Thursday, 14 June 2012

Welcome! Guest authors Bill and Susan Hayes.

A warm welcome to husband-and-wife writing team Bill and Susan Hayes. I'm delighted to have you visit today. Please do share a little about yourselves by way of an introduction.
Bill and   Susan Hayes have been professional entertainers all their lives.  They appeared together on the cover of Times Magazine representing soap opera in 1976, and are still on Days of Our Lives the forty seven year old daytime drama.  Bill and Susan Hayes .com is our website if you wish to examine our past.  In the present our double memoir  Like Sands Through the Hourglass was published in 2005, and we just released our first novel for Decadent Publishing.  Bill has BA in Music and English and a Doctorate in Education.  Susan began acting professionally at age four. 
Susan and Bill Hayes.

 I understand you have a new release, "Trumpet" , please tell us a little about the book.
Trumpet is a historical novel, telling the story of a young girl’s journey to maturity through the world of English theater and beyond.  Ambitiously the tale begins in 1803 and closes in 1821.   We took our heroine Elizabeth Trumpet to the heights of fame and the disasters of loss, filling every page with our own extensive life experience.  The most exciting and colorful persons of the age are interwoven with the fictional characters, keeping true to historical events.  We personally visited the sites of her story, London, Italy, Egypt, Waterloo’s battlefield and the city of Charleston.  For the past seven years research has been our middle name.   
That sounds wonderful, I think visiting the locations adds such depth to a story. What aspect of the book are you most pleased with? 
It’s a large canvas, yet it reads colorfully and easily, with enough spice to make your heart race.   We always strive to inject humor, and feel there is a perfect combination of laughter and tears. Our goal is to make our readers enter a far away world, yet experience emotions true to the human heart.
Sounds like just my sort of escapist read! How did you feel when you first learnt that Trumpet was to be published?
Joyful.   It was such a great chunk of our lives and marriage, we plunged into the last rewrite with furious pleasure.  Creating Lizzie Trumpet’s world has bonded Hayes and Hayes even closer than our onscreen romance on NBC, as Doug and Julie.  We highly recommend such a project for any relationship that needs to deepen intimacy,   
There is a lot of competition for readers’ attention these days. What do you think singles out your book so that people will want to read it?
Profound parallels to the struggles of our lives today.  A grinding war with no end in sight, the distressing failing of a beloved parent, the many steps and missteps on the way in a career for young women; these are some of the conflicts we threw at our heroine. We mixed in  two of the most compelling lovers anywhere, one of whom was a real giant in history as well as the bedroom.  Dare I say we have the inside track on knowing about the lives of actors from a rather rich experience?  Yes, we do.    
What is the best and the worst thing about writing historical fiction? Do you find some aspects more enjoyable than others?
We drew a passel of characters from our backstage lives and read every word of dialogue aloud with each other until it danced on the page. Pure pleasure. Pin pointing point of view was not nearly as much fun   
It seems eBooks are taking off in a big way. What is your opinion on eBooks vs. traditional paperbacks?
Bill loves to grasp a good bound book, but is peering into his little Nook every night with equal devotion.  Susan says the wider the audience the better.  E books are so reasonably priced, she sees their charm
Tell me, Bill and Susan, if you need to escape from the cares of the world, how do you relax?
Open a volume of Patrick O'Brian.  Take a driving trip to anywhere.  Go to the opera. Plan a journey to somewhere in Italy.  Have a See’s chocolate.
What is the kindest act anyone has ever done for you?
Well lets see, Susan says “When Bill asked to marry me.  That was big.  And I still appreaciate it.”  Bill says “When Susan said, “OK!” 
(Awh, so sweet! G )
What would your nearest and dearest say is your most annoying habit?
Susan is neat.  More neat than accurate.  Bill sings continually.  On pitch too. 
Have you heard of ‘Room 101’ – the room where an object once placed disappears forever…I wish all alarm clocks went there! What 5 things would you put in Room 101 and why?
Nuclear warheads.  Skin heads. Bed bugs. Throw rugs. Wet slugs.  I feel further explanations unnecessary.
It’s been lovely chatting with you both, and before you go, where can we find out more about Trumpet?
Those who have read Trumpet, say they hated to see it end, because it was so much fun.  Writing it was like planning a party for our dearest friends.  Everything we love is in those pages.   Dear readers, open Trumpet and have a wonderful time.

Brilliant and sassy Elizabeth Trumpet fantasizes starring on the London stage, but to become an actress in 1803 is tantamount to losing her virginity in the most debasing way.
After watching her mother die and her father lose his mind, the courageous sixteen-year-old must find a way to save her family. She scores her first acting job as a fencer—the deadly skill she learned from her brother training for the military. Blessed with talent and a rare singing voice, Lizzie pursues her career, learning from theatrical characters high and low.
When reckless actor Jonathan Faversham sets eyes on Miss Trumpet, he knows he’s found the partner of his life. But Faversham carries ruinous baggage from a dark past. Entangled in lust and ambition, Lizzie gives him her heart and they reach the heights together. Until Lizzie gets more applause than he…
From the magnificence of Regency palaces and the Theatre Royal Covent Garden to the sun-baked pyramids of Egypt and the arms of a real-life Samson, Lizzie is never far from trouble. As her brother rides to glory with Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, great events threaten her survival. Danger lurks behind stage curtains, when a madman sets fire to take her life and she lifts a sword in revenge.
Will this once innocent girl, with her rise to stardom, be remembered for her art? Or for her shame?
Trumpet is published by Decadent Publishing, and is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, All Romance eBooks, Smashwords and all other good eBook retailers.
Bill and Susan are generously giving away two prizes on this tour! One is their double memoir, Like Sands Through the Hourglass, and the second is Bill's CD, This is Bill Hayes. Just leave a comment (please include your email address in the body of the comment) on this post to be entered. This giveaway is tour wide, and the more comments you leave, the more chance you have of winning, so check out the rest of the tour schedule here:


  1. Very nice interview. The book sounds fascinating.


  2. Grace, what a terrific interview. Bill and Susan as a writing team doesn't surprise me, though. They appear to have a strong partnership that has lasted many years. Who better to pen romance novels?

  3. Thank you for taking the time to comment and enter the giveaway.
    Grace x

  4. Hi Grace,

    Nice interview, with some great candid questions and answers.

    Some authors advocate that you should write about what you know best, others say the complete opposite. However, it would appear that Bill and Susan have made just the right choice by basing their storyline around something which is so dear to their hearts.

    Similarly, there are two distinct areas of thought about whether you should write solo, or collaboratively. Again Bill and Susan seem to work so well together that it can only have been good for the story.

    This has definitely gone onto my wishlist, oh! and I just love the cover art as well!

    Thanks for such an interesting post.



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