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Friday, January 26, 2007

Spotlight on Susan May Warren and Reclaiming Nick Blog Tour!

Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota. Read an excerpt of Reclaiming Nick at http://meetnick.susanmaywarren.com

1. You have covered chic lit, romantic suspense, women's fiction and now a western. Nick Noble garnered some attention when you unveiled his photo this past September at the annual fiction writer's conference in Dallas. Now, he's blazing the trail of reader's hearts in his very own novel. What gave you the inspiration for this book and its eventual sequel?

I am a huge cowgirl at heart, and always wanted to write a book set in the modern-day west. (I'm such a sap – I love movies like "Flicka!") And, I love country music (especially Brad Paisley) so I conjured up this idea to write a story that is much like a country song...about a man who lost his roots, who returns to his past to find he's left deep wounds on those he left behind. The thematic premise of the story, about the giving and receiving of grace, I got from an actual event in a friend's life, and once I started praying about the story, everything fell into place. The sequel, called Taming Rafe, is a continuation of the Noble Legacy saga – and we get to see Nick and Piper and how they've both grown, and how Nick has indeed embraced his Legacy. It's fun to write about a family because you get to know each of them, but also can watch the others continue in their lives.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Nick, Stefanie, Piper, Cole and Maggy? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Oh, I think every character has pieces of the author, although after the kernel of self is inserted, the character then takes a life of his own. Nick is the oldest child (like me), but he's also stubborn and strong-willed, and opinionated...(Okay, that might be like me too.) *g* Stefanie is strong and wise, she's the one holding everything together at the Silver Buckle. She's much like the single ladies I know who have learned to handle their world with their own two hands. And then there's Maggy – the woman with the world on her shoulders. She's probably most like many of the missionary mothers I served with. Patient, hardworking. And Cole, he's faithful, yet frustrated. I think there were seasons in my life – like when I had pneumonia in Russia for months – that really went into Cole. And Piper – she's the idealistic side to me that says, "Hey, I can do this!" (even if it's so far fetched, it'll never happen!).

3. What themes exist in Reclaiming Nick that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The obvious themes are forgiveness and grace – and how those two go hand in hand. But some of the other themes were the idea that God doesn't give up on prodigals. Intially the book was written with Phil 1:6 in mind, that talks about God continung the good work He started in a man's life (Nick's). But there was also the theme of the woman with the bleeding disorder who felt she would never be well, and didn't even deserve it, to some extent, although she hoped for it. This is Piper, who has become bitter and cynical about God and His love for her. Much like the petrified rock they found. I tried hard to use landscape and ranching situations to build on those themes.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

This book wasn't that difficult to write because is sat in my heart a long time. However, getting the detailas of landscape and ranching correct took a lot of research, as did making sure the suspense plot flowed at a steady pace. This isn't a thriller, like some of my other books, and it's also not high suspense...the suspense plot is woven in equally with the other elements. Still, I needed to employ all the suspense techniques I use for other books. My favorite scene was the ending, of course. *g*

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I just finished book 2 in the Noble Legacy, Taming Rafe. This was SUCH a fun book to write because I took a headstrong, trouble-making bull-rider and paired him with a strong, wise woman who is trying to find out where she belongs – in the world of cowboys, or the New York social scene in which she was raised. And once I put these two together, sparks ignited. So fun to watch Rafe be..."tamed." (or...not!) Rafe is Nick's younger brother, who is a broken bull rider trying to break free from his past, who he has become, and the mistakes he's made. It's a story about starting over, and seeing the person God made you to be. The preview chapter is in the back of Reclaiming Nick, and the book is due out in August. I'm now starting Book 3 - Finding Stefanie...

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Thanks, Susie, for being in the spotlight here. Glad we could be part of the blog tour. For those of you on the tour, this is another chance to win a FREE copy of Reclaiming Nick. Just post a comment and you're automatically entered. Winner will be announced in the comments next weekend. Stay tuned!

6 comments:

Cherie said...

Great interview! Reclaiming Nick sounds like a wonderful story!

Cherie Japp

Jennifer Y. said...

Loved the interview! I have heard great things about this book and really want to read it! It sounds wonderful...and I love the cover!

Shauna said...

This book, and anything by Susan, is AWESOME!! I already have it and let me just say that the wonderful cover has brightened my bookshelves. *g*

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

Ahh, the 3 faithful visitors each week. :) And Jennifer, you've got this one. I'll send your mailing information to Susie so she can get your copy out to you. Thanks again, ladies, for your support.

Jennifer Y. said...

Thank you so much! I believe you still have my info!

Jennifer Y. said...

I received my book! Thanks!