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The Sirens of Suspense




Susan Klaus, is the author of SECRETARIAT REBORN, a thriller out now, and FLIGHT OF THE GOLDEN HARPY, available next year from Tor. She was born in Sarasota, Fl and now lives in Myakka City, Fl, and is the manager and part owner of the Matrix, a Thoroughbred horse farm and cattle ranch that is currently raising rodeo bulls. She is the host and co-producer of The Authors Connection Radio Show on with 15 million listeners in 148 countries. She is also the founder and president of Sarasota Authors Connection club with 230 members that meets monthly at Fruitville Library.

Find Susan on Twitter and Facebook.

item1 AN ODE TO BRAD PITT item1

Love thy characters, a writing rule that all authors should embrace when penning a novel. Why? Because character can go from a stereo type of boring adjectives to one that leaps off the pages with the heart and soul of the author and comes to life. Even our villains deserve a little love to make them more believable.

But how far should this love affair go? According to my friends, the readers and authors who know me along with my editor, agent, and two publishers, I go a little overboard. Okay, I’m a borderline fanatic. In both my fantasy and thriller novels, my protagonist is always the same young guy, a lanky, gorgeous Brad Pitt look-a-like. I can’t write a word, get excited or inspired unless he’s in the story. And I’m not a hot-to-trot youngster, but a grandmother.

Since this month, Dec. 18th to be exact, marks the 50th birthday of Brad Pitt, I’ll tell you my little story of how this blond actor altered my path and put me on the road of writing. Several years ago the nightly TV news announced that movie extras were needed for a film called Ocean’s Eleven. Sounded like fun so I applied for the job along with a few thousand other people. It must’ve been fate because I was picked. Early the next morning, I drove to the St. Pete, Fl. dog track, unsure of which stars were in the scene. After going through makeup and wardrobe, I was milling around with a few hundred extras in the grandstands as the cameramen setup lights and equipment. A small group of people began to walk along the track towards the set, and amongst them, a slender blond man who stood half a head taller than the rest. It was Brad Pitt.

I’d seen Pitt in movies and magazines and thought he was a talented, good-looking actor, but in person, he’s flawless, a work of art, the most attractive man I’d ever seen. The point is films don’t do him justice. As soon as Pitt stepped onto the set, he was mobbed by the extras. Everyone wanted his autograph or photo. He smiled, posed, and signed, trying to oblige the crushing crowd. I stood back and watched. I felt so sorry for him. Sure, he has fame, fortune, and looks, but what kind of life did he lead? He’s one of the most sought after men on the planet and can’t go outside without being hunted and harassed. Even on this closed set, he faced this stress. The director finally stepped in and saved him, ordering everyone to leave him alone. Throughout the rest of the long hot day, Pitt repeated his lines with the countless takes. At 6 pm, it was a wrap, and I came away learning that Brad was not only handsome, but a decent, down to earth guy with a good nature, even fun.

I drove home, sat down, and wrote an 800 page fantasy about a beautiful male creature with a lean, humanoid frame and wings that was hunted like a game trophy. So, I owe Mr. Pitt for giving me that first idea. Since then, he’s also the main character in my thrillers. Call me crazy with my one-sided love affair, but I believe all authors are slightly nuts to spend hours alone in a room, tapping out a plot on the computer with only fictitious characters for friends. The other aspect to all this, my readers are also Brad Pitt fans, so it’s a win-win situation. They can’t get enough of this guy.

Therefore, to Brad Pitt, my muse and protagonist, happy 50th birthday, you’re still an incredibly great looking guy, and I’m glad you finally have the family that you so long for. Sadly, time might march on for all of us, but in my novels, Pitt will remain that striking blond that walked onto the Florida movie set and dazzled me. Hey, you have to have an imagination to write books.




HAS A CELEBRITY BECOME YOUR MUSE OR OTHERWISE INFLUENCED YOU? Tell us by commenting on the blog below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a a copy of SECRETARIAT REBORN! (U.S. entrants only, please.)


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