Susan May Warren is the award-winning, best-selling novelist of over twenty-four novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, and been Christy and Rita finalists. Her compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, she returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children and her husband are active in their local church. You can find her online at: www.susanmaywarren.com
Tell us about your current release and where you got the inspiration for it.
I’m really excited about my new book, Nothing but Trouble – it’s a fun, romantic, light suspense series about a wanna-be PI who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. I’ve been working on it for about three years. (or, maybe doing the research all my life, hmmm) Here’s the blurb:
It's not fair to say that trouble happens every time PJ Sugar is around, but it feels that way when she returns to her hometown, looking for a fresh start. Within a week, her former teacher is murdered and her best friend's husband is arrested as the number-one suspect. Although the police detective investigating the murder--who also happens to be PJ's former flame--is convinced it's an open-and-shut case, PJ's not so sure. She begins digging for clues in an effort to clear her friend's husband and ends up reigniting old passions, uncovering an international conspiracy, and solving a murder along the way. She also discovers that maybe God can use a woman who never seems to get it right.
It hit the stands just in time for a summer beach read and is available now at your local bookstore. Go to: http://gotsugar.susanmaywarren.com for sneak peeks and to sign up for free stuff and updates!
Is there a particular event that helped you become an author?
I’ve always been amazed at the journey God has taken me on. I always loved to write, but being a missionary in Russia, I never dreamed about being an author. I just tried to do the best with what God had entrusted to me, and for me that meant writing missionary newsletters. I honed my skills through my newsletter, and then, after a number of years, began to write devotionals and magazine articles. Although I tried my hand at writing novels (I wrote 4 before I ever had one published), I never thought I would get anything published. But I diligently studied craft and analyzed books, even though I was hidden away in Siberia. I’ll always be grateful that Tyndale and later Barbour and Steeple Hill took a chance on me! I’m still learning, and still trying to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to me.
What advice would you give to writers wishing to have their works published?
Read – figure out why you like the book, Read more, Write, get feedback, implement feedback, Read, Write more, and eventually go to a writer’s conference and pitch your story. Most of all, spend time in the Word, filling up, so you can pour out.
What is your next project?
I wrote a Christmas book! I’m so excited for my Christmas novella – the Great Christmas Bowl, a story that I wrote two years ago when my family took sick over the holiday season. For eight days over Christmas, I made soup and handed out Vicks…and conjured up a book about the crazy things mothers do, the looming threat (and joy) of empty nests and the universal desire to create memories for our children. I live in a small town, so of course, I had to write about the crazy, wonderful small town Minnesota life. (Go Big Lake Trouts!) Yes, it’s a mother book. (But did I mention it also has FOOTBALL in it?) It’s also a book about reclaiming romance after the kids are grown, and discovering that all your years of investing in your children do bear fruit.
I am overjoyed at this story; this holiday tale of my heart. It comes out in October!
Do you have a quote that motivates you?
This is the quote I had above my computer as I started to write novels…J "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
Excerpt - The Great Christmas Bowl:
There are some Christmases that slink by, their significance lost amid the flurry of parties, holiday card mailings, and the endless lists of stocking stuffers. They end well, perhaps, with a sigh of relief and a warm curl of happiness that signifies, once again, a successful season had by all.
There are other years, however, that stand out in stark relief. Moments where the trudge of time, however briefly, hiccups. Years when we remember exactly why we gather with family to celebrate a day of peace, of grace.
For me, such a stumble in time came in my forty-eighth year. The year I turned into a fish.
It happened by accident, as all monumental occurrences do. In fact, it wasn’t until afterward that I realized the depth of what had transpired. My youngest son claims that I entered into my state fully cognizant of the ramifications. My perspective suggests I was tricked, baited by the hope that my youngest son might find inspiration and purpose in my humble transformation and sacrifice.
Perhaps he did. But that year, the year I became a fish, also turned out to be the Christmas that would remind me, in years hence, that children do remember. They hold the memories we create as nourishment, filling in the nooks and crannies of their lives to make them stronger.
And eventually, they pass them on.