Thrilled to welcome back Suanne Schafer to the blog today. She’s here to discuss her second novel, Hunting the Devil, which is out now.
Author Name: Suanne Schafer
Book Title: Hunting the Devil
Book Genre: Women’s Fiction/Suspense
Release Date: September 15, 2019
Publisher: Waldorf Publishing
Welcome back, Suanne! Please tell us about your latest release.
Part medical procedural, part global political thriller, part justice / revenge-seeking novel, and part fractured romance, Hunting the Devil is a gut-wrenching novel of a doctor pushed to her limits during one of the most grotesque moments in modern world history, the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
What inspired the idea for Hunting the Devil?
One of my bucket list of things to do included an African safari. I took my adopted biracial son on a three-week private safari. He freely admits to being an Oreo, black on the outside, white in the middle. He had with some vague, Alex-Haley idea of connecting with his black roots. While considered black here, he was a mzungu (a white person) in Tanzania. He was quite uncomfortable during our entire time there. This book arose from witnessing his efforts at reconciling these different visions of himself. And, of course, an author’s job is to toss their protagonist into the hottest possible pot of water. And where might that person be most uncomfortable? Questioning their racial identity during a genocide.
How close is the end product to that seed of an idea?
I think it’s pretty close. I wanted an edgy heroine who doesn’t rely on the assistance of men to complete the job she’s undertaken, despite the despair her search drives her toward. I also like writing books that showcase my world travels, and Hunting the Devil with its three continents (Europe, Africa, and North America), five countries (the United States, France, Belgium, Rwanda, and Tanzania), eleven locales (Philadelphia, Paris, Brussels, Den Hague, Kigali, Kirihe, Rusumo, Benaco Refugee Camp, Ngara, Dar Es Salaam, and Arusha) and five languages (English, French, Dutch, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili) does that.
In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out?
I’d originally planned to write romances because they sell, but that, either due to a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily-ever-after, I couldn’t for the life of me write a traditional romance. As I’ve finished my third book, I find that writing isn’t easier so much as I am more open to exploring that which my muse pushes me toward. I no longer say I write “for fun”, though that certainly is a great part of why I write. As a result of the slow but steady expansion of my bibliography on my Amazon author page, I’ve begun to feel like a “real” writer and my “imposter syndrome” is no longer a terminal case.
What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?
The most challenging? The first sentence/paragraph/page that will drag readers into my story. My favorite part about writing? Going to work in my jammies and getting to visit worlds of my own creation.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
I knit (my excuse for watching TV—so that I don’t completely waste my time) and quilt. I also really mentoring other writers and editing their works.
What are you working on now?
My third book went to the editors on August 3rd. Now, I’m struggling with the opening of my fourth book and doing the research behind it. Like my others, it’s not an easy book to write or research. Hunting the Devil involved a genocide; book #4 takes place within an insane asylum in the 1890s.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
Thank you, Suanne! Hunting the Devil is available now.
HUNTING THE DEVIL
When Dr. Jessica Hemings volunteers for a medical mission in Rwanda, she becomes entrapped in the maelstrom of Rwandan politics and the enmity between Hutus and Tutsis. Her Tutsi features plunge her into the Rwandan Genocide. Dr. Cyprien Gatera, Jess’s superior and a Hutu radical, commandeers her clinic, slaughters her patients and her adopted sons, then forces her to treat his wounded. She escapes and survives three weeks in hiding before finding refuge at Benaco refugee camp in Tanzania.
There, Jess vows revenge. She searches for Gatera with the help of Michel Fournier, a French lawyer-turned-war-correspondent, and Dr. Tom Powell, her long-time lover. When an unknown informant passes information to Jess about her nemesis, she returns to Rwanda, despite warnings from the Belgian Secret Service that Gatera plans to assassinate her. In their final showdown, Jess must decide if revenge is best served cold or not at all.
Leanne Treese is the debut author of The Language of Divorce, which releases out into the world today. Please help me welcome, Leanne!
Author Name: Leanne Treese
Book Title: The Language of Divorce
Book Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing
Welcome, Leanne! Please tell us about your book.
My book is about a couple who have feelings for each other but nonetheless find themselves in the center of a highly publicized divorce. Ultimately, they seek to air out their differences on a reality television show for divorcing couples.
I love this idea! What was the spark for The Language of Divorce?
I am a former divorce attorney. I once saw an ad for a service where you go to an island and get divorced in a week-end. I am also a secret fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. These ideas merged to form the concept of a divorce reality television show.
How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do have to do any research?
The book took me about two years to write. I wrote it it in 500 word increments most mornings. I did not have to do much research as the topic is primarily centered on divorce and I have experience as a lawyer in that area.
For you, what do you find difficult about writing?
I do not work from an outline and have only a general idea as to plot and characters when I start. Because of this, putting down the first draft is the most difficult part.
What do you love most about it?
Revising! Once I have the story down, I absolutely love refining and revising it.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read The Language of Divorce?
I set out to create a book that would make readers feel a wide range of emotions. I think I succeeded in doing that. I also believe it is a good story and easy to read!
How does your day job inform your novel writing?
I was certainly able to use my knowledge of divorce law in writing this book!
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
I can usually be found at home with my family, dogs, and coffee! I enjoy running (I once ran a marathon!) and the beach. I love going to professional basketball games (76ers) and watching my kids in their activities. I keep trying (and failing) to take up mediation. One of these days……
Are you working on a new project?
I am working through initial thoughts for another women’s fiction novel but don’t have it fleshed out enough to share details just yet. I am also writing a short story for a romance anthology coming out in February.
Where can readers find you?
Live Events: Upcoming book signings at Newtown Book shop on Saturday, October 5th and the Bucks County Bookfest on Sunday, October 13th
Thank you and congratulations on your debut, Leanne!
THE LANGUAGE OF DIVORCE
Is it really over?
Hannah and Will Abbott define the American dream: two kids, a home in the suburbs, and a seemingly perfect marriage. But discontent lurks under the surface of their outwardly happy lives as each Hannah and Will suspect the other of infidelity. When they independently consult divorce attorneys, the conflict escalates and Hannah flees with the children against a court order. This snap decision starts a social media firestorm and, suddenly, the Abbott divorce is big news.
With family stress and legal fees rising, Will and Hannah accept an invitation to appear on a reality television show for divorcing couples. During filming on the beautiful island of St. John, the Abbotts must decide once and for all: can their love survive their past?
Leanne lives in New Jersey with her husband of twenty-five years and their three wonderful children. When Leanne is not cheering her kids on in their activities, she can be found running, watching 76ers basketball games, and spoiling her two beloved dogs. Favorite locations include the Jersey shore, Martha’s Vineyard, and any place that sells books or coffee, preferably both. A passionate student, Leanne’s dream life would include going back to college and majoring in everything.
Leanne is a graduate of Lafayette College and The Dickinson School of Law. She is a former attorney who is now lucky enough to write full-time! The Language of Divorce is her debut novel.