Meet the Lady in Red – An Interview with Susan Blexrud

I’m Susan Blexrud, and I write as Susan Blexrud.  If I’d given it more thought, I’d have come up with a classy moniker, but no, I had to throw myself out there, warts and all.

I’m a married mom with two grown children.  Son, Chris, 25, lives in Manhattan, where he works for an energy conservation network.  Daughter, Allison, 22, is training to be a pharmaceutical technician.  I have a Chihuahua named Baby and a cockatiel named Romeo.  I live in the glorious mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, or as I like to call it, heaven on earth.  Other than writing, I’m a bird watcher, quilter, Zumba and Yoga enthusiast, and avid reader.  I lead a monthly book club, “All Romance ALL THE TIME,” at Malaprop’s Bookstore in downtown Asheville.  A few of my favorite authors are Adriana Trigiani, Elizabeth Berg, and Sherry Thomas.

What’s your secret passion?

I have no secret passions.  In other words, my passions are pretty public.  I’m passionate about personal freedom and inclusiveness.

Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

I’d never change being thin because Weight Watchers changed my life.  In the final analysis, being thin feels better than chocolate cake tastes, though sometimes it’s a struggle.   What I might change is my hair color, which at my age isn’t prematurely gray.  I’ve thought about adding some purple streaks, but so far, I’m chicken.  What do you think?  Should I do it?

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I ADORE where I live, but if I couldn’t be in Asheville, I’d probably live in Charleston, South Carolina, or Lexington, Virginia, or Bath, England.  Any of those places would be great backdrops for a writer.  I love Charleston for its location on the bay, its carriage rides, and its great food.  Lexington was the home of Stonewall Jackson, and he’s my favorite Civil War character.  He’s also a vampire in my book.  Bath would be the perfect place to pen a Regency novel, with its Roman ruins and lovely pastoral setting.

Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I’m inspired by the places I visit.  I never would have written The Gettysburg Vampire if I hadn’t spent two nights in Gettysburg in August 2010.  As I roamed the Gettysburg National Cemetery, I could feel the conflict of those three fateful days in 1863, and I knew I had to write about it.

My first book, Love Fang, and well as my WIP, His Fantasy Maid, both take place in Orlando, Florida, where I grew up.

Why do you write romance novels?

What else would a hopeless romantic do with her time?

What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

Like Abby Potter, I was a Goody-Two Shoes…until I wasn’t.

The best part about my writing life is:  setting my own schedule.

The worst part about my writing life is:  maintaining the discipline to set my own schedule.

Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

I’m editing a chick-lit contemporary about a doctor (she’s in her first year of residency) who has funded her medical education by working as a fantasy maid.  She cleans houses in a bikini or French maid outfit, client’s choice.

And here’s the blurb for The Gettysburg Vampire, plus an excerpt.


Students at Gettysburg College know the legend of the Stonewall Jackson, a Civil War ghost train.  For this year’s winter holiday play, Theatre Professor Abby Potter has dramatized the popular tale using a little artistic license.  She’s added a vampire.  But she has one big problem—finding a decent thespian for the leading role.  She bristles at the suggestion that Malcolm McClellan, a history professor at the college and a renowned Civil War re-enactor, would be ideal for the part.  She’s avoided the brooding, mysterious man for years.  But it may be perfect casting.


Malcolm leaned back in his chair. His heartbeat thrummed, which was odd. It typically beat so slowly that any doctor would have declared him dead. Of course, dead he was. Feeling the beat of his heart was disquieting, yet exciting. He stared at the door Abby had just closed and listened to her footsteps fade down the hall. Humans wouldn’t have heard the soft pad of her boots on carpet, but he had no problem detecting each step. Her stomping helped. He pinched the bridge of his nose.

Had he remembered her? How could he forget?

She’d always sat in the front row of his class, glued to him with those soulful hazel eyes. Other coeds regarded him lustfully, but she hung on his words. She seemed genuinely interested in what he was trying to convey, not simply entranced by his veneer. He knew she was special, which is why he’d avoided her. The last thing he needed was human entanglement. Once she left the college after her graduation, he thought he was safe from her allure. He could still see her blowing those golden blonde bangs out of her eyes as she labored over a quiz. He’d repressed the image of her pert nose, peachy skin, and bouncy breasts. But damn if she didn’t come back to Gettysburg to teach, and inadvertently, to haunt him.

And now he had no choice; he had to rescue her. He’d been unable to save Sarah those many years ago, when duty to country trumped family, but he could keep Abby out of harm’s way. She’d probably go to that Goth club decked out like a fang-banger with no idea of the danger she was in. So, there’d be no compartmentalizing this time. He’d have to see her again. And then what? Act in her play? He could feel his resolve melting like the November snow. For the first time since Sarah died, he considered the prospect of companionship…and passion.



  1. I love a lonely lovesick vampire! And a college setting – I’m hooked. Your next book sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Thanks for commenting, Lynn. I have to tell you that the idea for my fantasy maid story is one of those “stranger than fiction” tales. This service really exists. As Miami Herald columnist and author Carl Hiassen says about his crazy Florida characters, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

  2. Great interview, Susan 🙂 Welcome to Crimson! You are very lucky living in a beautiful place. I have lived in Charlotte, NC & visited SC many times & miss it. It was a pleasure getting to know you better 🙂

    • Thanks, Kay, for the lovely welcome. I look forward to getting to know you better, as well. I love Charlotte, too. Actually, the whole state is pretty awesome, but it’s most awesome in the mountains.

  3. Welcome, Susan! “The Gettysburg Vampire” sounds as intriguing as your WIP sounds fun! Thank you for sharing yourself with us and best of luck with all of your writing.

    • Thanks, Mary. It’s very nice to meet you. I look forward to more of your merry musings.

  4. So nice to get to know another fellow Crimson author, Susan. I love Elizabeth Berg too, and I’d be your neighbour in Bath anytime.
    I say go for the purple streaks, why not? They could be fun.

    Love the sound of your books. Doctor in French Maid costume sounds like a hoot!

    • Hi, Sharon! Thanks for stopping by. Isn’t Elizabeth Berg fabulous? I missed a chance to see her last year at Wooten College in South Carolina. I’d love to meet her.

      Let’s go to Bath!

  5. Awesome interview, Susan. It’s great to have you on board, sounds like you’re a perfect fit for this Crimson bunch!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the warm welcome, Pam. I’m tickled to be part of the crew.

  6. Susan, your book sounds like a great read. Happy to have you as one of the Crimson gals. And I like your hair the color it is.
    Carol Ritten Smith

    • I’m getting cold feet about the purple locks, Carol, so I’m inclined to agree with you. Thanks so much for welcoming me to the Crimson bunch.

  7. No cold feet allowed. I put pinky-purple streaks in my similarly colored hair last spring and love it. Try it. What’s the worst that could happen? It grows out.

    • Okay, now I’m on the fence, Peggy. I have two friends here in Asheville who are egging me on. I think we might have a streaking party. It’s good to hear that you’re happy with your decision. And you’re right, what’s the worse that could happen? Thanks!

  8. Susan,
    Very and truly best wishes with your new release. Great interview. Oh, and I voted for the purple streaks. They’re not permanent.
    R.T. Wolfe

    • Thanks, R.T. I’m happy to be in such good company at Crimson.

  9. My mother-in-law lives in Little Switzerland and when visiting her my husband and I had a getaway in Asheville and I fell in love with the area! So beautiful. Welcome to Crimson, and I can’t wait to read your book!

    • Little Switzerland is beautiful. There’s a great writer’s retreat held there every summer. I’m going to try to go next year. Thanks so much for the welcome, Galen. Seems like a great group of gals.

  10. A vampire from the 1860s entangled with a twenty first century woman is also the protagonist of my upcoming novel!
    Can’t wait to read yours.

    • Seems like there are a few of us riding the sesquicentennial rage. How fun! It should help our sales! We should do some promotions together.

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