Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wednesday's Warriors - Susan Stoker and SEAL of Protection


Susan Stoker is one of the participating authors for the SOS America Military Tribute at the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas (link).   She joins us for a cozy chat to celebrate the release of PROTECTING SUMMER, Book 3 in her SEAL of Protection series.  From her bio,

Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She is quite the romantic and even met the love of her life on "Hotmail classified" before online dating and sites like match.com even existed!

Susan loves writing but her true passion is adopting dogs from rescue groups and shelters. Susan and her husband have had a total of nine "rescued" dogs since 2000 including a variety of basset hounds and bloodhounds. She has recently branched out and adopted a basset/terrier mix who acts more like a terrier than a basset (i.e. digging, eating a couch and being hyper).

Kim:  We love travel here at SOS Aloha! Can you share a favorite sight, sound, and smell from Missouri - California - Colorado - Indiana?

Susan:  When we lived in Missouri, my husband was a Drill Sergeant, so the sight of the "cattle car" slowly making its way onto post always made me laugh, because I knew the Privates inside had NO idea what was going to be unleashed on them by the Drill Sergeants as soon as they crossed onto the base. 

When we were in California, we were stationed at Ft Irwin in the Mojave Desert. One of the favorite things we did was a hike to the top of the "mountain" on the post. You could literally see for miles and miles in the desert around us. It was absolutely beautiful. 

Colorado was an interesting post for me, because Mr. Stoker was stationed in Korea while I lived in CO. Living in Colorado Springs was, of course, beautiful, but the best memories I had of there was getting to travel to South Korea both Christmas Breaks. It's such a different culture...and it was great to see him after six months of being apart. 

And lastly, after Korea my husband was moved to Kentucky (yes, I was still in Colorado because that's where we THOUGHT he'd be moved after his stint in Korea was over). I was able to get a job in Indiana. While we still lived apart, at least we were only 4 hours apart instead of 10 (Colorado to Kentucky). One fun memory I have from that time was on my birthday, Mr Stoker hid my presents all over Lexington, and I had to read clues and go hunt them down. 

The bottom line is that every place was different...Moving gives you a new perspective on yourself and the world around you.

Kim:  What have you learned from frequent moves that you can apply to your writing career?

Susan:  Patience. I think every author would like to become an overnight sensation with their first book...but as many in the industry say, "It's a marathon, not a sprint." Things don't always go as planned and it's best to "go with the flow". I try to do that with my writing as well.  The other thing I think I've learned is not to buy into drama. Being in the military, and living on various Army bases, drama abounds...and that was BEFORE Facebook appeared on the scene! So I try to keep my head down, be polite, and just write.

Kim:  Who or what helped you along the path to publishing?

Susan:  I was proof reading for a small publishing house and when I realized what I'd written "for fun" in my spare time was just as good, or better, than what I was proofing, I decided to jump in feet first. As my husband says..."Susan, you've been preparing your entire life to be a romance author." He's right, I've been reading romances since I was in middle school! But the bottom line is the most helpful people have been the readers I've met and talked to. They have encouraged me by telling they have enjoyed my books and helping give me the confidence to keep writing and publishing.

Kim:  Tell us about your books - what inspired them?

Susan:  I'm not sure I can point to one thing and say "THIS" inspired me to write...I have a good imagination (when I was little I'd spend hours in the backyard pretending I was Wonder Woman, then pretending I was the damsel in distress who had to be rescued BY Woman Woman lol) and I just use what I think up in my head to make a story. Writers tend to write what they like to read, and I've always been a sucker for that "strong woman needs to be rescued" story. That theme repeats itself in a lot of my stories.

Kim:  What's next for Susan Stoker

Susan:  I'd love to say a movie deal, but I don't think that's what you meant! HA! After my SEAL of Protection Series, I have a law enforcement series up my sleeve. I've already written the first two books in the series and the first book is slated to come out this fall (2015). After that I have plans to start on a firefighter series. I have also dipped my toe into writing erotica..under a pen name. It's a whole different thing to write than romantic suspense, that's for sure! Then...who knows!

Mahalo, Susan, for your service as a military spouse!  I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about anything in which you have "jump in feet first".   Each assignment gives me the opportunity to "jump in feet first" to a new community.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 29.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Susan and her books at stokeraces.com.

Check out my posts for "Getting Ready for RT Booklovers Convention" on my travel blog at this link and link.



  1. During job changes I have had over the years I have jumped in feet first.

  2. Small things, but large to me :-)

  3. At my age I don't think I can jump anymore!!! LOL

  4. Moving from upstate NY to North Central Texas was a "jumed in feet first" event for me - no friends, family, or job. Opening a new business, too. No more - I'm done!! :)

  5. Changes can be stressful at work, but I look at it as learning something new!!!

  6. I just started going back to school. I have been wanting this for a very long time. But with having two kids and a husband that drives otr it has been impossible. I decided its do it now or forget it. So I started class today. Here's to the future.

  7. I have always jumped in when I do something.

  8. Autism. My boys were both diagnosed very young. In my home state there are few programs available. I found I had to jump in feet first head first and be the advocate in order ti get the education my boys deserved by law and had to fight the system to get it. With the help of amazing teachers, both my boys graduated, the oldest with honors and my oldest went off to college. So jumping in feet first to autism, definitely is me.

  9. Hi Susan! I love your outlook regarding all the changes you had to make. Everything was looked at as an adventure and you cherished the time you did get to spend together.

    I love your SEAL of Protection Series and can't wait to read the new one.

  10. Hi. I was injured in 2011 and still have not been able to go back to work. I have zero income. I am jumping into an intense physical therapy program Monday-Friday 8 hours a day ( thank God for Texas Workers Comp). I will have my kindle with your amazing stories to help me through hours on a bike, and exercise ball. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent

  11. After graduating from school with my MBA I decided to quit the corporate world and go back to school for a degree in teaching learning and behavior disorders. I became a substitute teacher to gain experience. I now teach a self-contained MMD class at the only public all girl school in my city. I work very closely with the girls and their families to get them ready for their next big adventure high school. The biggest compliment that I have received is the girls and their parents saying that they wish that I could come with them : )

  12. Whenever I do volunteer work - I may not know exactly what to do but it's the jumping in feet first and doing what needs to be done anyway!

  13. when I put an addition on my house - I had never had any construction done before - lots of decisions - fortunately, I picked a really good contractor who knew really good sub-contractors.

  14. Watching sports

  15. When again a new job it means a new place, I have jumped in feet first. Not knowing anybody, or anything is a challenge. But I've done it, made it my own :)

  16. When I had my daughter I jumped in feet first. Also when we decided to rescue this puppy we talked a family into giving us because they were not nice to him, I jumped in feet first since Iv'e never had a dog before.

  17. I have jumped in feet first many times in my life: a wonderful and long marriage and work. When I got married I had to learn how to cook, pay bills, balance a checking and savings account, etc. All big things for me.

  18. Helping my aunt when she was coming to the end of her life.