Susan B. James

My life is filled with love and laughter thanks to the amazing people I get to hang out with. As well as being awesome, they’re creative, talented, generous, and fun! I thought you might like to meet some of the authors I know, so I’ve asked them to come and give us a behind-the-scenes look at what they’re passionate about. I have to warn you though – creativity is contagious!

My guest today is Susan B. James, author of Time and Forever, and adult time travel novel and several children’s books. Susan is a fellow Soul Mate author whom I met in NYC! We went to Sardi’s restaurant and ate from the actor’s menu!

photo annette and susan streetMeet Susan (she’s the one on the left)~

Susan is an actor, writer, and a dreamer. Lots of those dreams came true.

Almost forty years, two children and a few grandchildren later, Susan’s pursuing old and new dreams. And new dreams are coming true. Time and Forever, her debut romance was a finalist in the 2015 Golden Quill for Best First Book and in the RONE Awards for best Time Travel Book (Congratulations!!)

Susan still acts whenever possible as Susan Berger,  writes children’s books as Susan J. Berger and Second Chance romances with a touch of magic as Susan B. James. She’s busy revising Kate’s Hero (One four leaf clover. Two stubborn people. An elderly matchmaker with second sight. And a leprechaun with a mission. What could possible go wrong?) and Maybe This Time. (Another time travel romance.) A confirmed bookaholic, she is grateful to all the writers who enrich her lives with their stories.

Can you tell us about your life as an actor? What projects were you involved in? How did you start? S: I did my first professional season of summer stock when I was fifteen. I was in love with every part of the production: the acting, the sets, the costumes, the props. I majored in Theatre in College and Graduate School. It wasn’t till I left college that I decided I wanted to pursue the acting side of it exclusively. I did a lot of repertory theatre, the National Tours of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and You’re a Good man, Charlie Brown and finally my dream job – a Broadway musical – The Robber Bridegroom in 1976.

The next year my husband and I moved to Los Angeles to pursue film and TV jobs. We did some theatre out here and then I got pregnant and Barry got the film Urban Cowboy. I decided that I didn’t want to pay someone else to raise our kids, so I stopped looking for acting jobs. I was on M*A*S*H and a couple of films during those years.

After we divorced I went back to looking, but it was difficult. I did a lot of improv and some very fun plays. I did end up on Hannah Montana in one episode, and this year I will be on Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. I think it is supposed to air in October. I’ve done several small independent projects. I’ve been studying improv again at Upright Citizen’s Brigade and also musical improvisation, which is wonderful fun.

That is very cool! I’ll have to look for the upcoming episode. Any advice for someone interested in pursuing acting? S: If you want to act, go to school. Work in Community theatre. Since both Barry and I were character actors, we got to play better parts in college. We had to age several years to be cast into those roles in the professional world. If you are serious about film and television, go to a good improv school.

I’ve always loved the quick wit of improve. You’ve started writing. How did that evolve? S: When I started writing, I concentrated on children’s picture books and one middle grade novel. My first picture book, which I wrote with my then ten-year-old son, Christopher Corbin, was published on his twenty-fifth birthday. I’ve always loved romance, but I never considered writing it until I wrote Time and Forever during NaNoWriMo. (I cannot recommend the NaNoWriMo adventure highly enough.)

I am the kind of writer known as a pantser. I didn’t know what was going to happen in the book, until my fingers and my brain connected. Then came three years of rewriting it. I’ve always loved time travel books, but I never thought I would write one. I did a LOT of time travel research during revision. As a writer, you get to make your own world, and your own time travel theory. The only hard and fast rule is that it must be believable to the reader.

A great way to be creative! You created an audiobook for Time and Forever. What was that process like? S: A member of my son Christopher’s musical improv team, Meaningful Touch read Time and Forever and loved it so much that she offered to narrate it. Stephanie Bentley is a professional narrator for ACX – audio book creation. She guided me through the process of setting up and account and hiring her. I was thrilled with the result.

It’s very exciting to have it on audio too. If you had to pick a song to be your theme song what would it be? S: Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper.

Of course! What would you pick as a superpower? S: I always wanted to be rich, thin, and telepathic.

Haha – sometimes it does take a superpower to be thin. What’s your favourite dessert? S: If I were to die tomorrow, I would want a slice of the Nickle Diner’s Smore’s Cake before the event.

 

I read Time and Forever and really enjoyed it! It was fun being transported back to 1969 and reminiscing about the music and the culture. Here’s what it’s about:

Time and Forever2 fiona web large copy1969. Love was free, man walked on the moon, and Sherry and Lorena found the loves of their lives. Sherry shared a kiss that dreams were made of, with a stranger on the tube in London. And ran away. Lorena found the love of her life in Los Angeles and married him.

The present. Sherry’s a successful businesswoman with two grown sons. Lorena’s an actress on a popular sitcom. Sherry’s husband dumped her for a younger woman eighteen years ago. Lorena’s husband died of cancer.

Sherry wants a second chance at Love. Lorena doesn’t believe that’s possible. But when a glitch in a Virtual Reality Adventure game sends them back to the real 1969, anything can happen.

 

Here are the buy links:

eBook       |     Audio Book (It’s 1.99 on Audible if you own the 2.99 eBook)     |     Paperback

Susan loves to connect with readers:

Facebook page

Twitter https://twitter.com/susanjberger

Her Romance author blog is SusanBJames

Her children’s book world blog is Pen and Ink

 

Susan, thanks so much for stopping by today! I’m so happy I met you in NYC 😀 I’m looking forward to your next time travel novel, Maybe this Time! Happy reading everyone 😀

 

For an excerpt from Time and Forever, click READ MORE.

Excerpt from Time and Forever:

Jen stared at Lorena intently. “I need that accent. I’ve been looking for someone to coach me. We’re rehearsing A Streetcar Named Desire. Come back to the theater with us.”

Lorena looked at Sherry inquiringly.

“Go ahead, Lorena,” Jeremy said. “I wanted to borrow Sherry for the afternoon.”

Lorena and Jen both eyed him like disapproving mothers. Sherry stifled a giggle

Jeremy was the picture of injured innocence. “Honestly, Jen, do you think I’m going to take her to my flat and have my wicked way with her?”

I hope so, Sherry thought.

“This is strictly business. I have to interview Lady Dorchester this afternoon and I thought Sherry might be able to help.”

“That old bat? She’s barmy.” Jen said. She turned to Sherry. “Better you than me. Good luck.”

“Why does he need help interviewing her?” Lorena asked.

“She won’t talk to him unless there is a woman present. She’s totally off her rocker. Thinks she’s still a lady in waiting.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Lorena asked.

“To Queen Victoria,” Jeremy answered. “And she thinks her pet mouse is the reincarnation of Queen Victoria. I’m going to interview the mouse.” He turned to Sherry. “You don’t by any chance speak mouse? I could use a translator.”

“I’m sorry,” Sherry replied with a straight face, “the only mouse I was well acquainted with my s— ah . . . sister’s pet mouse and he spoke common field mouse. I’m afraid I won’t be much help.”

Jeremy’s eyes crinkled at the corners. “That’s all right. We’ll rely on Lady Dorchester.”

 

2 Comments

  1. Comment by susan J berger:

    Linda, I think you brought me luck. I’ve booked an episode of 2 Broke Girls and a part in an AFI thesis film this week. Thanks for having me.

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