Monday, November 25, 2013

Virtual Book Tour: Forward to Camelot

Please welcome authors Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn, who have come to tell us about Forward to Camelot. Susan and Kevin will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To see the other stops on the tour, go here.

The Questions

1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
The one person I am marooned with is 80‘s pop diva Debbie Gibson, and our one item is a tape deck with microphone.  When  we are not cavorting in the sand, she can sing to me, or I can record new ways to cavort in the sand with her.  Or play back the previous moments of cavorting in the sand with her. Imagine being on a secluded island with MaryAnne from Gilligan’s Island...except MaryAnne is blonde.  

   2)     Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you? 
West Side Story.  I’m a native New Yorker, grew up in a tough time with racial divide even though I was
too young and too ignorant to know what that really meant.  While I would want to be Tony, starry eyed and believing everyone could always get along if we really tried, I would be most likely be Riff.  I’m the loyal friend, grounded in reality as you reach for the stars, taking a bullet (or a knife) for you, all in the name of friendship.  And Riff could dance, like I’ve always wanted to.  Plus Russ Tamblyn, who played Riff, has an amazingly beautiful and talented daughter. I’ve got one of those, too.

3)      Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  insurance, owed, talk
I shot the insurance agent who could only talk about raising my deductible.  This was something I owed the world. One cop differed. 

4)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other? 
This varies greatly.  I love to hold hands in a movie, or rub her back surreptitiously if we’re simply out having a drink with friends.  Constant contact and tenderness is very important  I love to cuddle and kiss or hug on the couch while listening to bad 70’s pop music.  Romantic dinners, quiet moments on the beach at midnight, catching her eye while I’m ‘working’ the crowd at a film festival and she watches me do it, a hotel room on the cold beachfront in the dead of winter.  High rolling at a Vegas casino, making naughty bets while our rival football teams play each other...a writer’s imagination truly transcends real life.

5)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot? 
Most times, it begins with a character.  What if a guy/girl who had to ....  and I go from there.  I find characters in the people I meet every day in life, so it is very common to take on an individual’s story and broaden it into a filmic storyline. Every tale I write has to to do with real characters, so if I’m not true with a character there is no chance of being true to a plot.

With Forward To Camelot, we actually began with both.  What if a young woman from the year 2000, on the hunt for a rare artifact...John F. Kennedy’s personal, one of a kind Bible, used to swear in Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One just hours after Kennedy’s assassination...  The story is a product of both character and plot, intertwined from the outset.  It promises the reader something different, a unique twist to both character and story.  

6)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
Willem Dafoe or Denis Leary.  They’re not the best looking guys in film, matter of fact, each has a great face for radio.  As do I.  Yet they are both attractive in a way, personable through their wit and charm more so than their looks. Far removed from the classic leading man stereotype, yet passionate and charming, well versed and articulate.  I’d be honored to have men of that caliber live out my life story on screen.

   7)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Jack Torrance, Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’.  I’m not a King fan for many reasons but  the idea of a
writer losing his mind while trapped in a remote location with only his family and his characters.  Murder is the least he could do. Brilliant wordplay, Mr. King.

8)      Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it? 
If you consider Bettie Page historical, there it is.  A daring, sensual woman who was ahead of her time, feminine, intelligent and erotic all at once.  A close second is Queen Margaret of Spain, a headstrong woman who still succumbed to the charms of Don Juan de le Marena. Both women looked great in corsets. 
9)      Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?

I’d love to tell an intelligent, erotic thriller grounded in the real desires and passions of every day men and women.  Where ’50 Shades...’ falls short, I would pick up.  There is no greater erotic weapon than the human imagination, and I’d love to explore every sensual nuance, every perverse nuance or fetish that common people insist on keeping hidden despite their yearning to break out and let free. 

Forward to Camelot
by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn




On the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination comes a new edition of the extraordinary time-travel thriller first published in 2003 with a new Afterword from the authors.

On November 22, 1963, just hours after President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President aboard Air Force One using JFK’s own Bible. Immediately afterward, the Bible disappeared. It has never been recovered. Today, its value would be beyond price.

In the year 2000, actress Cady Cuyler is recruited to return to 1963 for this Bible—while also discovering why her father disappeared in the same city, on the same tragic day. Finding frightening links between them will lead Cady to a far more perilous mission: to somehow prevent the President’s murder, with one unlikely ally: an ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together an unlikely trio: a gallant president, the young patriot who risks his own life to save him, and the woman who knows their future, who is desperate to save them both.

History CAN be altered …



The man in the doorway was yawning, and his bright chestnut hair, flecked with threads of gray, was tousled. He wore half glasses down on his nose and held a thick typewritten report in one hand. His navy silk tie was pulled down, his white shirt was rumpled. His eyes, though bloodshot, focused on us politely.
I was face to face with President John F. Kennedy.
He looked at us, puzzled, and glanced around the empty hallway.
I knew if I didn’t speak that I’d never have another chance, but I couldn’t think of a thing to say. The President looked at us, raised an eyebrow.
Quick, Cady, say something. “Mr. President, my name is Cady Cuyler.” Beside me, I felt Lee start at the words. “I’ve come a long way to speak to you. Please, it’s very urgent.”
He was still puzzled. “Where’s my Secret Service detail?”
I took a deep breath. In for a penny, in for a pound. “They’re out drinking at a nightclub called The Cellar, here in Fort Worth. They left some Fort Worth firemen to guard you. They’ll be pretty hung over in the morning.”
Kennedy looked down at me. His eyes were a bit brighter, though it was now close to 2:00 a.m.  He looked over at Lee, who gave him a tense smile, and stood almost at military attention. He looked back at me and asked quietly, “And how do you know this?”
It was time. His hand was on the doorknob. Almost imperceptibly, he was inching it shut.
I took a deep breath. “I’ll tell you, but you’re not going to believe me.” I waited; he waited too. But he was listening; I still had a chance.
“I’m from the future. I don’t live in Dallas in 1963. I live in New York in the year 2000. I’m here to warn you, sir, and save you if I can. If you don’t listen to me now… you’re going to die in less than 12 hours.”

Oswald had turned to me in alarm. Kennedy’s gray eyes never left my face while I spoke. When I stopped, hoping, praying I had reached him, he glanced down for a moment, then down the hall. All was quiet, the annoying yellow lights still burning overhead. Like casinos in Vegas, it was impossible to know from the artificial light in the hotel whether it was noon or midnight.
“You’re right,” the President said in that distinctive accent. “I don’t believe you.” He started to close the door in my face.
Before he could, I was talking again, as quickly and persuasively as I could. “Why would I make up a story like that? It makes no sense. Unless it was true!”
His gaze was even and noncommittal, but at least he’d stopped closing the door. “Can you prove it?”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

SUSAN SLOATE is the author of 20 previous books, including the recent bestseller Stealing Fire and Realizing You (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre: the self-help novel. The original 2003 edition of Forward to Camelot became a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in three literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production.

Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which won the silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and a screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC.

After beginning his career as a television news and sports writer-producer, KEVIN FINN moved
on to screenwriting and has authored more than a dozen screenplays. He is a freelance script analyst and has worked for the prestigious American Film Institute Writer’s Workshop Program. He now produces promotional trailers, independent film projects including the 2012 documentary SETTING THE STAGE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and local content for Princeton Community Television.

His next novel, Banners Over Brooklyn, will be released in 2014.

For updates and more information about Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition, please visit


  1. Thanks for hosting us today, Julie! It's great to be back!

  2. I really love, love the sound of this story. Wish it was a true story.

    1. Thanks, MomJane! Looking forward to your comments after you've read it!

  3. I enjoyed the interview, thank you.


  4. There's some great questions from Julie, our host. We spend so much time talking about the writing process and the research for one book, it's good to expand a little and reveal a little more of the dark or campy side to a writer's mind. I had a lot of fun with this and am very grateful to Julie for having us here today,

  5. Oh Please make him Willem Defoe!!! He is one of my FAVORITE actors! Awesome interview Kevin!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  6. Sounds like a great read!!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com