Friday, December 14, 2012

TBR welcomes Susan Furlong-Bolliger

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Susan. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Susan:  I’ve worked as a teacher, translator, administrative assistant, Martial Arts instructor, waitress, office cleaner….all the while writing stories in my spare time. When our first child was born, I decided to stay home and be a full-time mother but quickly became restless. I turned to freelance writing, fitting in jobs when time would allow. That was almost 20 years ago and now that our youngest is in school, I’m turning to writing full-time, or at least between shuffling kids to and from their various activities.

TBR: Tell us about Christmas in Killarney and where it's available.
Susan:  I’m currently promoting my Christmas short story CHRISTMAS IN KILLARNEY. It’s available from the publisher at or on Amazon at

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Susan:  Maureen is facing the prospect of a depressing Christmas after her husband Bob loses his job and she's forced to clean hotel rooms. When Bob's former boss is murdered, she thinks there's a chance that the couple's luck has changed. Unfortunately, for Maureen, her luck just got a lot worse.

Here’s what a couple of reviewers are saying: 

If you have a few minutes and you want to have a great laugh reading a delightfully sly little mystery, check out Christmas in Killarney.  Nancy Roberts, reviewer - When in Doubt, Read!

Twisted is the Christmas theme in this short story and it really made me laugh when I got to the end. The Pagan and Pen Book Reviews

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Susan: I was in a gift shop admiring a collection of Santa Clauses when I spied one dressed as an Irishman. Instead of Santa’s normal garb, this Santa sported green knickers, a green plaid coat and matching Donegal—sort of a cross between St. Nick and a deranged leprechaun. I couldn’t resist picking him up for a closer look. Imagine my surprise when I squeezed his belly and he began crooning Christmas in Killarney in a surprisingly Bing Crosby-like voice! However, there was a little hitch in the recording and it hic-cupped on the word Killarney—Killarney sounded like kill Arnie. That got me thinking!  Thus, the premise of Christmas in Killarney was born—it’s a whole new spin on an old Christmas song.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?                 
Susan:  I’m a bit of both. I start with my characters and let them run amok for a while. Then, I jump in and make them behave with intense plotting. The whole process is a little nerve racking until it all comes together in the end.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Susan:  I’m a people watcher, so I borrow character traits from people that I observe. I make up a whole fictitious life story about that person, churning away at what makes them tick, until I feel like I know them well. Then I start writing. Very little of their back story makes it into the storyline, but taking the time to fully develop the character off-page helps me identify with them while I’m writing.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Susan:   I like Rex Stout’s (Nero Wolf) quote:  I still can’t decide which is more fun – reading or writing.

That’s exactly how I feel!  My ideal day is one where I can hole-up inside with a huge stack of books and a bunch of junk food.

TBR: What's next for you?
Susan: More writing and more submitting. Besides short stories, I’m currently editing my third unpublished novel.

TBR: Any other published works?
Susan:  I have a whole line of short holiday mysteries available at the Untreed Reads bookstore. Check it out here: There’s one for almost every holiday including a new release coming this spring titled The Boonville Retribution, a fun Fourth of July short story.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Susan: Balancing the role of writing and marketing is a challenge. I try to work a little marketing into every day, but if I’m not careful, marketing can consume too much of my writing time.

I also continue to work as a freelance writer. One of the most challenging but rewarding aspects of my free-lance work is being able to meet and exceed editor’s expectations by coming in under deadline with a quality piece of writing. There’s just something fun about getting the job done, doing it well and seeing my work go into print.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Susan: I love cozy mysteries. A few of my favorite authors are Susan Wittig Albert, Leann Sweeney, Maggie Sefton, Sue Ann Jaffarain … I could go on and on!

Right now I’m enjoying A Dead Red Cadillac, the first in a series by RP Dahlke. It’s a new favorite and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest in the series.  

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
My website:      
Twitter:                       @foulplayauthor
Author’s Den:   

I also co-blog at Books Gone Viral:

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Sue. All the best to you.


  1. Welcome to TBR, Susan! Love the premise for your book. :)

  2. Sounds like a cute story. Also, the title is catchy. Interesting for the Santa to be dressed differently as well.

    Morgan Mandel


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