Monday, May 29, 2006

Interview with Susan May Warren

Captain’s Log, Stardate 05.29.2006

Susan May Warren is one of the nicest writers I know, and today I get to interview her! Her latest book is from Steeple Hill Café, and it’s about a single chick who goes to Russia for a missions trip.


"I need you," the tall, good-looking missionary had said . . . but he'd been speaking to Josey's entire church at the time. Had she taken it too literally? Because she was no longer in Gull Lake, Minnesota. She was a missionary. In Russia. For a year.

True, Josey had wanted to skip town when her sister married her ex, and her secret crush/best friend got engaged. But Russia? Yet after a few weeks the idea grew on her. She could speak enough words to buy fruit at the Moscow market, and the missionary role was feeling . . . right (although her bagel-thieving roommate tested her daily). Even the frosty Russian weather was no big deal for this Minnesota girl -- it was getting her love life to thaw that was the real challenge!

And now, here’s Susan May Warren!

EVERYTHING'S COMING UP JOSEY is your first chick-lit, right? Why the switch from romantic suspense to chick-lit? And are there any dead bodies in this?

Well, there might be people that Josey would like to KILL, but…no dead bodies in this book. I wanted to write chick lit because my suspense/romance sorta has that chick feel – a savvy woman facing life’s dilemmas with humor and wit. The chick voice came very naturally to me, I found. I look forward to writing more chick books in the future (after I finish the Josey series). BUT, I’m still writing romantic suspense, so I haven’t given up my roots.

You're not going to disappoint your romantic suspense fans, right? Are you going to continue the Team Hope series? And don't you also have a romantic suspense series from Steeple Hill tradesize? (DANG you're a busy chick!)

I love writing Romantic Suspense too much to give it up! I do have the privilege of writing Romantic Suspense for both Tyndale and Steeple Hill – although my SH books are slanted more toward the “thriller” side, and take place overseas, while the Tyndale books are more “romance” and take place in America. But both have from-the-headlines plots and sweet romances. My next Steeple Hill book is called Sands of Time and deals with a doctor trapped in Russia during a coup and the Russian FSB agent tasked with rescuing her…or arresting her… It’s a fun story that I thought of one cold Siberian night. It hits the shelves in October. My next Tyndale book is called Reclaiming Nick and is the story of a man who returns home to his ranch in Montana to face his past. It’s NOT a western, but has all those wonderful elements that make us love the west – cowboys and horses and wide-open spaces. I call it my Deep Haven Goes West series.

The concept for Josey's book is great. You were a missionary in Russia for several years. Is this book a bunch of your experiences?

Well…okay, yes, most of the things in the book actually happened to me, and I had a blast finally being able to write about them. It’s probably the closest thing we’ll get to an autobiography.

Do you watch TV? What are your favorite shows? (Camy is currently disgusted at the way Alias ended with all that Rambaldi stuff.)

(I loved Alias, but I didn’t love all the Rambaldi stuff either) My current favs are: The Unit, House, NCIS, 24 (Poor Jack!), Lost, Amazing Race (Love the Hippies!), Crossing Jordan, Alias (so glad they ended happily), and Prison Break. I’m also a HUGE HUGE Gilmore Girls fan. *sigh* Dunno what Lorelai is going to do now. I married a Luke, for anyone who knows the show.

Any favorite music singers/groups? And are you musically talented or one of those people who likes to think you are? And did you vote for American Idol?

I am a HUGE country western fan – love Brad Paisley and Kute Keith (as I call him) Urban. We are also Rascal Flatts fans. As for Christian music – Newsong, and Casting Crowns. I am probably in the “want to be musically talented” category, but I do help out occasionally in the worship team. And, I voted for Kat. *g*

Finish this sentence: Writing a novel is...

A journey of discovering God’s grace, God’s wisdom and God’s provision. Whenever I read my books I can’t help but see how God did this and I’m so grateful.

Do you have a special scripture verse for your writing?

Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Love that – reminds me that even when I’m overwhelmed, God is there and if I trust in Him, I’ll overflow with hope (and hopefully words!).
Where was your favorite vacation (with or without the kids)?

Backpacking through Europe with the kids when they were 4-6-8-9 years old.

If you were a drink (alcoholic or non) what would you be and why?

A strawberry margarita. Because I’m pretty sweet, and I’d like to think I have enough salt in me to even that out. And of course, there’s the tequila. *g*

Thanks for the interview! Any parting words?

It’s such a privilege to be an author – and I’m grateful for people who spend time with a Susan May Warren book in light of all the other entertainment out there. Thank you for reading!

Camy here: Thanks, Susan!