22 January 2012

Interview with Susan May Warren

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  Besieged by grief, she has withdrawn into herself and her marriage has crumbled.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?
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.
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. 

Disability friendliness:
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.


  1. Susan thank you for this wonderful interview! That robbery in Russia must have been awful. I can only imagine.
    Praying that the Lord will take your fears away.

    I have already enjoyed a couple of your books. The first of your books I read was in Dutch - it was Team Hope Series book 1. After that I read the Russia series in English and recommended them for translation in Dutch. And they were translated :)) And there were more translations after that. I can tell you that the Dutch readers love your books!

    God bless!

  2. I have been wanting to read the deep haven series a lot, it sounds so good. Great interview! I really enjoy books that deal with real issues since it can help us get through things and help us understand others and things they go through.

    jen.whitney08 at gmail dot com

  3. I really enjoyed Susan's books, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Licensed for Trouble." I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. It's always interesting to learn more about authors and their experiences.


  4. Beatiful interview Carrie, thank you Susan for sharing with us. I know that robbery had to be a horrible experience, but it is wonderful that God brought you through. I love that whatever satan means for harm God will turn it around for good. :)

  5. Susan, we welcome you to OTT, and thank you for sharing your heart with us. I'm so sorry that you and your family had to go through that...I was reading part of your interview aloud to my hubby and it touched me so much I started crying.

    I use to awaken quite often at night with panic attacks and sweats like you were talking about, because of the abuse I suffered as a child, and I asked the Lord to heal my subconscious mind of that so I wouldn't awaken that way anymore, and He did! I am praying He will do the same for you, in Jesus name.

    I have read about four of your books so far and have really enjoyed them! Such talent! I'm especially looking forward to Baroness, as I really loved Heiress! Thank you, Carrie and Susan for this powerful interview!

  6. MARIAN, I think it is so AWESOME that God can use your abilities to read and make recommendations so that Dutch readers can have great Christian fiction translated so they can read it!!!

  7. JEN, me, too, I want my books to have something meaningful in them. Not necessarily literary or trying to hammer something over my head, but something that the character addresses and overcomes.

  8. PAM, I feel bad because I think Susan is a fantastic person and writer (I have read several of her books) but I have to try to keep up with my own reading as a writer with manuscripts pre-20th century.

  9. TERESA and DIANA it is Susan's birthday!!! Maybe I should go find a cake to put up there!

  10. CAKE???? Yummy! I think that's exactly what we need! Happy Birthday Susan!

  11. OK, no picture of it, but TERESA I am serving pound cake with blueberries on top and whipped cream for Susie's birthday! Want some?

  12. I want some, Carrie! (cake, that is. ;)) thank you for all your comments, ladies, and for reading my books. I appreciate you having me on your blog, Carrie! Blessings to all. :)

  13. I can't wait to read the new book. It sounds great. The other books I've read of Susie's do not disappoint so I'm sure this one will be great too!

    Thanks Susie for using the gift of God for entertaining us with a message from God!

    Sonia Meeter

  14. Susan, I've loved all the books of yours that I've read. You've been blessed with amazing talent. Thanks for sharing that talent with the rest of us! I'm sure this one will be just as good as all the rest. :)

    So awesome that time can be a gift that opens our eyes to the good that has come from evil.

  15. Susan is one of my favorite authors. Loved both the Deep Haven series and Team Hope. And "Nightingale" is a powerful book.
    Thanks for the great interview.

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  17. I have enjoyed your writing and teaching Susie.
    & I do appreciate you sharing in this interview.
    Thanks so much,

    Please enter me in the draw:

  18. I loved the interview. I lost my daughter last May so I can identify with the character to some extent. God was really gracious to me through that time. I would love to win one of Susan's book. I love all of the one I have been able to read. God bless you both.

    Glenda Parker

  19. What a wonderful interview. I would love to win a book by Susan May Warren.

    Sandi Coughlin

  20. My favorite series is the Mission: Russia! Loved the high level intrigue. I could not put those books down :) I've probably read most of Susan's books and enjoyed Heiress. Look forward to Baroness coming out!


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