Novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips has been delivering hilarious stories of happy endings for more than 25 years. Her latest book, Call Me Irresistible, was our top pick for romance in February 2001 and follows a love triangle involving the grown children of three of her most memorable couples.
Describe your book in one sentence
Mr. Perfect meets Ms. Screw-Up and she does something that makes him really mad and he does a lot of things that make her really mad but she’s stuck in his town and now everybody’s mad at her and the only thing she can feel good about is that she would never ever fall in love with Mr. Perfect and he would never ever fall in love with her but then there’s some kissing and that only leads to more trouble and what’s the world coming to, anyway?!
Where do you write?
Not in my beautiful office, that’s for sure. Instead, I curl up with my laptop all over the house, from a beat-up La-Z-Boy to the screen porch.
If you weren't a writer, how would you earn a living?
Probably in my original career as a high school teacher. Or a rock star. I think I’d be good at that.
You revisit a lot of characters in this book. Which one were you happiest to be writing about again?
If I could only pick one—which is a totally unfair thing to ask me to do!—I’d probably say Ted’s mother, Francesca. As the mother of grown sons, I completely identify with her need to mess in their lives when they don’t want her to.
Name one book you think everyone should read.
I’m going to fall back on that old standby, To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s our great American poem.
What book are you embarrassed NOT to have read?
Not a single one. Any book I wanted to read, I’ve already read. Reading is pure joy for me, and I’ve never been influenced by “should haves.” Let’s face it. Most of those books are depressing as hell.
What are you working on now?
At the beginning of Call Me Irresistible, the hero’s bride flees her wedding and we never see her again. Now that’s hardly fair, is it? I’m halfway done with her book and am very much enjoying learning her story.
You can read an excerpt from the book on Phillips' website.