|Susie and me at the 2013 ACFW |
Gala Awards Dinner rockin' our vintage dresses
Susie is not only a multi-published, multi-award winning author, she is also the creator of My Book Therapy, an organization designed to teach, encourage, and equip authors. She hosts retreats, teaches workshops, and mentors new authors. She has more energy than ten women, and she has an incredible mind for stories. More than that, she's kind, generous, and as nice as you can imagine.
I could go on and on, but she's probably blushing right now... J Without further ado, here's my interview with Susie.
GM: Welcome to my blog, Susie! I’m thrilled to have you here. (I’m grinning as I write this. J) It’s such an honor to have you stop by. From my first Pitch & Promotion Seminar, to my Storycrafter’s & Deep Thinker’s Retreats, and my Frasier Finals—you’ve been a huge part of my writing journey. Not only are you a wonderful author, teacher, and mentor, you’ve also become a good friend. What’s more, you’re a Minnesotan—can it get any better than that?!?! J
SMW: Yes, we Minnesotans need to stick together (or we’ll freeze to death!) It’s been so fun to get to know you over the years – and watch you go from just starting to PUBLISHED AUTHOR. SO cool! Thank you for inviting me to your blog today!
GM: You were one of the first published authors I met in person, and you've been such an integral part of my journey. I'm so thankful for you! And I’m also excited to read your newest release, Always on My Mind. Stories often start with a single spark. What sparked your idea for Always on My Mind?
SMW: It started with a true story – a local friend had a daughter who had inadvertently walked into an abusive relationship. I prayed for this woman as she tried to figure out how to help her daughter – going from “I can’t leave him,” to “I’m afraid to leave him.” This beautiful, intelligent woman confessed that she didn’t exactly know how she got there—just that one day she opened her eyes and realized the horrible truth. But, as she traced her path, she realized that she’d told herself a million tiny lies along the journey that eventually landed her at this terrible place.
Those outside the horrific journey warned her. Wanted—tried—to wave her off. And watched with torn hearts as she entwined herself in a situation that nearly cost her—and her children—their lives.
Eventually, the abuser hurt someone else—someone less afraid, less intimidated, less willing to believe lies—and was imprisoned. Justice, finally.
But we so often find ourselves in similar situations – we let lies drive us into decisions that are dangerous and tragic. We even accept abuse because we can’t lift our eyes off ourselves and onto truth.
I’ve always been about grace, and lavish love of God to rescue us from ourselves in my stories. I believe Jesus stands outside the lies, waving at us to stop our self-destruction, to believe Him for freedom, to reach out for His love, to trust His justice. And he asks us, as Christians, to stand in the darkened pathways and shed light. So, I wanted to write a story about a man who couldn’t escape the pull of love God had for the broken, the lost—and yet depict the agony of seeing them run away into destruction. Just as God must feel when we push Him away and stubbornly head into darkness.
GM: What an incredible story of redemption and grace. I love your writing—and so do many other loyal fans. You’ve published over forty novels in the past eleven years, in multiple genres. You’ve also created My Book Therapy, an organization designed to teach and encourage writers along the path to publication. Your love and dedication to the writing industry is unmatched by anyone I know. Where does your love for stories come from? At what point did you realize you wanted to be a published author?
SMW: Oddly, being a novelist wasn’t really a dream for me – not realistically. I wanted to be a career missionary, and dove into writing great newsletters. However, we lived in Siberia and there’s not a lot to do there, so at night, I wrote stories. It wasn’t until I came home on furlough and attended a writing conference that I began to consider that I could publish them. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything different!
GM: I can't imagine you doing anything different, either! You've touched countless lives and accomplished a great deal already, but knowing you, I have a suspicion you’ve only just begun. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
SMW: Oh boy – I’m not sure. I’ve never been good at seeing out that far – more of a “take the next step through the open door” girl. I do know I’d like to continue to write great stories, and continue to help people see their publishing dreams come true. I guess I’m just excited where God might take those desires as I surrender them to Him.
GM: I love how you stated that. It's a great adventure to surrender our desires to Him and watch where He takes them. Now that I’ve asked some serious questions, here’s one just for fun. If you could have a meal with three people who are no longer alive, who would they be and why?
SMW: I’d like to have lunch with the Inklings (C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, etc.) And I’d invite Robin Williams, just because I am still sad about the world losing him.
GM: That would be an incredible meal! Three men who touched the world and left their indelible fingerprints.Thank you for answering my questions, Susie! You’re always a joy to spend time with. I hope we can do it in person again one day soon.
YOUR TURN, READERS: If you could have a meal with three people who are no longer alive, who would they be and why?
Be sure to enter below to win a free copy of Susie's newest release, Always on my Mind!
To read an excerpt of Susie’s newest novel, go to: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/books/always-on-my-mind
After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.
Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts—and the future of the resort.
Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?
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