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 www.MyBookTherapy.com, 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.