Some people think once a writer becomes a published author, they’re set for life. All they have to do is sit back and wait for the royalty checks to roll in, go on book tours, and answer masses of fan mail. Well, it just ain’t so. All the authors I know work their tail feathers off. Most can’t quit their day jobs.
One of them is Susan Grant. She holds down three full-time jobs – Mom, airline pilot, and novelist. Getting that first novel published does not mean that a second novel will be published. Even if you land a two book deal (rare for a first-timer,) things can happen to nix your career before it hardly gets off the ground. Considering this, I think Susan’s release of her 10th novel on Thursday, July 26th, is a monumental achievement.
To celebrate Susan’s achievement, I’ve decided to provide ya’ll with a commentary of her ten published novels. Considering that there are ten, there’s a wide range for preferences. I’ll note my own with * and encourage her readers to talk about theirs in the comments.
1) ONCE A PIRATE – I’ve never been into the Pirate Fantasy thing. Well, okay, there’s that thing about Johnny Depp and Han Solo, but forget that for now. What I love about PIRATE is the living, breathing heroine who’s flying along, minding her own business as a fighter pilot, and gets sucked back in time and right (well, eventually) into the arms of a hunky pirate. What’s not to love? Oh, that and it’s Susan’s first published novel. I’ve found it highly educational to read an author’s book list in order of publication to observe how she grew as a writer.
2) THE STAR KING* - I’ve already yammered about this one quite a bit. I love spaceship stories anyway, but this one has a hero who adores the heroine’s stretch marks. Hey, after four pregnancies, that ranks high on my list of necessary qualities in a man!
3) THE STAR PRINCE* - I love series. I love reading them and I love writing them. I get emotionally attached and have a hard time letting go. The hero of this one is the son of the Star King’s heroine from her previous marriage. He’s believable, honorable, and irresistible to alien royalty. Must be genetic.
4) CONTACT* - I said this one is my third favorite, but I’m in the middle of reading it for the second time. I’ll be reviewing it this Thursday right here. This bumps it up a notch. First Officer Jordan ends up the captain when her 747 airliner is abducted by an alien spacecraft. I loved the part when she extended the inflatable escape slide from the aircraft to knock the hero on his butt. Well, hey, she didn’t know he was going to be the hero at that point.
5) THE STAR PRINCESS – Egads, I missed this one! Please don’t pummel me with Tribbles. I’ll get to it, I swear!
6) THE LEGEND OF BANZAI MAGUIRE – First, you’re on a routine patrol of the air space over Korea, next you’re a pilot-popsicle, and then you’re thawed out only to be taken in as the treasured pet of an Asian prince. This one is the first in the 2176 series, which several authors contributed to, and the action will give you whiplash if you’re not careful.
7) THE SCARLET EMPRESS – This is Susan’s second contribution to the 2176 series. This was the first one of her novels I was ever aware of. I found it on a mad dash into the grocery store for milk. Of course, I always take the scenic route through the book aisle. At that time, Scarlet Empress was shelved in Science Fiction or I never would have found it. Like many readers, I’d been burned by too much silliness in the Romance genre many moons before and had sworn never to set foot in that aisle again.
8) YOUR PLANET OR MINE? – I loved how this one started out in the heroine’s point of view as a nine year old when she meets her future hero and thinks he’s Peter Pan. Of course, he’s actually an alien. She grows up to be a senator, meets up with her love again, and saves the world. This was my favorite of this trilogy.
9) MY FAVORITE EARTHLING – Queen Keira is wicked with the daggers. If her Earthling husband survives the honeymoon, we might all live to see tomorrow. Keira is definitely over-the-top. Since I love over-the-top characters, we were a good match.
10) HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS – I’m not sure if the actual release starts in the Hero’s point-of-view, but the Advanced Reader’s Copy does. This made it difficult for me to get into at first because I like to start out in the Heroine’s skin. So, I skipped ahead to Evie’s starting page and then I got into it. The first part made sense when I went back to it. Like several of Susan’s previous heroines, Evie’s going along, minding her own business when the universe throws her a curve ball. This one’s in the form of a cybernetically enhanced alien assassin. Can the healing power of love save this man’s soul? Considering Susan’s track record, I think we all know the answer to that one. ;)
Personally, the thing I like most about Susan’s books is that her heroines are mothers or end up in the motherly way by the end of the story. Maybe my memory is foggy, but I can’t remember one who didn’t. I’m a retired Certified Professional Nanny. I worked for several powerful women who are mommies. It annoys me to no end when its assumed mothers can’t also be powerful in fiction. Heck, they are in Real Life and right now! And sexy? Let me tell you, whether you come to motherhood by adoption or pregnancy, it’s an act of unconditional and unselfish love. The man who supports his woman and remains faithful to her through all that is a true hero. From my point of view, there’s nothing sexier than that.
Way to go, Susan.