Thursday, August 14, 2008

Returning Guest Author: Susan May Warren

I'm so excited to welcome Susan back! She has graciously agreed to update us on her writing life and tell us about her third book in the Noble Legacy collection.

Welcome back, Susie. Please tell us about your book "Finding Stefanie."

Finding Stefanie is the story of a woman who finds herself suddenly wondering where her dreams went. She’s a rancher and sacrificed her future to stay home and take care of the family ranch. However, with her brothers (Nick and Rafe) helping out now on the ranch, suddenly, she is wondering where she fits in. Add to that her new next door neighbor, Hollywood Heartthrob Lincoln Cash, who seems to be intent on bringing tinsel town to her small Montana town, and she’s pretty sure she’s a relic from days gone by. But Lincoln is hiding a secret, and Stefanie just might be the only one who can help him. And, well, vice-versa. Maybe, through Lincoln’s eyes, Stefanie will finally discover the woman God has designed her to be. With elements of suspense all back-dropped against the Big Montana Sky, it’s the conclusion to the Noble Legacy collection, and a story that women will (I hope!) relate to.

The earlier two books in the series were about Stefanie's brothers, ("Reclaiming Nick" and "Taming Rafe"). Would you say it was easier or harder/more fun or less fun writing about Stefanie as compared to say, Rafe (her twin brother)? What were the challenges (or perks) of being mostly in the POV of a male for books one and two, as compared to mostly being in a female POV for "Finding Stefanie"?

Well, both Rafe and Nick had pretty strong heroines, but Stefanie was the strongest by far, so getting into her skin was an adventure. I loved how strong she was – in fact, finding a hero for her was a real challenge. She didn’t need a “strong” man, because, well, Stef is pretty tough. But she did need a special kind of man, one who saw through her rawhide exterior to the beautiful woman inside, and of course, he alone could see who she really was. In Stefanie, I let out all the cowgirl inside me and freed her to wander about the page, to train horses and help the children and ultimately to save the world’s hero. I love writing male pov also, however – my biggest challenge is to make him sound like a guy. Because, usually, romantic heroes are a whole lot more talkative and vulnerable than our real heroes…so making those situations realistic in the book sort of involves me following my husband or teens around the house and asking, “would a guy…?” I have to say, I love writing both povs….

And you’re good at it! I love your characterization. I start reading your books and immediately I know I’m in good hands.

Are the novels in this series stand-alone, or would you recommend a reader start from book one? (Personally, I loved reading them straight through one after the other, but for our readers who are just learning about the series, what do you recommend?)

I designed the books as stand-alones, so anyone could pick them up and read them in any order. I called them the “Noble Legacy Collection” because they are really each their own stories, instead of each story building on the previous one. A lot of readers have started with Rafe, backtracked to Nick, and then gone on to Stefanie. But you can easily start with Stef and work backwards.

What's on your plate next? (i.e. what you're writing now and what will release next)

I’m so excited about my new series – I’m calling it the misadventures of PJ Sugar, PI-wannabe. It’s the story of a bad-girl gone good who returns to her hometown ten years after being run out of town for a crime she didn’t commit. She returns home hoping to start fresh, and ends up right back where she started – getting caught up in a murder, and eventually landing back in the county jail, again for a crime she didn’t commit. Can PJ Sugar ever escape trouble, or is she destined to be known as Nothing But Trouble. (And that’s the name of the book). I’m working on a fun website now, and will have it up with previews, etc, in a few weeks. It’s the first in what I’m calling the “PJ Sugar- Trouble” series. And it’s got all my favorite elements – romance, suspense, a strong spiritual thread and lots of good humor. It hits the shelves in February.

How can readers contact you?

Go to or, if you’re a writer, be sure and check out for your daily dose of writing tips.

Thanks for visiting again, Susie! We love having you here and reading your work.

Thank you so much for having me! Warmly ~ Susie

I recently read Finding Stefanie and loved it. Here's my review:

I enjoy Susan’s writing a lot. In fact, her earlier novel “Happily Ever After” remains one of my all-time favorite reads. And I devoured “Reclaiming Nick” and “Taming Rafe,” so I looked forward to this third book’s release in the Noble Legacy collection. And I wasn’t disappointed.

First off, Susan has an amazing handle on characterization. So right from the start you know her characters are going to seem real.

Specifically, I loved her secondary romance thread in Finding Stefanie. She let us watch 18-year-old Gideon’s tender-hearted interactions with Libby, a 19-year-old character. Susan has a deep understanding of the human heart and our motivations (good or bad). She always believably pens her wide spectrum of characters.

Her primary romance was delicious, too. Love those Beta heroes (mostly because it’s not the norm).

I appreciate Susan’s heart to see people find God’s love for them. She skillfully weaves messages of hope and redemption into her stories. I also appreciate her servant’s heart toward other writers. She’s an encourager and teacher, a mentor and friend to many in the Christian writing community.

I'm looking forward to her next series!

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