Author Interview: Tallahassee author Suzanne Allain talks about new Regency romance novel

It’s not often an author credits a car accident with jump-starting their writing career, but in Suzanne Allain’s case, that’s exactly what happened.

“I was a computer programmer right out of high school and then became a technical writer,” the Tallahassee-based writer said. “It wasn’t until I was recuperating from a bad auto accident that I wrote the first few chapters of my first novel.”

Allain always knew she wanted to be a writer, recalling that she even ran track with a book in her hands. When she was 12, she found a copy of “Pride and Prejudice” in her sister’s room; the discovery launched her ongoing love affair with Jane Austen.

“I knew I wanted to write in a similar style, although my novels are slightly more comedic,” she said. “They’re more like Jane Austen meets Oscar Wilde.”

Her newest novel, “Miss Lattimore’s Letter,” which is being released on Aug. 10, follows “Mr. Malcolm’s List,” now a screenplay in post-production. Writing screenplays wasn’t Suzanne’s original career path, but it’s one she has taken enthusiastically.

“As it turns out, I don’t really like writing descriptions,” she said. “I prefer writing dialogue, which naturally lends itself to writing screenplays.”

One of the greatest obstacles Allain encountered while writing over the past year was the lack of outside creative inspiration. The challenges of the pandemic made it difficult to get into the headspace of a romantic comedy.

“Creative people are inspired by many things, and when you’re stuck at home 24/7 and you don’t have access to outside stimuli, the creative flow can be very difficult to find,” she said.

But find it she did. “Miss Lattimore’s Letter” is being released Tuesday, Aug. 10.

This article was first published in the Tallahassee Democrat.