Books with Buzz: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

callmeirresistible HC CIt’s been far too long since Susan Elizabeth Phillips graced the pages of AAR and I couldn’t be happier to report that, at last, she’s back.  One of the most beloved writers of contemporary romance, SEP marks the release of her latest (and thoroughly charming) new release, Call Me Irresistible, on  January 18th.  To celebrate we’ve got five copies to give away, courtesy of Harper Collins, and the first interview at AAR with SEP in over a decade.

To enter for your chance to win, just comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, January 13th.  A few caveats apply:  Due to high postage costs, this giveaway is open only to readers in the U.S.and Canada.  Please comment only once and, if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Winners will be notified by email on Friday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  A new winner will be selected on Saturday morning for any winner who hasn’t responded.  Good luck to everyone and, without further ado, let’s hear from SEP.

- Sandy AAR

Susan, first of all, thanks so much for giving us a little bit of your time.  You have a lot of fans here at AAR who are going to love hearing from you.  First of all, could you tell our readers a bit about the plot of Call Me Irresistible?

Love to!  Ever since I wrote Lady Be Good, readers have been after me to write Ted Beaudine’s story.  In Call Me Irresistible, Ted is Mr. Perfect, and Meg Koranda is Ms. Screw Up. Meg knows she’d done the right thing when she breaks up Ted’s wedding to Lucy Jorik, the daughter of the former President of the United States, but no one else agrees, and she quickly becomes the most hated woman in town. A town where she’s stuck with a broken down car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom… (Ted and Meg are a match made in heaven!)

Unlike a lot of writers, your fans are divided on what is their favorite book by you – something that’s a tribute to you as a writer since there is no overwhelming favorite.  For everyone who supports Nobody’s Baby But Mine, there’s someone else who loves Heaven, Texas (my favorite).   And, since you had a total of nine books placing in the Top 100 Romance Novels poll as voted by AAR readers, you’ve hit the ball out of the park (or kicked it right between the goal posts) a great many times.  As the author, do you have a favorite?

I love that there’s such diversity of opinion about my books.  And there’s not much of a pattern. I’ve lost count, for example, of how many readers have begged me to write another Chicago Stars book and then told me their favorite is Kiss An Angel, a book that doesn’t have a football player anywhere in sight. As for me… My favorite book has to be the one I’ve just finished or it doesn’t leave my desk.  (At the moment, I’m so in love with Ted Beaudine I can’t see straight.)

What type of hero and heroine are you favorite to write?  And do you have a favorite hero and heroine?

My good ol’ boy heroes are the easiest for me to write, but I love the brooding guys, too, like Ren Gage in Breathing Room and Bram Shepard in What I Did for Love. Also, see aforementioned comment about Ted Beaudine (Does this make me a skank? Please don’t answer that.)

Even though I was a football cheerleader back in the Medieval period, I don’t have the first clue about football, yet I love your Chicago Stars books.  Is it true, as SEP legend goes, that you were almost as clueless when you first began to write about your team?

I wasn’t clueless, just never all that interested in the game.  I doubt I watch four games year. I am, however, fascinated by the life of these players and their oversized egos, how they deal with both sudden wealth and celebrity. I also love all the front-office stuff that goes along with professional sports.

SEPIn What I Did for Love, your heroine Georgie’s circumstances certainly brought Jennifer Aniston to mind for a lot of readers.  And I have to admit that Mad Jack, the legendary rock star, of Natural Born Charmer made me think of Bruce Springsteen. Maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part since I am one of Bruce’s biggest fans, but I pictured the Boss as I read the book.  Am I way off base (especially on the second one since I don’t believe it’s widely speculated) or do you ever picture celebrities as you’re creating?   And, if so, any other “identities” you’d like to spill?

Re: Bruce…. Yes, Yes, Yes!  He was totally in my mind when I wrote Jack Patriot, and I hardly ever picture celebrities when I’m working.  As for the Jennifer Aniston thing… Celebrity love triangles have always fascinated us, and there have been lots of them over the years, but Georgie is definitely not Aniston.

I don’t usually picture celebrities as I read either and Bruce came through loud and clear for me. One of my favorite questions to ask authors is what kind of books they like to read in their leisure time.  And, while we’re on the subject, who are your favorite authors?

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction. Just going through one of those phases, I guess.  I loved A.J. Jacobs The Year of Living Biblically, Susan Casey’s The Wave. The Hunger Games trilogy was an amazing reading experience. As far as fiction, I’m a huge fan of well-done romance and non-depressing women’s fiction.

What’s next for SEP?  And any idea how long we’ll have to wait?

Anyone who reads Call Me Irresistible will have a good idea where I’m headed next. Lucy Jorik, the runaway bride, definitely deserves her own story, and I’ve already written about 300 pages of it.  With two book tours scheduled – one in the U.S. at the end of January and one in Germany at the end of May – I’m going to lose a fair amount of writing time, so I’m not sure when it’ll be done, but I can’t wait to see how Lucy’s story turns out!

Thanks to SEP for taking the time to answer my questions and to Harper Collins for the books to give away.  Remember, to enter to win, just comment to this post by Thursday, January 13th at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

209 thoughts on “Books with Buzz: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Interview and Giveaway (Contest Closed)

  1. thanks so much AAR!! For making the best interviews!!! i always look for the tid-bits of the mind behind the books that make me sigh, smile and sometimes cry. I live vicariously through romance and the hope that i will too will have my HEA!! I Think im not mistaken when i say that part of the reason Elizabeth`s books are so popular among romance readers is because she writes beautiful charming stories.. i love the humor and sensibility they provide. winner or not of the book, thanks soo much AAR for giving me once again a great reason to check this blog daily!! ;) what a nice surprise!!

  2. I truly “enjoy” Phillip’s novels although when I use that term, I feel compelled to include a Prince Charles addendem and say “whatever ‘enjoy’ means.” I have purchased every extant book she has written (even “Risen Glory”) and read each in one sitting which seems to indicate some facination with her work. Since I have purchased her books and contributed to her personal affluence and disclaimed the criticism I am about to make–at least its fervor, I have an ongoing bitch which is particularly true of “Call Me Irristable.”

    Do ALL of the bullying cliques she uses as vehicular plot conveyences for her stories HAVE to be redeemed? Does adolescent behavior among groups of 30 year old women have to be a mainstay in so many of her stories? Don’t some of us that age get to evolve into tolerant acceptance of difference and be portrayed in the actions of some characters. More directly, I hate, loathe, abhor Wynette, Texas, and its cadre of wealthy, spoiled, hateful, self-obsessed, whining, jealous, know-nothing, spiteful, malicious social leaders who are written simply as classic small town eccentrics. What is worse is that Wynette(I’ll bet we can guess whose nasal cavity that name came from) takes a cunning swipe at the small town Texas woman, as a cartoon costumed in left overs from the “Steel Magnolias” set with a head on her shoulders that has no use except to hold her over teased bouffant–except for one or two “bad girls” whose stunning faces and bodies allow them sway over all else–the coldcocked men in particular.

    I WANT to be charmed by all this in the name of “quirkiness”. I swear I do. I generally like the work ethic and grit of the main characters as well as their willingness to be honest about their personal issues– such as they are. Most are intellectually and physically elite and perhaps honesty about issues is easier with those two givens onboard. Yeah, I know some of the heroines are clumsy, but in suuuuch a cuuuute way.

    I also know this is “romance”, chick lit, literary carbs. Still, a little moral fiber among the masses might add a little fibre to the diet. Even spoiled, snotty kids don’t usually get off scott free, so why the free pass to cliques of bullies? Only puppies and kittens should get chuckled at when they rip up the drapes and soil the rugs. When an entire town tries to pimp a person just because they see it as the greater good, don’t let this reader down without giving them something to gig self-awareness–if nothing more than just a good “French Taunting.”

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