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Romance mingles with social issues through Suzie Carr's novels

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For romance writer Suzie Carr, inspiration comes from everyday life.

Through her lesbian romance novels, she tackles topics such as adultery, temptation, bullying and coming of age. She says she hopes those themes resonate with her readers and bring awareness to social issues.

“Through my books, I feel like I’m touching lives. There’s a positive message behind it,” says Carr, who lives in Elkridge. “It’s more than just a love story. This literature could be mainstream because it deals with real-life issues.”

Carr’s first novel, “The Fiche Room” -- which is currently being adapted into a short film -- was published in 2007 by LavenderDoor.com, a website that sells e-books. It’s about two young women who fall in love, despite one of the women being engaged to her boyfriend.

“ ‘The Fiche Room’ has helped people come out to their family,” she says. “Love is love. Love doesn’t know any gender.”

The book remained at LavenderDoor.com until 2011, when Carr started her own publishing company, Sunny Bee Books LLC, which is named after her boxers, Sunshine and Bumble Bee.

Since then, she’s written five other books. This summer she expects to release her seventh title, “Staying True,” the tale of a “free-spirited masseuse who falls in love with her married client.” Her books are available at online retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in both print and e-book format.

This fall, Carr’s debut novel will be made into a short film called “The Curve.” Carr, who wrote the screenplay, is co-producing the film with Katoka Productions. Kaylene French is the director. The movie is slated for a 2014 release.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun,” she says. “The goal is to turn it into a feature film, so we’re going to submit it to different film festivals.”

A graduate of Rhode Island College, Carr moved to Maryland in 2002 to pursue a career in writing. The former hairstylist has written for American Salon magazine and various animal organizations. Her day job is in marketing.

“It’s a creative expression ­-- that’s what I love about writing,” she says. “It’s an escape from reality.”
For aspiring writers, Carr recommends they write daily and read often.

“Read a lot -- the good and the bad. Both have really good lessons,” she says. “And join a book club. I love hearing how people analyze characters. It helps me create three-dimensional characters. A book club is the best way to get into a reader’s head.”

Carr, who says she’s learned some great life lessons through other people’s writing, hopes to do the same with her books.

“Through my stories, I’m able to teach life lessons without preaching,” she says. “These are real, genuine characters. People can connect to someone who is flawed.”

Carr donates a portion of her proceeds to charitable organizations, such as the NOH8 Campaign, which promotes marriage and gender equality, and Hearts United for Animals, a national no-kill animal sanctuary and shelter.

For more information about Carr’s work, visit curveswelcome.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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