When Georgette’s old friend, Helen comes back to Sunnydale, the town begins to sizzle. Is Helen attracted to Hawthorne Biggs, Georgette’s new beau or is it just Georgette’s imagination? But when Helen goes missing, all seems lost. Will they find Helen dead? Does Hawthorne truly have Georgette’s best interests at heart? HOTTER THAN HELEN is a psychological women’s suspense that reads like the sharp edge of a dagger.
Read on for an interview with Susan Wingate, author of Hotter Than Helen.
S.R.: What inspired you to write Hotter Than Helen?
S.W.: Actually, I had written the first book of the series, Bobby’s Diner which did very well when, after some urging by people in the business, I decided to make Bobby’s Diner into a three-book series. I really wasn’t thinking of writing a series after finishing the first book but I’m happy I did. I enjoy following the women in this story and watching how their stories progress.
S.R.: What was your favorite part about writing Hotter Than Helen?
S.W.: If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you! 😊 Not really. So, I always get great fun exacting justice on baddies. That said, I’m not giving anything away when I say the story gets pretty bumpy. From beginning to end. It’s always fun to write emotion-packed action scenes. I put myself into each action scene, choreograph it, then figure out what I would do “if.” What I enjoy most is writing about strong women. Strong women who exhibit all emotions—fear, sadness, aggression, and being aloof.
S.R.: What do you hope readers get out of your book?
S.W.: I hope they find Hotter than Helen a great and entertaining story. But be ready for some suspense, action, and some terror mixed in.
S.R.: You write poetry, short stories, essays, as well as thrillers, mysteries, and women’s fiction. How does writing in so many different formats influence your work?
S.W.: Well, I love poetic fiction and the art of writing so that’s how poetics affects my novel writing. As far as the genre expanse, I let stories take me where they want me to go. Sometimes my stories stay strictly within genre parameters and sometimes they become mashups. I honestly never know how a story will evolve. I love that about writing fiction—the creative process involved in it. The exploration of creation is quite a thrilling process.
S.R.: What are you working on next?
S.W.: I’m working on a couple family dramas that will fit nicely into women’s fiction. They both are set where I live, Friday Harbor, Washington. Friday Harbor is the county seat of the San Juan Islands. I’ve lived here for twenty-five years this Halloween ’22 when I moved from Phoenix. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. The place is magical with its woods, beaches, and grazing lands. The air is crystal clean and smells like cedar and purple hyacinth. Eagles, fox, deer, and raccoon live on our property, and everyone in town knows everybody else’s business. It’s that small town urge that keeps me interested and fascinated. So, these next two stories will incorporate all of this place as well as some quirky, flawed characters.
Purchase your copy of Hotter Than Helen here.
Susan Wingate writes about big trouble in small towns. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Washington State where, against State laws, she feeds the wildlife because she wants them to follow her. Her ukulele playing is, “Coming along,” as her Sitto used to say.
Susan’s eight-time award-winning novel, How the Deer Moon Hungers was chosen by The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club as their October 2022 Official Book Selection of the Month.
Susan has an insatiable appetite for online word games and puzzles. She thinks it might be obsessive-compulsive but is fine with that.
Susan’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in journals such as the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Superstition Review, and Suspense Magazine, as well as several others.
Susan is represented by Chip MacGregor and is a proud member of PENAmerica, Int’l Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.