SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS finally in Italy! We asked her a few questions...

Dear Susan,

after the release of IT HAD TO BE  YOU and HEAVEN, TEXAS  here in Italy, fans are writing to our blog with enthusistic reviews of the book, asking when the next one in the series will come out! Well, now that they have discovered your great books, Italian readers want to keep on reading! I understand them quite well. I found out about your Chicago Stars while surfing the net  about a decade ago and I've glommed all of them  and still can't wait to read the next. 

As we published a review of HT some weeks ago, on the occasion of its release, we would now like to ask you a few questions about the series for our blog LA MIA BIBLIOTECA ROMANTICA. We know you're always busy, but if you find the time to answer us, we will be very greatful -  your Italian fans are so eager to get info about you.
SEP and Fanucci at RWA 2012
Francesca, thanks so much for sending the cover of HEAVEN, TEXAS. I hadn't seen it and I think it's adorable!  I'm also attaching a photo of myself with my delightful Italian publisher.  I can't tell you how thrilled I am after all this time to be able to reach out to my Italian readers.  I invite them to join me on Facebook,
where I have a very active presence. Also, be sure to check out my website at
1. Thanks for taking the time for our questions Susan. First of all, on It had to be you. Personally, I loved Phoebe Somerville’s character – her smartly using her good “Marilyn” looks to hide what she wanted to keep hidden. How did you come up with such a wonderful, riveting character?
I never know how I come up with any characters. She was simply lurking somewhere in my head, and I loved her.

2. Did It had to be you start as a stand-alone, or did you have a series in mind right from the start?
I had no intention of writing a series. But then Bobby Tom Denton walked into IT HAD TO BE YOU, I fell in love with him and had to know more about him, and that started HEAVEN, TEXAS.

3. What character pops up first in your mind? Do you usually start with the hero or the heroine? Or is the story you figure first and then think about  characters who best suit it?
Every book is different.  Some start with a premise--"What if a woman who knew nothing about sports inherited a professional football team."  Others start with character.  "I have to know more about this guy named Bobby Tom Denton."  I don't work from an outline but develop story and characters as I go along.

4. The books in the Chicago Stars series  we are reading now in Italy were written in the 90s, but they haven't lost their appeal so far, they are classics. What ingredients do you think are essential  in a romance book to make it work now as well as twenty years from now?
The emotions have to be true. Readers need to be able to identify with a character, and they most frequently do that emotionally.
5. What are you working on right now?
My next book is in its very early stages so there won’t be any publication date set for a while. Check my website for updates. I’ll post a hint or two soon.

Thanks for taking time to answer us Susan and thank you for your wonderful stories! We hope we'll be able to meet you in Italy soon .

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