My greatest accomplishment in life is really my two girls. One works for Word Made Flesh in Bolivia, helping women get out of prostitution. The other is a social worker who does play therapy with the children of abused women who come into a shelter.
Are you one of those writers born with a pen in your hand and ideas flitting through your mind, or did your interest develop later?
I always thought it would be fun to write but didn’t try my hand at it until my girls were out of the country. And, unfortunately, I’m not lucky enough to have story lines flitting through my head.
When did you become serious about seeing your name in print and begin writing your first romance novel?
As soon as I started writing, I started dreaming. But, it was a long process before I could say that I had something that might possibly be of worth.
How long did it take you to complete your first manuscript? Did it fly from your fingertips, or did the story emerge slowly?
The first version flew out of my fingertips. But, unfortunately, it was pretty awful. My husband pulled it off his computer the other day and we saw that it was six years ago.
Tell us about your writing process. Soft lights and music? White noise? Child-and-pet confusion? Locked in a room alone? What sets your writing mood and pushes you forward?
I need absolute quiet with no one in the house but me.
What are some life experiences that have infiltrated your stories?
My first book is set in Africa where I was born to missionary parents. I also graduated from The American School of Kinshasa, Congo. After high school, I came to America, found a studio apartment, bought a bicycle and got a job as a waitress.
Literary Inspiration: throughout your life, what novels have lifted you, made you think, “Someday I want to create something like that . . .”
Pretty much anything by Nora Roberts. I love the characters and her descriptions of life that brings everything to life.
Let’s talk about romance. How do you set the mood for your characters, what do you draw from that helps your H/H achieve oneness with each other? And how much conflict do you give them, along the way?
I’m not sure I’m that great on the romance, probably because I’m so practical. But I believe I do know a little about what’s important at our core and that’s what I would like to draw from in my books. People can have a lot of character differences and different goals but if they are going to end up together, I believe they must share common beliefs about God and their world. In terms of conflict, I want to throw as much at both my H/H as I possibly can.
What shining moment in your journey stands out the most as a real turning point for you as a writer?
Honestly? I think it was when I realized how hard this thing is but that it also was something that would keep my mind active because there is so much to learn.
Writers face many time-constraint challenges. What are some of yours? What do you do to overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge for me at times is believing that what I am doing as a writer has any significance. Because it is such a solitary career, I often think I should be out doing something with someone that would have a lasting impact on the world.
What is the most thrilling aspect of the writing process for you?
Absolutely, when someone reads what I’ve written and go ‘wow!’
What aspects of the writing process do you find most difficult?
Creating interesting characters with emotional depth.
How do you begin a story? Do you just sit down with an idea in mind and start writing, or are you a person who wouldn’t dream of starting without a detailed outline, character sketches, and pages of research data?
I try to do a lengthy analysis of the two main characters and sketch out the book with 3 turnings points and a BBM. Then I start writing and the book quite often takes unexpected twists and turns.
Tell us a little about what you’re currently working on.
It is a romantic suspense that takes place in Eugene, OR. After 5 years of marriage, at the age 23, Tiffany Reynolds, is a widow. She doesn’t want anyone to know the truth about her marriage but she soon learns her husband had secrets that threaten her very life. Luke Johnson, a private investigator, offers his protection but she soon wonders what he is really interested in. Is it her, or her dead husband and the secrets he left behind?
How about some faves of yours?
I love cats, movies with guns and car crashes and vacations that take place around water – ocean, lake or river. I want to be challenged by life and continue to learn new things. And I’m going to continue coloring over the gray in my hair till the day I die!
Suzanne’s debut release with Soul Mate: Missionaries, Mercenaries, and Murder:
Alex Carpenter’s life is shattered when his friend and partner is gunned down. With his confidence shaken, he turns in his badge and gun and accepts an offer to build a church in the Congo, hoping for time alone to heal.
Molly Quinn is on a mission to save souls and heal bodies. Nothing is too difficult for her to handle until a police officer from Kikwit demands she come to his city to identify a body that turns out to be her friend and a fellow American.
Alex realizes her friend was murdered, and Molly begs him to help her find the killer. Drawn into a bloody web of intrigue and deception, Alex and Molly must work together to stay alive and one step ahead of a murderer.
Can she convince Alex to put his trust and their lives in God’s hands?
BUY LINK: AMAZON:
Suzanne, thanks so much for visiting with us today!