The Secrets on Forest Bend – Interview with Susan Muller

Happy Friday everyone. Casey Wyatt here!

Please welcome my fellow Soul Mate author Susan Muller! She’s here to share more about her book SECRETS ON FOREST BEND.

How do you battle the doubt monster? 

I battle the doubt monster every day, and he wins more often than I like to admit. Every time I think I have him licked, he comes around and bites me on the rear, just to let me know who’s the boss. I have to physically force myself to take that first step forward. Yet when I do, I discover it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I guess the answer is that I’m too stubborn to quit.

What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?

Getting published when so many good writer haven’t.  At first I just wanted to know if I could actually write a book. Then could I get an agent to ask for more pages or want to read the whole thing? Being published was almost too big to dream.

Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book.  How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories? 

I don’t intentionally put anything personal in my stories, yet somehow real life works its way in. I like Butter Pecan ice cream. My husband likes Rocky Road. In The Secrets on Forest Bend, Jillian and Adam disagree about ice cream; she likes Butter Pecan and he prefers Rocky Road. She likes basketball and he follows baseball.  In my house, I’m the one who likes baseball.

 Tell us about your latest novel. 

 In my novel, The Secrets on Forest Bend, Detective Adam Campbell is tracing a gun used in two homicides when he discovers that J. R. Whitmeyer, the last known owner of the weapon, is not at all what he expected.

     J. R.’s Guns and Firing Range backed up to a heavily wooded area with no other businesses in the vicinity. Several spotlights meant the area was well-lit at night. The building itself was old, but well maintained. The right side was two-stories and contained the gun shop. The other section had its own entrance, but was connected by an enclosed hall or breezeway. A freshly painted sign over the door read “Firing Range.”

      How could someone who took so much care with a building be negligent enough to lose a dangerous weapon? Where were the owner’s priorities? His good mood began to turn sour and a growl built up in his throat.

      Adam strolled in slowly, not wishing to announce himself until he had time to look around. The sales room was large, with well-placed glass cabinets and wall displays. A hint of gun oil and Windex lingered in the air. Not a smudge or fingerprint was visible on any cabinet. The merchandise was easy to view and arranged in logical groupings. Definitely the nicest gun store he’d ever seen.

      When a display of SIG-Sauers caught his eye, he stopped to study them.

      A woman’s voice called from the back of the room. “I hope you’re here to replace that shoulder holster. It makes your jacket bunch up on one side. Not a good idea if you ever want to go undercover.”

      S**t. Barely in the door and he was already made. His cop mode took over as he studied her. Early thirties, tall and slim, dark hair worn in some type of spiky arrangement, not a speck of makeup­­­­—-why should she with that skin—-and eyes like melted chocolate.

      “Besides,” she went on, those eyes measuring him, “it has to be uncomfortable after a long day. You’re rather large through the chest, but I’ve got a Falco double magazine that would be a perfect fit for you. It’s not cheap, but we offer a standard fifteen percent discount to all military and law enforcement personnel.”

      “No, thanks, that’s not why I’m here.” She was rather large through the chest herself, he noticed. A dark brown tank top revealed arms that were toned and strong. She certainly looked tough enough to belong in a gun store. He wouldn’t be surprised to find she could chew nails and spit out thumbtacks.

      She nodded toward the case he’d been studying. “You’re not planning to switch to a SIG, are you?”

      “No, I’m happy with my Glock.” This conversation was not going the way he planned. Maybe I should go outside and start over

     “Good. I know the Coast Guard and Homeland Security are going with the SIG, and it has a certain sex appeal, but in my opinion you can’t beat the dependability of the Glock for someone in your profession. Now, I could upgrade you to a newer model if you’re interested.” She held his gaze and her eyes drew him in.

     Time to get this interview under control, although any woman who described a firearm as sexy had a definite appeal of her own. His ex-wife had never liked having a gun around, despite knowing what he did for a living when she married him. She claimed that was why she left him. He figured it had more to do with the lawyer she was seeing on the nights he worked late. Just one more in a long list of reasons to distrust attorneys.

     He held up his badge. “I’m Detective Adam Campbell, Homicide. I need to speak to J. R. Whitmeyer.”

     “I’m J. R. Whitmeyer.”

     “I’m looking for James Robert Whitmeyer, owner of this establishment. He’s listed in my records as a fifty-nine-year-old white male.”

     “That’s my father. He passed away about eighteen months ago.” A shadow crossed her face, but she blinked twice and it was gone. Adam knew instinctively she wouldn’t appreciate condolences.

     “I’m Jillian Rose Whitmeyer, the new owner.” She spread her arms, indicating the shop and merchandise. “What can I do to help you?”

      Plenty, but not while I’m on duty.

What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?

I have been on an African safari, traveled down the Amazon River, taken a helicopter to the top of a glacier in New Zealand, and snorkeled in the Galapagos Islands, but nothing was as dangerous as driving in Ireland. There is not a car in that entire country with both side view mirrors and tour bus drivers love to play chicken with little bitty cars.

What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a ‘G’ rated blog! :) }

I absolutely love to get a massage or a pedicure. I like to stay in bed on cold mornings and to stay up late reading a good book. And I never miss watching Jeopardy!

 Thanks for hosting me, Casey.  This was fun, and wow, did your questions make me stop and think!

 You can follow Susan at http://www.susancmuller.com

THE SECRETS ON FOREST BEND IS available from http://www.soulmatepublishing.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Scribes fans – what secrets would you like to share? And if you have any questions for Susan – ask away!

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25 thoughts on “The Secrets on Forest Bend – Interview with Susan Muller”

      1. My experiences with a smaller publisher have been exceedingly rewarding. I couldn’t be happier with Soul Mate Publishing. Any question I’ve asked has been answered promptly, and any problem solved immediately.

        My friends with major publishers, complain bitterly about lack of respect, unreasonible deadlines and lack of communications. I have not had any of these problems and would recommend Soul Mate to anyone who asked.

  1. Loved reading all about you, Susan! But as a massage therapist, I just have one small thing to say: massage is NOT a guilty pleasure! You are doing something REALLY GOOD for yourself by getting a massage. So enjoy it, and also enjoy knowing that you are taking good care of your body. :-)

    I enjoyed your excerpt! Hope to read SECRETS OF FOREST BEND soon! ;-)

  2. Welcome Susan! It must be Massage Therapist day here at the Scribes. I tell people to get a massage at least as often as they change the oil on their car. No guilt required:-)

    Your book looks awesome. Loved the excerpt!

    1. I agree…it’s not a guilty pleasure. It’s therapy for a writer who sits at the keyboard for long hours and stresses about the direction of their stories. :) Oh, my aching back!

      Welcome, Susan! Your excerpt was awesome! Can’t wait to read the whole thing!

  3. Enjoyed the excerpt, Susan! Nice to see a fellow traveller. My craziest venture was bunjee jumping off a bridge into a gorge. We had the option to plunge into the water up to our ankles but I decided I didn’t want that. They claimed some would break the water with their head. Sounds like a migraine to me.

  4. Hi Susan, I enjoyed your excerpt and will put this book on my to read list. Everyone loves a good secret, but if I told you mine … then it would no longer be a secret. The craziest thing I have done is skydiving. I have 56 jumps (55 of which are solo). Loved the sport. Such a rush, but so dangerous that I have since retired from the sport. I think that I would like to try driving in Ireland … sounds like a challange.

  5. Hola Susan, You’ve certainly kept that “doubt monster” a secret and at bay. You seem quite confident and self assured…Enjoyed reading your excerpt and am looking forward to getting a hard copy. Congratulations…

    1. One hint. When you are at a safari camp in Kenya and the sign says “Stay on the lighted path at night to avoid wild animals,’ doesn’t the light just show them where you are?

  6. Hi Susan,

    Best of luck with The Secrets on Forest Bend. And I agree with you about Soul Mate Publishing. It’s a great place to be, and the commaraderie among the authors is phenomenal.

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