Our Pages

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Not a Creeper, I'm a Writer


The Lady Scribes are pleased to welcome Suzan Butler as a featured blogger. Look for more from Suzan in the coming months and check out her newest release, No Strings Attached.

I have a confession. I'm totally spying on your conversations. In the coffee shop, in the line at the grocery store, on Twitter, Facebook, and especially at the bar. If you're talking, I'm listening. I could say it's just making sure I'm being realistic with my dialogue, but the real fact is I just find people interesting. In fact, I have perfected the art of listening without staring. I can zone in to a conversation at ten paced. I used to stare but when I finally asked a couple to raise their voices while they talked so I could listen and got the weird looks... I decided that listening without letting on would be a better plan. Yes, I know. I have no shame.

Years ago, my best friend at the time was going through a really bad break up. Her husband dumped her and broke her heart, leaving her with two little girls. She kept talking about how hard her life was, and how stressed she was. Then suddenly, she stopped talking. She looked at me,, frowning, and asked me, "You're not going to put this in a book, are you?"

Hehe. Of course not... for a couple years until she's put it way in the past. :D

Recently, I was talking to some readers at Lori Foster's Reader/Author Get Together about bar life, and it turns out... I'm not the only one who people watches. In fact, a group of us made up stories about people sitting at the bar. One man come in with one woman and left with another, leaving the first woman alone at the bar. A few minutes later, he reappeared with the woman he left with and yet a third woman. We had an entire story in about five minutes of watching that scene. Then there was the creepy old dude that spent his night drunk and hitting on every girl under thirty. 

It's likely that I'm probably son some FBI and NSA watch list for the people that I've interviewed in order to do my books. I do like to know some weird things. And when I was writing from the bad guy's point of view in my upcoming book, No Strings Attached, I had to look up sexist, charismatic speakers on YouTube, because they would do entire speeches on what they believe, and since I believe so opposite, I had a hard time getting into my bad guy's head on WHY he believed the way he did. And I even interviewed an ex-cartel member to make sure I had the details of my mafia mentality right.

But while that research is cool, the actual fun thing is conversation between everyday people. The best things that I overheard are almost always when people don't realize I'm listening in.

I love my job. I can sit around and listen in on people's conversation and claim it's research, and not just because it interests me.

So now my rationale is this: I'm not creepy. I'm a writer. It's what I do.

Are you a people watcher too?


Ashlynn Connolly has been Ethan Kearney's best friend since they were twelve, despite the different in their tax brackets. Though he played stupid pranks on her as a child, and left for a career in the Navy, Ash has always stood by him. But now Ethan has a deadline, and he's going to put their friendship to the test with a business proposition-a marriage proposal. 

If Ashlynn hadn't been flat-out broke , and about to ask for a loan from her best friend, she might have laughed at Ethan's proposal. But being laid off with a small child to care for alone changes one's perspective and the idea of being Ethan's wife is too much to turn down, and not just because of the money he offers.

Getting married is the simplest solutions to both their problems, or so it seems. But while the passion between them scorches the sheets, a shadow from Ash's past prepares to burn them more thoroughly than either ever expected.


Suzan Butler is a romantic fiction author with a penchant for Dr. Pepper, ice hockey, and world domination. 

She lives in Texas under a not-so-secret identity with two monsters, writing books and planning her next step in her evil plans into the twilight hours of the night because that's when it's quiet in the house. 

You can visit her at the following places:


If you'd like to receive news in your email about what Suzan's got going on, you can visit her website and sign up for her Mailing List




14 comments:

  1. Welcome, Suzan! I'm a creeper, too. :-) Total eavesdropper. People are so interesting! Either I'm circumspect about it or people just ignore my rudeness, because no one has ever confronted me. I should probably thinki up a good line, just in case!

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!! Yeah, I think having a good cover story would be a good thing. I should probably come up with one, huh?

      This one time, I made a couple guys get up and leave by accident. But one of them had an awesome accent and I couldn't help but listen. *sigh*

      Delete
  2. Hi, Suzan!
    It's great to have you with us today. I love to watch people at the airport and make up stories about where they are going and why. I don't listen in on conversations usually, but I probably have that need satisfied with my day job. I spend many hours listening to people and their problems/stories. I like to shut it down when I can. But I figure if a conversation is meant to be private, they shouldn't be having it in public. So listen away! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for having me!

      I think airports are one of the most interesting places. So many people that would never be under the same building anywhere else at the same time. Watching the different personalities interact is a lot of fun.

      Delete
  3. Hi Suzan... Probably a bad thing to admit, but I usually find that I'm the most interesting person anywhere I go. Well, and whoever I happen to be with). Yes - I'm a tad bit arrogant (but that's just part of my charm, or so I tell myself.) LOL.

    Honestly, though it never occurs to me to listen in on other's conversations. I'm not very observant as I spend most of my time in my own head. But every once in a while my ears will pick up some weird bit of conversation and I'll look across at whoever I happen to be with and say, "Did you hear THAT?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!! When i'm with other people, i tend to attract a lot of attention. But when it's just me, I think there's something in my head that turns that switch to Invisible instead. Maybe it's because when I actually go somewhere by myself, I'm usually on a mission of some sort, or working outside of the house because I do crave that people interaction thing.

      Delete
  4. Hey, Suzan! Thanks for joining us. :)

    I do more watching than listening. I like to pick up on facial expressions, gestures, touches...and then fill in the conversation in my head. Malls are a great place to do this, I've found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, body language is fun, especially when you can't hear them. Then you can REALLY make up an awesome story. My brother and I used to act out people's conversations when we couldn't hear them. Come to think of it, it might be his fault I do this....

      Delete
  5. Hi, Suzan! Welcome to LS!!

    I'm LOLing about your post. I can't believe you asked a couple to talk louder. That is HILARIOUS!

    I used to do a lot of people watching/listening in NY, mostly on the subway, because you really can't escape it. But my hubby and I tend to be too preoccupied with our toddler while we're out and about these days to notice other people. Maybe once she's a little older and I don't have to be so focused on her I'll be able to tune in to other people's lives again!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... that's not my proudest moment. We don't have subways here in Dallas, so I don't get that outlet. I'd imagine that would be tons of fun to watch people there.

      Toddlers are tough. It gets so much easier once they can make their own sandwich. :D

      Delete
  6. Total creeper here too. Although I think I'm more like Catherine, I do more watching than listening, but I've been known to be an eaves dropper more than I care to admit. LOL love this post. I love the idea of a group of writers coming up with stories about the people they see in a bar! Too cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzie! Listening lets me get in on the conversation while I'm doing something else. Sadly, I'm far too clumsy for watching, because i will totally start leaning forward and hanging on their every word until they really do think I'm a creeper. :D

      Delete
  7. LOL I believe I'm a listener and watcher too. Though I don't make it obvious, I do smile at crazy things people would say, hopefully that doesn't give me away. Isn't it exciting to be authors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that I MEAN to make it obvious. I'm just not very tactful. LOL

      Delete