Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

The Other Side of My Life

by Susan Carlisle

(Warming this is a self-centered post and has far too many ‘I’s in it. Read at your own peril.)

For years I introduced myself like this: “I’m Susan Carlisle and I have four children.” Laughingly I added, “By the same man.” My husband worked odd hours so people didn’t often see us together. Even then I felt as if there was more to me than that limited definition. These days I proudly state that I’m a writer but that still isn’t all there is to me. So today, I’m going to share a little more about the person behind the writer.

“Hello, I’m Susan Carlisle…

And I’m a lover of books. Books, books and more books. A library is a thing of beauty. One day I’d like to have a two story one that requires a ladder to get to the books on the top shelves.books in Poland

I’ve have wanderlust in my blood. I LOVE to travel and I’m always wondering what’s around the next bend. (Sharon and Fiona, if you are reading this I’m envious of every one of your trips.)

I like the outdoors. Tent camping is a challenge that I’m up for anytime. Sleeping under the stars is a perfect night for me. I can cook as good a meal over an open fire as I can in the oven in my kitchen.smocking2

I sew. A lot. I make most of my clothes. I also do drapes, cushions, doll clothes, flags and outfits for my grandchildren. I can’t count the number of formal dresses I’ve altered through the years. I even been known to look at a picture and draw my own patterns. My kids had some great Halloween costumes that are now being recycled for my grandchildren.

I also enjoy handwork. That includes cross-stitching, smocking, and quilting. I have a project going all the time.Christmas2

I hate to clean bathrooms. I don’t mind cleaning other areas of the house but the bathroom is the worst. My husband does that, which I love him more for.

I like nice cars. I don’t have one because I’m too practical but if I had the money I’d have a Rolls Royce. Then I’d have to worry about being hit. Did I mention I’m practical? And too poor.


I like sleeping on a screen porch when it’s raining. In fact, I like the rain in general.

I’m the handyman around my house. I can hang a door, lay tile, paint, replace siding, repair sheetrock and the list goes on.bath3

Okay, enough about me. Please share something about yourself.


15 thoughts on “The Other Side of My Life”

  1. I am a mom of 2 grown sons, and one soon to be grandson (coming this May!) I have been married 36 years, an RN for 39 years, now retired. I Love any arts and crafts, needlework ( I cannot knit to save my soul and haven’t quilted..yet) I love Grey’s Anatomy, the Australian show Offspring and any format of Pride and Prejudice. I am a voracious reader, my kindle is loaded to the max, my favorites are the Harlequin Medical romances. My deepest confession: I once had 20 romances checked out from the library and got sick and was in the hospital when they were due. I asked my son to return them for me, all he had to do was take the bag of books and drop them off. 3 months later I get a noted from the library with an overdue fine of over $300.00. Seems my dear son put them in the trunk of his car and forgot about them. The kind people of the library let me off easy with a $25.00 fine after i showed them my hospital bill. Now I only check books out on my kindle and they return all by themselves!

    1. Laurie,
      It sounds like we have a lot in common. I don’t knit or crochet. I tried and was horrible at it. My sons would have been too embarrassed to take the romances back to the library even if they were in a bag. I’m glad the library cut you a break.

  2. Hi Susan

    I am a mother to four children also and I have 7 grandchildren with another one due in August I retired last November to car for my hubby and two of my grandchildren and I was not happy at work any more these days I have more time to read although I still can’t seem to keep up with what I have and what I want to read 🙂

    I am not a sewer but I used to knit a lot once I love to spend time with my romance reader friends and authors and we have a lunch once a month here in Sydney which are lots of fun.

    I do love your stories Susan thank you

    Have Fun

    1. Helen,
      I’m so glad you like my stories. That’s what every author wants to hear. Your lunch sounds like fun. It also sounds like you have a large wonderful family that keep you busy. Finding reading time is hard sometimes even if you don’t have a job outside the house.

  3. Susan, we’d be very boring writers if that’s all we were. Love that you’re the handywoman in your place. I too really enjoy doing those same things. Love cooking, while vacuuming and bathrooms can take a hike.

    1. Sue you are right, we would be boring. All of what we are behind the scenes make us who we are and brings fiber to our stories. I don’t cook as much as I used to but I enjoy it when I do.

  4. Hi Susan! I’m also a mother of four, who loves books and quilting. I also crochet and always have projects on the go, that demand my time before the housework does. I’m also mum to two dogs and five (yes, five!) cats. I am a crazy cat lady in waiting. Oh, and I also run my own dog-walking business and sometimes when I head out to walk in this lovely UK winter weather of ours, I actually look like I’m going on an Arctic expedition.

    1. Louisa,
      Four must be a good number for children. I don’t crochet. Bad at it, really bad. Dog-walking sounds like an adventure.

  5. I loved learning more about you. You seem to be a Jackie of all trades! Good for you. I feel far less useful than you, and man, I need to pick up some hobbies. LOL.
    I guess I could tell you that my first dream was to be a dancer/singer in musicals. I trained in dancing and was a theater arts major right out of high school. By the time I was in my mid twenties I realized I was already too old to be a dancer and didn’t have the good looks to be an actress, so I got practical and went back to school and became an RN. 🙂
    I used to love camping but now prefer a B&B with a nice big tub to sharing cold showers with strangers at campgrounds. LOL

    1. Lynne,
      You are more than talented. Dancer? I had no idea but I can see that. Do you ever do local theater?
      I’m sure you were a great RN.

  6. Susan, what a lovely chance to hear more about everyone! I love reading, cinema and the theatre, and never tire of the London ‘sights’. I don’t much like driving on crowded roads, but love walking and sitting on the top deck of a bus, to check out what the world’s up to today. I’ve signed up for a 1,000 mile walking challenge in 2016 (not all at once thankfully, it’s spread out over the year 🙂 ) and am working on it!

    Before I was a writer, I worked with computers and the web. I’m pretty practical and can tile and paint with the best of them, but I like cooking only in as much as I love to eat! Baking’s my nemesis and I’m in awe of people who can whip up mouthwatering cakes and biscuits. And sewing and crochet are my ultimate ‘down time’ activity – although I don’t seem to get around to either as much as I’d like.

    1. Annie,
      When I’m in London do give me a tour of your favorite places. I enjoy art and theater as well. 1,000 miles is impressive. I look forward to hearing updates on that challenge.

  7. I agree with Annie, it’s fun learning more about everyone!

    There certainly are a lot of you with handcrafting talents! I’m impressed at the beautiful clothes you sew, Susan. I can do basic sewing, but frankly don’t enjoy it and have zero abilities with knitting, crocheting, etc. I’m a pretty pitiful housekeeper – my strength there is an ability to ignore clutter, but I like to point out that I have other fine qualities! 🙂 I love to cook, and my family appreciates that, with the kids now interesting in cooking, too. My mother was a Master Gardener and I learned much from her. Mine was pretty beautiful, but currently quite neglected as other things (like writing!) have taken up a lot of time the past couple years. I play piano, and was the choir accompanist in high school, also competing in various piano events – a few years ago, I decided to challenge myself again instead of playing the same classical music and newer, not terribly difficult pieces, so I’m taking lessons again.

    I used to work in the advertising industry, first in an agency, then moving on to sell radio and television advertising. I love traveling, and have done more of it in recent years, which I’ve really enjoyed! I appreciate being outdoors – skiing, hiking, walking. I grew up camping but my hubby is not an enthusiast so, like Lynne, it’s hotels for us 🙂

    I have three children – one is fully launched with a graduate degree and a good job she’s enjoying. The other two (boys) are still works in progress 🙂

    1. Robin,
      I never doubted you have talent. I love to plants but have a limit to what I’m good at. African violets die coming in the door for me. I would love to learn some tips from you. I’m impressed with your piano skills. I can find middle C and that is it. Playing the radio is my big musical skill but I do love music.

  8. I love rain. I am generally excused from all housework. I have always been a workaholic to the point where other school parents though I was a phantom my husband made up. I adore travel. I am generally considered a tough customer except when it comes to my daughter for whom I will do anything. My two greatest character flaws are impatience and a shocking temper.

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