Susan DiPlacido is the author of 24/7, Trattoria, Mutual Holdings, House Money, Lady Luck, Shuffle Up and Deal, and American Cool. Trattoria was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance 2005, and her short story, "I, Candy," won the Spirit Award at the 2005 Moondance International Film Festival. American Cool won the bronze medal in the 2008 IPPY awards and was a finalist in the 2008 Indie Book Awards. Shuffle Up and Deal was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Small Press Erotic Fiction 2010. Her fiction has appeared in Susie Bright's Best American Erotica 2007, Maxim Jakubowski's Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica vol. 6 and 7, Zane's Caramel Flava, and Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction.
Thank you for this interview, Susan. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m from Pennsylvania, but I love Las Vegas, and that’s reflected in all my books. I’ve been writing for nearly a decade now. I was first published in 2005, and hopefully I’ve been getting better ever since.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Meet Izzy Santillo. She's a charming-but-lonely thirty-four year old woman who loves poker and harbors a secret crush on the reigning king of Hold 'em.
Meet Nick Nolan, the reigning king of Hold 'em. On the tables, he's fast and loose and almost always wins. But when it comes to women, playboy Nick holds his cards too close and always loses.
When Izzy and Nick meet in embarrassing fashion at a Las Vegas poker tournament, Izzy's secret dreams turn into a public nightmare. But despite her humiliation, she may have finally sparked Nick's interest in something other than cards. Before long, Nick takes a gamble on Izzy and raises the stakes when he offers to help her sharpen her game. But Izzy's convinced that Nick is bluffing and will fold his hand after he's had her on the flop. But a string of outrageous proposition bets and steamy trips on the poker tour, from Los Angeles to Miami, make these two fierce competitors realize that it may be time to put all their chips on the table. Will Izzy and Nick pair up? Or will they lose it all if they go all-in for each other? Sit down, ante up, and hang on, as Nick and Izzy get ready to Shuffle Up and Deal.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I write what I love to read. It’s a simple answer, but I never have tried it any other way.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Since it’s set in the world of high-stakes poker, I wanted to make sure I got the flavor and details correct. I don’t live in that world, so it did require some research, but I can’t say that it was unpleasant research. It ended up being half the fun of the book.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I have been published by small presses, but this book is self-published.
Was it the right choice for you?
I’ve had great experiences with both small presses and doing it on my own. There’s something very satisfying about being in complete control of every aspect of the book, from the content to the cover. I guess I’m a bit of a type A personality like that.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I’m starting a blog tour with interviews and guest blogs. I am completely lost when it comes to promotion, so I hired a wonderful woman named Dorothy Thompson.
How is that going for you?
So far she’s been fantastic in helping me and getting me spots.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I honestly wish I could, but so far, I cannot! Hopefully that will change soon and I’ll report back with good news.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I don’t. I write full time. I used to be an accountant, but have been writing full time for over four years now.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
I am the last person anyone should be taking promo advice from! Again, maybe a year from now that will change and I’ll be able to dispense sage wisdom.
What’s next for you?
After Shuffle Up, I have one more book in my Vegas series titled Lady Luck. Though these books are all technically a series, readers can pick up any one and read them individually and not be lost. Lady Luck is one I’m also proud of, because it’s a comic version of Hamlet that centers around a Vegas showgirl who gets conked on the head and believes she’s the human incarnation of luck
Thank you for this interview, Susan. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thank you very much for your time! Susandiplacido.com.