Niko: Why did you decide to write a story about me?
Susan: You are the fictionalization of a real life person, Steven Delopolous from my favorite band, Burlap to Cashmere. I planted you in Milwaukee instead of New Jersey and since I know nothing about Steven’s real life, I made one up for you.
Niko: Does he know about me?
Susan: Yes, he does. I’ve even sent him a copy of the novel in case he wants to read it.
Niko: I’m glad you made me a pretty good guy, but how could I be so blind to someone as wonderful as Tia?
Susan: That’s what I wondered too. As good as you were, you were a little hyper-focused on making music, touring, and the beautiful blondes winking at you from the audience.
Niko: Right. About that—
Susan: You’re going to deny it?
Niko: Fine. Thanks for making Tia cute though. I appreciate that.
Susan: Well, you’re cute too. Who wants to read a story about an ugly mean person?
Niko: Point taken. Johnny, my cousin and best-friend in the book had an interesting back-story. Why was he important?
Susan: Johnny Marshall, your cousin in Feta & Freeways, was based off Steven’s real life cousin, Johnny Philippidis from Burlap to Cashmere. The real life Johnny suffered a brutal beating after a car accident that put him in a coma and he lost his left eye. They didn’t know if he’d ever be able to play guitar after that—but he does which makes his gift even more remarkable.
Niko: Why didn’t fictional Johnny do that?
Susan: Because Feta & Freeways is fiction. I don’t know Johnny Philippidis although we have met a few times and he knows about the book. I wasn’t going to pretend to understand what he really went through, or even what he still might be struggling with. So I gave him a different but difficult back story.
Niko: The next book is about him, right?
Susan: Yes! After giving you a great romance, Johnny deserved one too, so Root Beer & Roadblocks is his story and I anticipate it releasing February 2017. You’re in there too.
Niko: The real life people, Steven and Johnny, know about these novels. What do they think about them?
Susan: They think it’s cool that I wrote them but I’m not sure if they’ve read them yet. I hope they are flattered and that it helps bring more exposure to their work. They were big in the 90’s before dropping out of sight. They are back making music and their albums (including Steven’s solo albums) were the soundtrack to writing the novels. Old fans I encounter, don’t realize they’ve been back for some time. If I can write great stories, with valuable faith lessons, that also help fans find a band they used to love and hear their new music, it’s a win/win for everyone. I hope they read the books though. It would fun to find out how much I got right about them individually and their relationship. The dynamic between the two in concert is fun to watch. Translating that to the page was a delight. Guess I’m a fan-girl at heart.
Niko: Fans are important! Thanks for writing my story. Tia thanks you as well.
Susan: I’m glad you got your happily-ever- after even though you had some rough spots getting there.
Susan is giving away a free e-book copy of Feta & Freeways to one of the commenters below.
Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits, and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group, specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view. Susan speaks, teaches, and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the- scenes in various capacities at her church and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and serves on the board of the southeast chapter. Her favorite pastimes are lazy…snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte. And fangirling over Burlap to Cashmere!
You can learn more by following her blog www.susanbaganz.com, her Twitter feed @susanbaganz, or her fan page, www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz.
- Author Website Link: susanbaganz.com
- Author Facebook Link: www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz
- Author Twitter: @susanbaganz
- Any Other Pertinent Links: Pinterest www.pinterest.com/silygoos
Nikolos Acton is the lead singer of a Christian Band, Specific Gravity, struggling to make it in the industry after an unplanned break, touring the country with their manager, Tia. Tia Bartel loved Niko for the longest time, but it wasn’t until she stepped in to save his life that he finally realizes what has been there all along. Is it too late for him? Could a relationship between them work after years of ignoring her? How would he ever convince her he’s worthy of her trust?
As they journey on the freeway of life and love, they encounter struggles as they are forced to rely on their faith, and friends, to make it through.