Susan May Warren is the author of "The Shadow of your Smile" and of best-selling, award-winning novels like "Sons of Thunder", "The Great Christmas Bowl" and "Finding Stephanie". Amazon has a complete selection of Susan May Warren's books. Christian Book Distributors also carries Susan May Warren's novels.
I met Susan May Warren through ACFW several years ago and got to hear her speak at the Philly conference that Marlene Bagnall runs every year (Write His Answer Philadelphia Conference). Rachel Hauck, her sidekick, encouraged me to join the My Book Therapy ningsite right when that first got started up. I have been a Voice’s MyBookTherapy Ezine columnist for the past two years. I have enjoyed getting to know Susie better at the ACFW conferences. She is a generous and bubbly person.
Susan, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help. Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
In this story, my heroine, Noelle, has to overcome the grief of losing her only daughter. Besieged by grief, she has withdrawn into herself and her marriage has crumbled. As the story opens, she’s trying to find her way back when she falls and her memory of the last twenty years is erased. As she starts her journey of recovery, her loved ones are besieged by the question: do they help her remember the past, if it plunges her back into darkness? Or is remembering the happy times worth the grief it will bring?
I wrote this story during the year my daughter left for college. Although a struggle for me, it wasn’t the grief that this story portrays. So I had to tap into other memories I wanted to erase to get into the mind of my character. Namely, the home invasion we lived through while serving as missionaries in Russia. A terrifying day where three masked men broke into our home, beat us, and robbed us. Only a divine intervention (and we believe angels) saved our lives.
Ten years later, the event, the memory can still find me, wake me in the middle of the night, creep up on me in a quiet house, or even while I’m sitting in the car. I’ve long wished to erase it. Or not. Because as distance has allowed me perspective, I’m ever aware of my gratefulness for the lessons it taught me. Faith. Hope in a God who protects, and heals.
One interesting phenomena when a person goes through an attack such as this is that your brain actually blots out the most traumatic things until you are ready to see them. I think this is God’s way of protecting us yet again.
Do I want to forget that attack? I wouldn’t mind never having to wake from a nightmare again, in a cold sweat. But I want the reminder that God is always there. This is the lesson that Noelle takes away – that God hasn’t left her in her grief, or amnesia, but His constant presence had held her together…and will heal her back to love.
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
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.
I love the simplicity of this verse. God is Hope. He fills us with Joy and Peace…and all we have to do is trust in Him. And when we do…our hope overflows.
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Yes, quite a few of my books are in large print, as well as on audio.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
My life theme is grace – God gives me grace, I try to overflow that to others. But I hope that readers see God in a new way, touching their lives with His grace as they read my stories.
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I am always amazed that, at some point in every story, I’m in over my head and have to hit my knees and ask God for divine help. He always shows up with answers. For me, that’s the joy of the journey – the faith building experience of writing a novel.
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
My heroine spends a lot of time watercolor painting as a way to recover from her grief. I think reaching inside in a creative way allows us to express ourselves that we might not be able to otherwise. And I think God shows up in these moments, too.
Thank you Susan May for agreeing to answer these questions and for sharing what God has helped you get through. Our theme this week will address PTSD and overcoming the trauma of assault, with God's help. Your testimony is an inspiration to all of us!
GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a copy of one of Susan's books this week in your choice of format.