RC: We heard you’re headed on vacation soon. So congratulations for what I”m assuming is a much needed break. But we were wondering what kind of books you bring with you when you’re travelling and if you ever listen to audio books.

SM: I do listen to audio books. I don’t unless I’m doing a road trip, then I’ll listen to audio. It’s funny because I’m just coming off what I refer to as my dystopian teenage girl phase. I”m very late to the party but I just finished THe Hunger Games trilogy so when I head off to Europe, I will be downloading Catching Fire to watch. I’m waiting on Mockingjay until part two is out. I don’t do part one part two until I can have a binge moment. I just finished — I know I’m late, I’m sorry. I’ve been reading other stuff– I just finished Divergent so I’m going to get the second book for that. I am weird, I’m a book reader. I have a Kindle, I love my Kindle but in the last year, I’m reading books again and not — so I will be hauling books and my husband is begging me and I’m like “I don’t want to.” I like books. I want the feel, the smell, the weight. And he’s like “could you read something thinner?” It’s like I’ll carry it. So that’s what I’ll be taking with me. And yes, I do audio books. I listen to my books two years out. I love my reader, Tanya. She’s fantastic and she’s doing a really great job with Fool’s Gold, I think. I couldn’t be happier with her and I like to listen because I learn things about my writing. For example, I discovered I used the world interesting way too much so I’ve cut back on that. But I like time to pass. So the books that are coming out this year, I won’t listen to them for a couple of years. It’s too soon. On a humorous note, I can’t listen to my own sex scenes. I can’t do it. Anybody else’s is totally fine. I listen to mine, in my car, on an MP3 file so it’s a single disc. And I don’t know how to fast forward. I know how to skip ahead but I haven’t figured out how to fast forward. So I have to turn the sound down and then watch the clock and then at about five or seven minutes turn it back up and figure out where they are. They’re usually still doing it and it’s like “ew” turn it back down until they’re done, then I go on with the story.

RC:  Is it just too awkward for you?

SM:  It’s just weird. It is the weirdest thing on the planet. I can’t explain it. Every now and then there’s a scene I will listen to, for some reason, because it’s really funny or it’s unexpected. Every now and then I catch myself — I’m halfway through thinking “oh you’re listening to this” and I’ll usually keep going. But that’s one book in twelve. It’s very rare. It creeps me out and — It doesn’t creep me out, it’s just odd. So yeah.

RC: You’ve created such a complete world with your Fool’s Gold series. If you go to Susan’s website, you can find maps of the business and homes, a complete history and even a who’s who of everyone who lives there. That kind of world building is something we usually only see in fantasy novels so we were sort of wondering, where did the inspiration for Fool’s Gold come from?

SM:  Well the town has grown. As I said, I would love to tell you I had this master plan and everything has gone perfectly, but no. It’s started out with a couple of businesses and a hand drawn couple of streets. It’s been five years and it’s grown every year so it’s been really fun to do that but the idea came from a writing friend of mine, Debbie Macomber said “you do thee families really, really well. Write about a town because it’s bigger and you can stay there longer.” That was very appealing to me because readers get very connected to a family or a location — to a series and then to move on every year, it was sort of like reinventing the wheel. I thought I would love to give this a try and we originally figured we would go two years, maybe three and then it just took off and readers responded and I love it. So it’s continued to grow and I’m so grateful for that because I love everybody. It’s fantastic. To be able to revisit, find out Mayor Marsha — and I love the mail: “Will we ever see Mayor Marsha fall in love?” It’s like no. She’s seventy. Trust me, it sounds okay but no one wants to see that on the page. And I love — it’s fun. It’s so much fun. It’s the little throw-away lines that just make me smile. I couldn’t have more fun. But it basically was a suggestions from an amazing writer who has always been generous.

RC: We’re very excited because we are doing a Fool’s Gold challenge with Susan and it starts on May 8th. You can go to BookTrib.com to participate and every Friday, from May 8th on, for ten weeks, we will post a question about the town of Fool’s Gold California. You can go to Susan’s website to try to hunt down the answers for this. People who answer all ten questions accurately, will be eligible to win a custom, one of a kind, Fool’s Gold necklace featuring Susan’s three new novels. So Susan, one more question about Fool’s Gold we’re wondering is do you see an end in sight ever? I know you have these three books coming out, you have the Christmas one, and I know you’re already planning the trilogy for next year. Do you see Fool’s Gold just expanding and getting bigger and bigger?

SM: I think Fool’s Gold has the potential to keep on going. It’s a two part process. Do the readers still want to keep reading it and do I want to keep writing it? And so far the answer to both is yes so I think that’s a really happy thing. As I said, I’m introducing a new family, the Mitchells, and there will be five brothers we’ll be writing about. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun.

RC:  Cool. Thank you so much for speaking with us today, Susan. Everybody remember to go to BookTrib to enter the Fool’s Gold challenge on May 8th and also check out Susan’s website for more information about Fool’s Gold and her upcoming novels.

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