[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Susan! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Susan Meier] Driven, happy, always-hungry, booklover.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Her Summer with the Marine?
[Susan Meier] HER SUMMER WITH THE MARINE actually came about when I was on the phone with my friend Paula, sort of whining that all the “good” story ideas had been taken. I wanted to write something really different, that had a huge heart in its center and a great romance. Within 3 days the story idea for HER SUMMER WITH THE MARINE WAS BORN.
I know some people balk at the idea that the H&H run competing funeral homes, but Ellie balked at running the family business for her dad, too. She learned a lot about herself just by letting go of expectations and doing what needed to be done…And she got to fall in love with gorgeous Finn in the process!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Susan Meier] I love the dunk-the-clown scene. Finn and Ellie both take turns being dunked by the townspeople to raise money for the local ladies charity, the Dinner Belles. Instead, they start dunking each other, hurling insults, and suddenly they’re laughing, realizing how much alike they are and how they both are basically good people.
His dad ruins everyone’s fun [I won’t spoil how] but even that points out that they defend each other and like each other much more than either knows.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Susan Meier] Handling Ellie’s loss of her father in bits to Alzheimer’s. If she’d come home because her dad had had a heart attack, there could have been a happy ending for that story arc. Instead, she slowly comes to terms with the fact that her dad may still be alive but he is lost to her. While everyone around her sort of ignores that fact, it’s Finn who sees how she’s suffering. I found myself saying, Thank God for Finn! more than once as I wrote this story.
For a funny book, it’s incredibly powerful.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Susan Meier] I know everybody is probably going to say their cell phone, but, seriously, I deliberately leave mine at home sometimes. What I need are sunglasses! LOL Even in the winter, I need them because of glare. And, oh, I love how many choices we have! I’m a sunglass fanatic! LOL
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Susan Meier] The draft pages of the second book in the Donovan Brothers series! A Chadwick catalog! And a picture of me and my 2 older sisters and my younger brother…on Santa’s knee what I was about 2. I was chubby cheeked and blond. Who knew I could be so cute!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Susan Meier] This is totally shallow but I think I’d like to be Jennifer Lawrence. Not only would I see the script for the third Hunger Games movie…LOL!…but also I’d be drop dead gorgeous and a woman who was one of the best at her craft. That would be fun!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Susan Meier] My most recent reads were books entered for the Rita and I’m not allowed to discuss them…but some of them were fantastic! I’m now reading Divergent! I want to read it before I see the movie.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Susan Meier] I have a website, susanmeier.com that has an email connect!
But I’m also on twitter @susanmeier1
Face book https://www.facebook.com/susan.meier.54
About the book:
Her Summer with the Marine by Susan Meier
Their competition has never been so irresistible
The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.
Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.
A one-time legal secretary and director of a charitable foundation, Susan Meier found her own personal ‘bliss’ when she became a full-time novelist. She’s visited ski lodges and candy factories for “research” and works in her pajamas.
But the real joy of her job is creating stories about women for women. In her sixty published novels, she’s tackled issues like infertility, losing a child and becoming widowed. Her favorite stories are those that inspire laughter through tears.
Susan lives in western Pennsylvania with her own hero, their son and two fabulous felines, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chiquita Banana and Fluffy.