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Title: Burning Tracks
Author: Lilah Suzanne
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S.
Genre: Contemporary, Humor/Comedy, Lesbian Romance
Release Date: 08/11/2016
In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.
Today we’re interviewing Lilah Suzanne, author of Burning Tracks.
Hi Lilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
1) How do you develop your plots and characters?
It involves a lot staring pensively out of a window and scribbling things in a notebook that may or may not make any sense to even myself later on. I do outline, but not extensively, so to develop the plot I develop the characters first. I start with names and basic characteristics (job, looks, personality, likes and dislikes) I flesh out their backstory some, and then as I write the outline fills in due to a fleshed out character. I let them lead the way, but only so far.
2) Who doesn’t love a good hero? Tell us about your protagonist. Was there a real life inspiration behind them?
I never base my characters directly on real people, but bits and pieces sneak in anyway, I’m sure. Gwen is essentially someone who has worked very hard to prove her worthiness, has had to rebel and grow a thick skin to do so, and is now at that place in her life where she’s achieved her goals and dreams and isn’t sure where to go from there, or if any of it is really what she wanted. I think a lot of people can relate to that.
3) What real-life inspirations do you use when world building?
I haven’t had to do a whole lot of world building, as all of my places and spaces are based on the real-life world. For Burning Tracks it takes place mostly in Nashville, and a little bit in Vegas. For that, I just use pictures and my own experiences. I’m very visual, so that works pretty well. It is, perhaps, an idealized version of life, but maybe that’s just how I want to see the world.
4) Did you learn anything from this book and what was it?
I furthered my knowledge of the day-to-day life of a stylist, and also all the places in Las Vegas I will definitely be avoiding should I ever find myself back there. But I think mostly I learned from writing Gwen that sometimes life requires us to jump in with both feet and not overthink it. I wouldn’t mind being a little more bold, like Gwen.
5) It’s your last meal on earth. What do you choose?
I really don’t know! I’m not much of a foodie. I’ll pick what Gwen would pick which is several items from the “secret” menu at In-N-Out Burger.
“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.
“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”
Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—” He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”
Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”
“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”
Grady sniffs and holds him tighter. “It’s okay. We’re okay. I’m sorry, too.”
Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.
Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”
“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”
“None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.
But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”
“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”
He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.
“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”
“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”
Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.
Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”
Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.
Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”
There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.
“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.”
Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”
About the Author
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of the Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, and Broken Records, which was named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Magazine.
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