Literaturschock: Could you tell your German fans something about yourself? (family, hobbies and so on)

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: My husband and I have 2 grown sons. The oldest is being married in September, so we're all caught up in wedding preparations right now. I love reading, gardening, traveling, and cooking. I haven't been to Germany since the late 1960's when I was right out of college. I loved it so much then. I think it's time I go back!

Literaturschock: What was the one event in your life that told you "I'm going to be a writer?"

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: My background is actually in theater, and I was a teacher. There was no one event that told me I was going to be a writer. The whole thing sneaked up on me, and sometimes I think I still haven't figured it out!

Literaturschock: What is a question you are never asked that you wish people would ask you?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: How about the question I hate most... "Where do you get your ideas?" I never have a good answer. I do love to talk about my sons, though, and my pretty garden.

Literaturschock: What did you feel when your first book was published?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Exhilarated!

Literaturschock: Where did you get your ideas for the next book?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: THIS HEART OF MINE was written because of reader demand. Everyone wanted to know what happened to Kevin Tucker, who first appeared in NOBODY'S BABY BUT MINE.

Literaturschock: Which of your novels do you like most? Why?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: It's truly like with children... You love all of them equally. There may be things I like more or less about a particular book, but I lvoe them all.

Literaturschock: Do you have a favourite character?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Maybe Bobby Tom Denton from HEAVEN, TEXAS. There was just something about him... I love Molly Somerville in THIS HEART OF MINE because I got to watch her grow up from her teenage years in IT HAD TO BE YOU. (Sorry. Don't know the German titles of these books.)

Literaturschock: Do you want to continue writing romantic novels? Or do you plan to write about something else?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I'll always write books about romance and family relationships. This is what interests me the most.

Literaturschock: What are your current projects? Can you give us a little sneak preview of the next books?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I think THIS HEART OF MINE is coming out in Germany now. It's the last of the Chicago Stars books. As I mentioned above, readers will have a chance to meet Molly Somerville again. (The little sister in IT HAD TO BE YOU.) She's all grown up now and about to get involved with Kevin Tucker from NOBODY'S BABY BUT MINE.

Literaturschock: What is the most difficult thing about writing? The easiest?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: There's nothing easy about writing for me. I keep thinking it should be easier after 15 books, but every book presents its own set of challenges.

Literaturschock: Do you have any special methods to plan a new book (which)?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I pick up a yellow legal pad and pour a glass of wine. Then I sit down and start making notes. We call it "brainstorming" in the States, but I dont know if that word translates. I just think out loud on paper and try to get a few elements of the book together. Then I just sit down at the computer, start to write, and see what happens.

Literaturschock: How much of your own experiences do you share with your characters?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Not much. The emotions, certainly, but not the events.

Literaturschock: Were you allowed to design the covers and titles by yourself?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I choose my own titles in the States, but not in Germany. I am consulted on covers in the States, but have no input on my German covers, which is a good thing because they're quite different in Europe.

Literaturschock: Are you in close contact with other authors or your fans?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I'm friends with most of the well known american romance writers. We all belong to Romance Writers of America, so we all know each other. They're wonderful ladies. I'm fortunate to be able to communicate with thousands of fans through my web site.

Literaturschock: How does your normal working day look like?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I work a normal 9-5 working day.

Literaturschock: How long did it take you to write your first book?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: About 2 l/2 years. I had small children and did it part time.

Literaturschock: Do you have a favorite writer or book?

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: I'm a huge reader, and I have lots and lots of favorites.

Literaturschock: Thank you so much! I really appreciate your taking the time to let me interview you!

Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Thank you!

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