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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Genesis of a Book - Shifters: An Anthology by Suzanne Rock

Thank you everyone for having me on the blog today!

Since Shifters is an Anthology, not a single title, I thought I’d talk a little bit about each of them in turn. It has been a while since I’ve been with these characters, since the stories in this antho were all published in 2009 and 2010. Still, it’s fun to go back and think about how each of them came to be.


The first book in the anthology is called Cria. At the time, there was a submission call at a small press for romances that also supported taking care of the environment. I thought that the “green” concept was very unique and wanted to give it a try. All I needed was the setting, plot and characters, lol.

A couple of weeks later, I watched a cable special on the Amazon Rainforest and knew that was the perfect setting for my story. There are so many undiscovered plants and animals living in the rainforest. It felt entirely possible that different shifter clans could live there out of the public eye. If they lived out of the public eye, then they had to be rooted deep in tradition and mythology, like the Incas, Mayans or Aztecs. I imagined a woman full of spunk living in such a setting and had my story: A feisty heroine decides that she doesn’t want to be subjected to the whims of the men in her life. She rebels against the Cria, and gets caught up in a fight against the humans who are destroying the trees around their home and forcing them deeper and deeper into the forest.

The title, Cria, has multiple meanings. Basically, it’s a baby camelid, like an alpaca. The literal translation in Portuguese is “create” and in Spanish it is “breeding.” I loved the sound of the word and thought it would be a good name to call an ancient tradition where shifters picked their mates and impregnated them.


This was the first book of mine that was ever published. It was written in response to a contest Jessica Faust had on her blog to write a great fist-line hook. She wanted us to post the first line to our story and post it in the comments section. Then she’d read the entries and ask for pages from the one-liners she liked.

At the time, I wanted to come up with something attention-grabbing and shocking. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a story written. I really wanted to win! So one night my husband and I were shooting one-liners back and forth over dinner and he came up with a doozy: Every time I f*ck, somebody dies.

I mean, that’s fantastic, right? I thought so, and put it up on the Bookends Blog. It didn’t win the contest, but I had quite a few authors tell me that they loved that line. Their comments got me thinking, and soon Spyder’s Web was born.


This was another story that originated from a submission call. My publisher was looking for stories that had a holiday theme and a title that was a Christmas Carol. After a lot of thought, I came up with the title “Up on the Housetop.” Since I write erotic romance, I thought it would be a good title for a story where lovers reunited on a housetop. Since at the time I wanted to focus on paranormal fiction, I decided to make one of the lovers a werewolf and see what happened. Who knew that such a simple concept would grow to become the first book in one of my biggest selling series?

So there it is. Three stories, three different ways they came into being. It was great spending time on the blog today. Thanks so much for having me!


Out just in time for Halloween, this ebook anthology of alpha male shifters is a compilation of three of my most popular M/F erotic stories. Within the first 48 hours, this bundle became an All Romance Ebooks top 20 best seller, and an Amazon top 50 best seller in anthologies.
Included in this series:

Cria - Aleta runs the ancient breeding race to gain her freedom, but when she runs into someone from her past deep within the Amazon rain forest, she must decide if freedom is truly what her heart desires.
Spyder’s Web – A tough cop tracks down a beautiful serial killer and discovers that things aren’t always what they seem.

Up on the Housetop – Chloe goes up to the rooftop of her childhood home to escape her controlling family and discovers an an erotic adventure she will never forget.

Buy it at:

All Romance Ebooks:

Barnes and Noble:


A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.

Suzanne also writes new adult romances under the pen name Ava Conway (

Blog: Romance on a Budget:



Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Thanks, Suzanne, for joining EQ with the Genesis of your trio of shifter novels. I love your inspiration stories. Sometimes, just one word or thought can bring a whole story to life. I'd love to join you on your Maine lobster dinner hunt. ;-)

Suzanne Rock said...

Thanks so much Jane, and thanks for having me on the blog. It's great to be here. LOL about the Maine lobster hunt. You are welcome to come along any time. :)

Rose Anderson said...

Welcome Suzanne. What interesting glimpses you've given us! I laughed at your one-liners over dinner comment. :)

Suzanne Rock said...

Thanks Rose! If I ever get stuck on plot, my husband is always willing to help. His "help" normally comes in the form of outrageous comments, but he gets my thoughts going in a new direction. Often after our conversations I'm able to get past a difficult part in the story. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Kaye Spencer said...

Your "Up on a Housetop" story-behind-the-story is fabulous, and reading it sparked a title for a story I'm writing. Thanks!!! lol

Jenny Twist said...

Great post. Suzanne

Suzanne Rock said...

That's awesome Kaye. Thanks! GL with your new story idea! :)

Suzanne Rock said...

Thanks Jenny. I'm so glad you liked it!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

It's always interesting to find out what sparked a particular work. Thanks for telling us about yours, Susanne.