Romantic Novelists' Association

Just One Day – Autumn By Susan Buchanan

6 November 2023

We are delighted that you could join us to talk about your new release. Could you tell us a little more about it? Well, my latest release is actually Just One Day – Autumn, the final book in the 4-book Just One Day series. It’s the final chapter in the travails of harassed mum of three Louisa, whose husband Ronnie works on the rigs, whilst she stays home with the kids, running her wedding stationery business. She has a very close family and circle of friends, so they feature heavily in the book/series.

What was the inspiration behind your book? What prompted you to tell this story?  With 2 kids and 3 nephews, it was easy! I think, largely, mums are undervalued and overburdened – and sometimes dads – and the mum guilt is strong! Trying to carve out ‘me time’ is hard for mums, with everything they have to juggle, whether it’s remembering to buy Halloween bags for trick or treating, or buying their kids’ friends’ birthday presents, or ordering new school uniforms. And that’s in addition to them having a job and running the house, most of the time. Although it’s also a romance, the theme of family, friendship and community runs through the series. I wanted to write books that any mum/busy parent could identify with. The number of people who’ve said to me ‘Are you sure you weren’t writing about my life?’ makes me smile.

Where did your research for the book take you?  Travel usually features heavily in my books as it’s a passion of mine, so although this book is set in Scotland, in a fictional village between Glasgow and Loch Lomond, I did manage to have Louisa travel to Bergamo in Italy, as well as Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Plus, she sneaked in a trip to Madrid in an earlier book in the series. I’ve been to both Bergamo and Madrid a couple of times, so I loved ‘revisiting’ them when writing the series.

When did you realise you wanted to be an author? Unlike many other writers, I didn’t always know, although I always loved books and creative writing, but I also loved languages. I speak five languages and have dabbled with another five. It’s probably linked to my love of travel! So, I wanted to be an interpreter and/or translator. Instead, I travelled the world as an international business development manager for years. When I had any days holiday, I jetted off somewhere, and only when I was away from the stress of work did I write. In 2012, I was made redundant and decided that this was the time to start making a life from writing, so I published 2 books that year and then set up my editing business the following year. Reading and writing all day long – it’s a tough gig, but someone has to do it!

What was your journey to publication? How long have you got? No, but seriously, I’ve been self-published since 2012. Prior to that I’d approached 5 agents, got rejections and figured ‘well, that didn’t work’, so my husband convinced me to put my book up on Kindle, which was pretty new back then. I’ve self-published all of my 8 books (I had a 5-year gap when I had my kids) and started looking for an agent/publisher in 2020 at the RNA conference with what is now my ninth book. I really felt this was the book to try to get traditionally published with and although I then subsequently self-published the Just One Day series (2021/22) I sporadically continued to look for an agent. In October, I signed with Nicky Lovick at WGM Literary Agency and book nine is now out on submission, so fingers crossed and watch this space!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors? Don’t give up – ever! Perseverance is the key. Learn from everyone and everything – writing craft books, other writers, hang out with writers (online or in person), go to writing retreats, conferences, join the RNA! Find your tribe! I did!

Can you tell us what you are working on now? I’ve just finished (last month) the first draft of a romance set in Costa Rica. Told you I liked to travel! And for NaNoWriMo, I’m returning to the book I started writing in France earlier this year. It’s a romance set in Toulouse, where I studied in the nineties, and features a fabulous family, two really hot guys and lots of lovely food!

About the Author

Author Susan Buchanan, blonde hair, black glasses, maroon shirt, in front of green fields.Susan Buchanan has self-published eight books in the romantic comedy and contemporary romance genres: Sign of the Times, The Dating Game, The Christmas Spirit, Return of the Christmas Spirit and Just One Day – Winter, Spring, Summer and She is currently working on a contemporary romance novel set in a boulangerie in France, where she used to live.

As a freelance developmental editor, copyeditor and proofreader, if she’s not reading, editing or writing, she’s thinking about it.

She lives near Glasgow with her husband, two children and a crazy Labrador.

When she’s not editing, writing, reading or caring for her two delightful cherubs, she likes going to the theatre, watching quiz shows and eating out, and she has recently discovered a love of writing retreats.

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