find a sweet boy to call his own, life would be… perfect.
Adam Nichols’ life has never been easy. Growing up in foster care taught him to be strong, so finding himself in a violent relationship was a shock. Now that he’s finally free of it, he faces new problems. He’s jobless, homeless, and terrified of starting from scratch.
With a little help from an old friend, Adam discovers a whole new world. He goes from rock bottom to renting a room from a hot assistant DA and working at Daddy’s Lap, a kink club that opens his vanilla eyes to things he’d never imagined. His new roommate is a balm to Adam’s damaged soul. The tender way Travis cares for him is almost like the Daddy kink community he’s seen at the club. But Travis isn’t a Daddy… right? If he were, surely he’d have said so.
What happens when a lie by omission threatens to bring their budding relationship tumbling down around them? Will Travis ever be able to earn Adam’s trust again?
This is the first book in a new series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for references to domestic violence.
☆ Author Interview ☆
Welcome, and thank you for stopping by!
Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?
Neither, I’m a plantser. I started off pantsing, but when I switched to dictation it became necessary to outline actual plots. But my outline are loose guidelines of what needs to happen in that chapter and I take it from there. So yeah, plotted pantser, or plantser, that’s me.
Choosing from among your own stories, which is your favorite book? Why?
How to Heal is probably my favorite because of the subject matter. Aside from the light Daddy kink, which I love, this was cathartic for me. Clark was a bully in earlier LOVESTRONG books, although we later found out he was being abused at home by a biggoted parent. Finding out that he was in so much pain from the things he’d done to others and that he was hurting himself was huge. Anxiety, depression, self-hate… these are things that I’ve either dealt with personally or seen friends and family members face. This was my way of putting a spotlight on that, and showing that even the people we think are the worst might be fighting their own battles.
Choosing from among your own stories, who is your favorite character? Why?
Definitely Davey from Rules to Follow. He’s sassy, snarky, flamboyant and… kind. Under all his drama, he’s got a big heart and is far more capable than he knows. Readers will be shocked by my plans for him, hopefully in a good way!
Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?
I view writing as my full-time job, because it is. I put in a minimum of eight hours a day on either writing or editing. I work from midnight to eight a.m. when my family is asleep and most people aren’t online to distract me with messages and funny memes. At night, it’s just me and my headset, telling stories. This works well for me, except that sometimes I’m sleeping and missing time with my family. I’ve been working on work/life balance, but it’s a work in progress.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
I’ve made no secret that I’ve struggled in my past, and these are the things I use to fuel my writing. I’ve always said the sad backstories so many of my characters share are because I like to show that there is always hope. I grew up in an abusive environment, like so many of my readers. I dedicated this book to my mom, mentioning how she should’ve left and didn’t. That first chapter of Adam waking up beaten and deciding he needed to leave is based on my childhood fantasies of my mom leaving and taking us with her. It was beyond difficult for me to write this and other characters like him, but it’s also cathartic.
Tell us a little bit about your work(s) in progress!
Right now I’m working on a romantic comedy about a jilted groom getting a second chance with his would-be bride’s brother. They’re roommates and best friends, so I’m hitting one of my favorite tropes with this one.
What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I swore I’d never go to ebook… until I did. LOL! Now I do all my reading on my phone because it’s so easy to hold in my hands, even when they’re stiff and sore. Favorite genre? OMG, so many… my top favorite would be friends to lovers, but I also love a good single dad story and I definitely need my “Daddy” kink.
What advice would you give to newbie writers?
Keep writing! Bad review? Keep writing! Book not selling as well as you’d hoped? Keep writing. Need to have your name better known? Keep writing. The answer to every problem newbie writers face is to keep writing. You can’t improve, gain more followers, and sell more books if you’re not writing. As for reviews, if they don’t offer helpful criticism that can make your next book better, don’t read them. They’re meant for other readers anyway. And don’t get caught up in your hype either. Great reviews can also mess with your head, and make you think you’ll never be able to write another book that good. Just keep writing!
What is the best money you ever spent as an author?
My editor’s fee! Nothing is more important than a good editor. Second to Courtney, I’d say my dictation software. I have severe carpal tunnel, so Dragon has been a lifesaver for me.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I figure out what year the character was born, then google popular baby names for that year. I used to just pull a name out of the top of my head, but my editor gave me crap for too many J and M names… lol.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Definitely Melissa McCarthy!
What is your favorite quote?
“Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
Do you prefer to write in 1st person or 3rd person? Past tense or present tense? Why?
I prefer 1st person, past tense. First person because I feel like it’s more intimate to read their thoughts. Past because I think present tense can be awkward if you aren’t a pro with it. I’m not sure I could do it justice, so I’m good with past tense.
What do you do in your free time?
READ. And occasionally, I sleep.
Meet the Author
As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.
I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.