Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Author Interview: Susan Sleeman

Hey readers, it's Christmastime! Just for fun, I've got some interviews lined up this month with authors of recently released Christmas books! Today's guest is Susan Sleeman, author of The Christmas Witness (see book info below). She's here to share some behind-the-scenes info with you. Grab a glass of egg nog and enjoy!

Hi Susan, what inspired you to become an author?

The life long love of reading inspired me to want to write a book, but it was God who arranged free time for it to happen. I’ve always enjoyed writing from creative to technical writing I’ve done in the corporate world, and I said for years that I was going to write a book, but I was so busy working full time, raising children, and volunteering at church that I never made the time. Then in 2000, I began having health issues that limited my physical activity. Forced to sit for long periods of time, I started to research the craft of writing and began my first book. As my health deteriorated, I had more and more time available and soon I was writing full time and actively pursuing publication.

What is the most important thing you want your readers to take from your books?

No question here. God is in charge and, if we know what’s best, we will seek His guidance and follow His leading. I guess since this is something I continually struggle with, it shows up time and again in my writing. But I know I am not the only one who has a hard time wanting to be in charge of my life and so I write about it to remind others, too. We are taught as we grow up to be independent, take charge, and make something of ourselves, and we lose sight of the fact that only with God’s guidance can we become everything He has created us to be.
Q: Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Because of our experiences and perceptions, we all put something of ourselves in our characters, but I try to make each character different and unique and that means they have to possess a variety of characteristics. If anything, I try to write characters that have features I would want to have or that I admire.

That said, though not done intentionally, when I finish a book and evaluate the spiritual struggle of the main character I am surprised to see issues I am either struggling with and or have recently come through. Though Christian fiction entertains, and some would say that is the only purpose of fiction, God can really help us develop our spiritual walk through great stories.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

I am currently working on the edits for Double Exposure my June of 2012 release from Love Inspired Suspense and writing my fall of 2012 release tentatively titled Justice Denied. These are the first two books in the Justice Agency series featuring five adopted siblings who used to work in law enforcement but now own a private investigative agency, called what else but The Justice Agency.

How do you integrate faith into the stories and lives of your characters?

This is actually one of the easiest parts of writing for me as it is such a fundamental part of my life. Before I begin a book, I pray for guidance on a verse to base the story on. Once I am clear on the verse, I think about lessons I may have learned revolving around this verse or how this verse has changed my life. Then I create a story where the characters struggle with this lesson.

What is your favorite book?

I don’t have a favorite book, but favorite genres. I read mostly mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense because I like a book that moves along and has a mystery to solve. As a writer, there are books that I love because of the prose, books I love because of the great/creative plots, books I love for wonderful/quirky characters, books I love for the message, and of course, books I love for the pure entertainment value. When a book includes all of these under one cover, I cannot put it down.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Though I don’t have a favorite verse as different verses speak to me at different times of my life, the verse I use for my writing life and for my life in general, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Though, I don’t think of this as an accomplishment per se, I am proud of my two daughters. Of the women they have become and of their walk with the Lord. It’s hard to raise godly children these days with all the competing noise and distractions of our hectic world and the fact that faith is so important to both of them makes me so happy.

Thanks for visiting today, Susan!

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The Christmas Witness by Susan Sleeman, available now.
"Don't say a word!"

When a criminal threatened to kill Megan Cash if she testified against him, she didn’t back down. Years later, he’s out of jail and ready for revenge against Megan and her daughter. The only one who can protect them is the former FBI agent who broke Megan’s heart.

But Reid Morgan isn’t the same man—he’s now a widowed father with a harrowing past. . .and a heart more guarded than ever. Still, he’s the only who believes Megan when she says she’s in danger. Because someone wants to make this a Christmas she won’t live long enough to forget.

~~~

SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com. Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. To learn more about Susan visit her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks or website http://www.susansleeman.com

2 comments:

Susan Sleeman said...

Thanks for hosting me, Annette! I'm so excited to have a Christmas book and am thrilled to be able to share it with your readers.

Angie Arndt said...

Sounds like a great book - I'm putting that one on my Christmas list!

Thanks for the writing tips, too. I love how you incorporate your faith by centering the entire book on one verse. And prayer definitely does help!

Thanks for sharing Susan's post with us, Annette. :)