Tuesday, September 24, 2013

VBT: Stealing Fire

With us today is Susan Sloate to tell us about her new release Stealing Fire. I asked Susan how you recognize a soul mate and this was her response.
     I believe the advent of a soul mate into your life is one of life’s most extraordinary events. It is life-changing, it is marvelous and almost always, whether the soul mate remains for good or moves on (there are different kinds of soul mates, after all), your life gains something momentous as a result.
     But in almost all cases that I know, you don’t realize that the person you’ve just met is a soul mate. The meeting can be so quiet and matter-of-fact that it takes awhile before you begin to understand what’s happening to you. (I don’t care what Gershwin wrote; love doesn’t walk in as much as it sneaks in.)
     To me, the first sign you’ve met a soul mate is that you notice you have a lot in common—and they’re all little things. For instance: I met someone I considered a kind of soul mate. I learned that he just loved eating raw cookie dough. He told me no one he knew could stand it, but he never baked it. And I’ve loved raw cookie dough all my life.
     So it may be little stuff, but it could be a sign that the person you’ve just met is significant.
     There’s also something that happens to my heroine, Amanda, in STEALING FIRE (which happened to me in the relationship that’s the basis of the novel): something could happen early in your life that connects to your soul mate before you ever meet. This is the opening scene of STEALING FIRE and describes a song Amanda learns as a young child that haunts her. That song connects to Beau, my hero, in a powerful way, which is one of the factors that brings them together.
     In real life (because I had a real-life counterpart for almost every plot point in STEALING FIRE), something like it happened to me. When I was 15, I came home from babysitting one night and was too hyped up to go to sleep right away, so I turned on a late movie that was just starting. It was a wild farce with some big stars and I turned it off after a few minutes. But I never forgot it.
     Ten years later I met the man who wrote it, and remembering that moment, to me, made him more important in my eyes, because I believe the universe will give you little hints along the way—whether you’re just meeting your soul mate now or are yet to meet him or her in the future.
     Look for connections, large and small. For small things you have in common (but those don’t replace the big things: if you both love mint Oreos but Hitler tops his most-admired list, you might want to move on). But if you’re in synch on the big things and it turns out the small things you have in common keep piling up, that’s a great sign.
     You start a sentence and he finishes it. You love the same obscure movie or painting or fishing spot that he does. You both have the same places—in the same order—on your To-Visit list of exotic travel places. You have the same interests and hobbies (and the more unusual these are, the likelier that if you both love them, you’re looking at a soul mate).
     Being with a soul mate changes you for the good. You learn from a soul mate; you grow with a soul mate. You become the best person you are capable of being, and it doesn’t seem hard to do at all.
     And let’s not forget the attraction part. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that you really can’t (or don’t want to) keep your hands off this person. Attraction is NOT the deciding factor in a really important relationship—but it will certainly evolve as you become more intimate mentally and emotionally. And trust me—it will be GREAT!
     Accept no substitutes. If what you want in your life is really a soul mate, not just a casual fling, then don’t settle for less. Finding the person whose life locks into yours like a puzzle piece is an awe-inspiring change. No matter how long you wait, when he or she finally appears, you’ll realize you’d have waited even longer. That one who is meant just for you is truly worth it.
“How do you recognize your soulmate?
 In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
 Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
 When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache ... until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
 STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
 STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
EXCERPT:  Six-year-old Amanda wandered over to the table and picked up the album cover. The name of the show, The Life and Times, was printed in bold letters across the top, with a pencil sketch of a black top hat and neatly folded white gloves in the middle. A splashy yellow sun, its rays streaming diagonally, filled the rest of the cover. She forgot about it, though, as the record began to play.

 She loved it instantly.

“Again, Mommy, again!” she said excitedly when the first song ended.

Her mother shook her head. “Listen to the rest first.”

Amanda sat down on her favorite soft footstool near the big brown rocker and listened. She loved it all.

There was one song especially that she liked. It was about blowing bubbles. She didn’t understand the verse, but she sang along with the chorus:

“… Bubbles bursting, bursting bubbles …
Breaking dreams with every blow.
I’ll remember each dream burst
Till the final bubbles go.”

She didn’t really understand the song, but it seemed sad to her.

As with most show scores, Amanda asked to hear the record again and again. A few months later her older sister Josie, tossing a ball carelessly around the room, smashed the record.
Amanda cried and asked her mother to please buy it again, please. Her mother explained regretfully that the show had been a `flop’ years before. There were no copies around, and Josie hadn’t meant to smash it; it was an accident. “Stop crying now, Amanda,” she said sharply.

 She listened to her mother and stopped crying. But she never forgot the song about bursting bubbles.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel.  FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.
Susan will be awarding a notebook perfect for journaling to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 



  1. Congrats on your release, Susan. I totally agree with you about soul mates. Finding that one person with whom you really click is magical.

  2. You sound like the voice of experience, Shelley! If it's already happened to you, congratulations!

  3. And Sandra, thanks so much for hosting me today - it's great being here!

  4. Hi Shelley, thanks for stopping by and supporting Susan.

  5. Hi Susan, you're most welcome. I'm very happy to have you here.

  6. STEALING FIRE is a great romance, one that you will not forget. I fell in love with the characters, definitely a love story for the ages. Don't miss this one.

  7. Awesome cover and congrats indeed

  8. Hi Mary Lou, Thanks for stopping by to support Susan.

  9. Hey Pat, How goes your day?
    Thanks for stopping by and supporting Susan.

  10. Fascinating post and topic! I'm met a number of soul mates in this life! Your book looks really good.

  11. Mary Lou, thanks for the boost! It's a great moment for an author when a reader forgets her characters aren't real! Glad you fell in love with them!

  12. Pat, thank you for the kind words! I love the cover (so much that it's the backdrop on my Twitter page!)When I saw the finished product, it made me believe in my own story so much more!

  13. Fundy Blue, I agree with you - there are different kinds of soul mates, and you can meet more than one, for more than one purpose, in this life. But each time, it's a special experience. And thanks for the kind words about the book - it's one of my favorite projects of all time!

  14. Hi Fundy, Thanks for stopping by to support Susan.

  15. I'm not a big believer on the idea of soul mates but I love that concept in romantic fiction.

  16. I'm not a big believer on the idea of soul mates but I love that concept in romantic fiction.

  17. Catherine -- at least you're open to it in books. I can only say from personal experience that it really does happen in real life, just not very often.