Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sue Palmer Fineman interview

Today we have Sue Palmer Fineman blogging with us. Sue recently published The Mitchell Money with Wild Rose Press. We're happy to have Sue tell us about herself and her books today.

DHG: Tell us about yourself, Sue.

SPF: I'm a grumpy old lady who enjoys reading, so when I retired from my day job, I thought I'd try writing a short story.  But my short story turned into a full-length novel. I fell in love with the setting, the characters, and the premise of the book.  Over the years, as my skill level as a writer improved, I rewrote the book several times, until I was satisfied with it. The Mitchell Money then got published by The Wild Rose Press.  I wrote three sequels to that first book.  One was so bad, I threw it away.  I called it “practice.”  The other two sequels are as yet unpublished.

Since then I've written nearly thirty books, some really awful ones and some I think came out pretty good.  I threw some away, others I edited until I was satisfied with them.  Most of my novels are romantic suspense, and some have light paranormal elements, like ghosts, visions, past lives, and such.  I've also written two books I'd put in the category of women's fiction.  They contain romance, but the books are about the woman's journey and growth rather than the romance. 

DHG: Tell us about The Mitchell Money? Where did the idea come from? It is published with Wild Rose Press, right?

SPF: Right.  The Mitchell Money was that first book I wrote - and rewrote - and rewrote.  I lived in Gig Harbor, Washington at the time, and many of our friends and neighbors had winter homes in Arizona.  I was sketching the floor plan of a house one day - a long-time hobby of mine - and as I looked at the plan, I wondered who'd live there.  What was their story?  I pictured a woman living in a tiny motor home with her husband while they had their new home built in the hills outside a town I called Maystown, Arizona.  The husband dies suddenly and she can't find their money.  If she can't find it soon, she'll lose the half-built house - her dream house - and the land it sits on.  It’s her only monetary asset.  During her marriage, her husband never allowed her to work, so she has no job skills, no way to make enough money to pay the hefty construction loan payments.  She's alone in a place where she doesn't know anyone, she's nearly broke, and she's scared.

The rancher next door is a former cop, a surly widower who's being stalked by the town gossip, who wants to marry him.  Only he can't stand to be around her.  He runs into Rachel's car, denting her fender, and blames her for the accident.  When she sees the cell phone in his old pickup truck, she blames him for not watching where he was going.  She never wants to see him again.  Trouble is, he's the only man in town who can help her find the missing money.  

I knew the title before I began writing, and I found his name right away - Gary Martinson.  I struggled to find the right name for her, and when I did, Rachel Woods came to life.  Her husband was a controlling, secretive man, and she’d been desperately unhappy in her marriage. 

Gary worshipped his wife, but she died years ago from cancer.  He’s the most unlikely hero you'll ever want to meet, but you'll fall in love with him.

DHG: I know you published The Mitchell Money with Wild Rose Press. What about the other books you have? Are you self publishing them? Give us a bit of information about them, too.

SPF: I put the three books in the Gregory Series up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  They’re romantic suspense with a little humor mixed in.  The Gregory brothers were all adopted, but they’re brothers in every way that counts.

On the Run is the first book in the series.  Neen has been on the run from the drug lord’s killers for three years.  She carries a big purse with all the essentials, including her gun and clean underwear.  Greg, the macho brother, is working undercover with the FBI to catch a dirty agent in the DEA.  To do that, he needs Neen’s help.  He finally finds her, but after three years on the run, she’s not exactly the same, sweet girl he met before the drug raid. 

The second book in the series, On the Lam, is about Greg’s brother, Bo.  He’s a former Marine whose elbow was shattered in Iraq.  He’s the responsible brother, the one everyone in the family turns to when they need help.  He doesn’t want any more responsibility, but when a friend sends a battered woman running away from her abusive husband to him, he can’t turn her away.  Callie looks like Snow White and speaks with a soft Texas drawl, but the woman is trouble.  She neglects to tell Bo that she has a little boy and her abusive husband is the county sheriff.  

The third book, On the Edge, is about Greg and Bo’s older brother, Chance.  Chance is half Korean, an attorney whose ex-wife was murdered, leaving him with three grief-stricken children.  After another woman is murdered, Chance learns he and Baylee Patterson, a newspaper reporter who wrote some not-so-nice things about the killer, are both on the killer’s “list.”  The police detective advises Chance and Baylee to leave town.  Chance’s kids are in Texas with his mother, so he and Baylee head for Texas, hoping the police find the killer before the killer finds them.  Chance and Baylee had a one-night stand the night his divorce became final.  He promised to call and didn’t, so it’s an interesting ride to Texas.

DHG: What is your favorite type of books to write? What are your favorite books to read?  

SPF: I’ll read almost anything, but everything I write has some element of suspense or mystery.  I especially like writing about a woman finding strength to overcome something and unexpectedly finding love along the way.    

DHG: When you write, do you have a schedule? So many hours in the morning etc?

SPF: I don’t have a schedule, and I don’t push myself to write a certain number of words a day or week or whatever.  Once I begin a book, I’m compelled to keep writing until it’s finished, however long that takes.  If I set page or word goals, my mind is on that goal instead of the goal of getting the book written.

DHG: Do you consider yourself a pantster or a plotter, and why?

SPF: Oh, I’m definitely a pantser.  If I know the plot before I begin, I lose interest in writing the story.  I have to keep writing to find out what happens.

DHG: What is the link to your website?

SPF: I use my blog as a website.  I have the first chapters of my four published books on the blog.  

The Mitchell Money is available at
The Gregory Series is available at and
You can also go to and search for Sue Fineman.  My books should all pop up.

DHG: Thank you, Sue. And I wish you the best with your novels.



  1. For someone who doesn't follow a schedule, you certainly do a lot of writing, Sue. How was your experience with Wild Rose Press?

  2. Oh Sue, your books sound like those I like to read! A bit of Brenda Novak, Heather Graham and maybe a little Ann B. Ross, a great mixture. Now I have more books to put on my list. For your paranormal books, did you have trouble finding a publisher? I have an interest in your answer since I'm writing a paranormal romantic mystery.

  3. I admire your willingness to toss your work away if it does not meet your standards. Good luck for continued success.

  4. I'm impressed that you are able to throw away your books that you don't feel are good enough to be published! I look forward to reading the Gregory Series.

  5. Pauline, I love The Wild Rose Press. They're very good to work with and the authors there are very supportive. If you're considering going with a small publisher, I don't think you can do better than with TWRP.

    Thank you, E.B. I don't have my paranormal books published yet, but I will get around to it. I have a psychic daughter, so adding ghosts, visions, past-life experiences, and such, is right up my alley, so to speak.

    Warren and Kara, some of the books I threw away were just awful! I'd be embarrassed for anyone to read them.

    Kara, I hope you enjoy reading the Gregory Series. The first book, On the Run, is available right now on Smashwords for FREE!

    Dee, thanks so much for having me on the blog.

  6. Hi, Sue.

    I actually know Gig Harbor as I was born and raised in Washington.

    And i love your hobby of sketching floor plans. i think I might do that...just for fun. Houses are very interesting and what a neat way to plot.

    L. j.

  7. Thanks for sharing your writing process, Sue. Your books sound fun. Very generous of you to offer the first one free on Smashwords.

  8. HI Sue! **waves madly** Great interview. I like your take on why you don't plot: if you knew what would happen you'd lose interest. Oh, I know the feeling. I like the element of surprise when I write. It makes it so much more fun. Keep at it.

  9. I don't believe I've ever heard of a story starting with a literal floor plan before. You are certainly unique, which must be why I enjoy your characters so much. They're unique, too.

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  11. Great blog entry, Sue. I love the sound of your books.

  12. Great blog entry, Sue. Your books sound great.