Thursday, October 30, 2014

Susan May Warren, Giveaways, and Sky Diving! Oh, My!

Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA and Carol award-winning author of over forty-five novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. Two-time Christy winner, RITA winner, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the book, Conversations with a Writing Coach. She is also the founder of, a craft and coaching community for novelists.
* * *
You have written a lot of novels. You also co-own the successful My Book Therapy for writers. How do you keep it all together?

Keep it all together? Ack! What does that look like, really? If it means I’m supposed to be OUT of my pajamas before noon, have pre-thought-out crockpot meals on the table, laundry that is not rotting in the washer and a made bed…well…you’ll have to catch me between novels, or MBT projects. Because I’m sort of an all-or-nuthin’ gal.

When I write, I’m all in, huddled under what my children call my “thought” blanket. I claim no responsibility for my words to the outside world while under this shroud. And when I’m working on MBT, I’m all in, helping writers craft amazing stories. (probably too all in, because working with me can sometimes be like getting a blast from a fire-hose, but I’m working on that.) Here’s what I think: You gotta do what you love, be passionate about that, and if you have to, hire a cleaning lady (and let your hubby cook)!

Tell our readers about the Christensen Family series.

The Christiansens! Oh, how I love them. They’re a crazy, love big and live life outloud family who *might* be a little like my family. They live in the north woods of Minnesota, run a resort and try to figure out faith while living life (that often goes wrong). They make mistakes, but they love each other through them. Right now, I just finished book #5, The Wonder of You, and am working on plotting book #6, the final book. It’s a little touch of Lake Wobegon—all the men are good-looking, all the women heroic.

And it has the overtones of small town Cheers, where everyone knows your name. Which means that when you get into trouble, the entire town knows about it! The series follows each one of the adult children through their trials and triumphs of falling in love and finding their way in the world. (And oh, I feel sorry for Ingrid, their mother!) The next book hits the shelves in February 2015—Always on My Mind, a story about Casper, brother #2, who just can’t get the wrong girl off his mind...

I recently took a great class from you about branding, that it’s not just your tag line, but the commonality readers will find in all your works. I loved that, because it carries a writer into farther fields. Can you elaborate for our readers?

Sure—as a novelist, your brand is YOU. Or at least, your voice, your stories, your truths that you put on the page. When someone picks up your novel, they are relying on you to fulfil the promise you made in every other book they’ve read by you (and for first time readers, you are cementing that promise in their minds). It’s more than just place, or characters, it’s the FEELING you leave in your reader’s mind. Just like John Grisham leaves a different feeling than Nora Roberts –but both keep the promises (justice. Romance.)

Think about what feelings you want to leave for your reader. I came up with words—Family. Romance. Fun. Connectedness

All my stories have some element of these pieces. This is my brand—when you pick up a Susan May Warren novel, you’ll get a story about family, a strong romance, a lot of fun story elements and a sense of connectedness to each other, the world, and even God. So, if you’re a reader, ask yourself—how do your favorite authors make you feel as you put the book down. Does that feeling make you want to pass the book along, and go back for more? (Probably!) If you’re a writer, ask yourself the same question, and then figure out what feeling would make someone pass YOUR book along. 

Leave a comments to be entered
I learned some very fun and little-known facts about you from your publisher, that I know our readers will love. Will you tell us more about these? Especially the football letter and the skydiving!

>>Susan May Warren takes her research very seriously—from riding a mechanical bull, to skydiving, to surfing and parasailing, to recently enduring one of the coldest-ever Minnesota winters just to get the details correct for her upcoming Christiansen Family novel, Always on My Mind. But her proudest achievement is the varsity letter she earned . . . in football.>>

Well, I really did earn a letter in football. Sadly, not for my amazing skills on the field, but OFF the field as the manager for our state-winning team. But, since I was the manager that year, I got a letter also, which is SO fun when I mention to my sons that BOTH their parents were on state-winning football teams (my hubby’s team won state also), and earned letters in football. So, they have a double football legacy. 

As for skydiving—well, I wanted to write a sky-diving scene in a book, and sometimes you just have to do something crazy. I am afraid of heights, but this was different, almost like flying. Absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend the experience!

My newest book is about a crab fisherman in Alaska, on one of those Deadliest Catch boats…I’m thinking I need some hands-on research…

Leave a comment for Susie and be entered in a drawing for a basketful of Susan May Warren’s The Christiansen Family series.

Journey to the remote Minnesota lodge of Evergreen Resort and see where faith and family meet real life in Take a Chance on Me, It Had to Be You, When I Fall in Love, and Evergreen.

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?

Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.

As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.


Linda J. White said...

Love your humor and your plot twists. Can't imagine skydiving for research! Wow!

Cheri Swalwell said...

I absolutely LOVE Ms' Warren's books. I would LOVE to win this basket of The Christiansen family. Thank you so much for this opportunity.


in Him,

Cheri Swalwell

Jackie said...

I love Susie's books and winning this prize basket would be great. Thanks for the chance to win.

Enjoyed the interview.


Nancy Narma said...

Your Christiansen Family books sound fantastic! I would feel honored
to win a basket of your books. I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for good luck. Nancy Narma

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Love Susan May warren ' s writing and her desire to help unpublished writers succeed. I I would love to win her latest books.

Danie Walther said...

I would love to read these books
love this auther

Aerykah said...

Well, I just learned some new stuff about one of my favorite authors! ;) I really enjoyed the interview-- very interesting. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

crazybooklover7 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Sharon said...

What a great interview of fascinating facts about Susan! I would love to read her series about the Christiansen family.
I'm reading Chapel Springs Revival right now that I received through The Bookclub Network. How fun to read and review!
Thank you for this giveaway opportunity!

Pam said...

I read When I Fall in Love and enjoyed it very much. It made me want to read more about the Christiansen family. Being on a limited budget, it would be fabulous to win these books, so thanks for the chance.
How fun that Susan has her own football letter! She sounds like such a fun person; that carries over to her books.

Anonymous said...

Love to win the books for our church library.


Deanne said...

Wow what an impressive woman you are Susan. I know that your strong faith helps you to keep it all together to be able to accomplish so much. I love your books and would love to be able to read these. Thank you Cnnamongirl (at) aol (dot ) com

Amy C said...

What a great post on Susan. I love reading her stories.
Campbellamyd At gmail dot com

karenk said...

a wonderful posting, your novels :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com