In addition to this interview, Susan May Warren will also have a contest for a Flip HD camcorder. We're all eligible to win.
About Nightingale: Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancé—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion.
Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.
Don’t miss book 1 in this stand-alone collection, Sons of Thunder.
About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.
Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of http://www.mybooktherapy.com/, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/.
Link to buy the book: http://www.christianbook.com/nightingale-susan-warren/9781609360252/pd/360252?event=AFFp
What a great question! Of course, there is my amazing acquisitions editor, Susan Downs, who teams with me on these projects. She had an amazing gift to know how to sculpt a story. I’m also super grateful to Ellen Tarver who is my personal editor – she sees everything first and helps me know if it works or not. And, I couldn’t write a book without Rachel Hauck who always answers my phone calls, and usually the question “what happens now?” too! For this book, I was privileged to talk to a number of people from the town of Reedsburg where I researched the prisoner of war camp. I am especially grateful to Jeannette Kelly, who let me tour her condo in the renovated hospital where my story was set, and local inn keepers Tom and Donna Hoffman were a researcher’s gift – they answered every question I had and more – including, what does pea silage smell like! If you’re every looking for a wonderful place to stay in a quaint small town, try: http://www.parkviewbb.com/
If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
Over the past two years, I’ve started working with local writer’s groups more and more – designing seminars to suit the needs of their writers. I’m exited to put on a one day Storycrafter’s Seminar intensive for ACFW Colorado November 12th. If you’re interested: http://www.acfwcolorado.com/events.html . The next big My Book Therapy retreat is Deep Thinkers – 5 days of wordsmithing teaching and mentoring on the shores of Florida, February 25-March 1st. Go to: http://deepthinkers.mybooktherapy.com/
If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
Oh, that’s tough because I love so many places. I love the ocean, so Florida or North Carolina would be lovely. And I love the Colorado mountains. And I really enjoyed living in Tennessee…
But more and more, as my children grow up and leave the house, I believe my answer would be…wherever they are!
I've been blessed to have most of my children and grandchildren living in the same area of Texas, all except my grandson who is serving in Afghanistan right now. If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Getting published is not magic. You aren’t waiting to be “picked” like you would on school yard team. You don’t need to wait for fairy dust to be sprinkled upon you. Getting published is about learning your craft, developing a solid story that fits the market, networking to put your story in the right hands, and finally simply doing the hard work. If you are committed to stay the course, I believe you will eventually turn out a publishable story.
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
Okay, music is easy – Michael Buble. I’d just ask him to follow me around (or rather, I’d follow him around) and sing.
I’d get Gerard Butler to speak because I love his accent. He can speak about anything, I don’t care. Maybe just read Robert Burns poetry. He could do our late night talks. Maybe I’d have him switch off with Matthew Goode. And Hugh Laurie. In fact, anyone with a British, Irish, or Scottish accent can come for free as long as they’re willing to read Scottish poetry.
I’d really like to hang out with Bonnie Hunt, so I’d ask her too, just because I think she’s hilarious. She doesn’t have to do anything – just sit at my table. Be my friend.
I suppose we should have someone motivational, so probably Dave Ramsey should come along and remind us not to buy the trinkets on shore unless we have set aside the cash to pay for them. Or maybe Joyce Meyer, she always has good things to say. They could do some breakout workshops.
I’d probably ask Gretchen Carlson from Fox and Friends because if I didn’t get television on the ship I’d miss out on her early morning banter and that would just upset my day. Besides, she’s Minnesotan, ‘nuf said. She could be our MC.
And for the entertainment? Jim Gaffigan. (You tube him. Seriously).
Could I also bring all the professional dancers from "Dancing with the Stars?" We’ll need some exercise, after all.
And Chef Ramsey. I don’t to talk to him – he scares me, but I do think we’d eat pretty well.
And, I’d like the band, Casting Crowns. For when Michael is tired. Because I love everything they sing.
Finally, I’d bring all my buddies from ACFW and My Book Therapy. Because we may not be celebrities, but they’re the people I’d really like to hang out with.
For sure I'd want to be on that cruise. Now tell us about the featured book.
During my research, I read a newspaper account about a woman who was moved because she heard hymn, sung in German (her native language) coming from inside the camp which was housed just across the street from her home. It made me realize that beneath the stamp of enemy just might be a fellow Christian, pressed into serving their country.
I also wanted to write an epistolary novel that explored the power of correspondence. I’d never written such a novel, and the challenge inspired me. I also wanted to write a story about a Daniel…a Christian caught in enemy territory. I think many Christians find themselves in “enemy” territory in their own country, and I fear America isn’t too far away from that. How then shall we live? I’m anxious to hear what readers think of Nightingale.
I can hardly wait to read it. Please give us the first page of the book.
Good night my dear,
You must never fear-
For your love is here,
And she’ll hide you from everything.
’cuz you, my dear,
You’re my everything,
You’re the song I sing
When my nights are starless.
Given a different day, a different hour, she might have jumped with him. That thought, perhaps, shook Esther most of all.
Two hours before Charlie Fadden perched himself on the edge of the top floor of the Roosevelt Mercy Hospital, Esther Lange had fed him cookies and beat him soundly in a game of gin rummy.
He’d taken the cookies, smiled at her with eyes that appeared lucid, and declared that she couldn’t possibly beat him in poker, if she dared to play, and what book was she reading to the patient in bed number six, because he had a few questions himself.
Thornton Wilder. The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
She understood his question. Why did unexplainable events happen to the innocent?
Perhaps that particular piece of conversation accounted for why she found him on the roof with the biting wind pasting his flimsy army-issue pajamas to his skeleton, staring out over the blanketed town of Roosevelt. Still, she should have seen the desperation rising in his eyes, right?
Another moment she longed to snatch back, replay.
Somehow she had to learn how to stop living with one eye over her shoulder. Or she’d end up on the roof, like Charlie.
A full moon and the splatter of stars along the Milky Way illuminated the GI, his hands whitened on his crutches, staring into the clear midnight. He glanced over his shoulder at her with a wild-eyed fury. “Get away.”
Esther drew a breath from where she crouched near the chimney, her fingers digging into the brittle cement, the petroleum odor of the tar roof curdling her nose. Her bare legs prickled against the lick of the night air.
“I can’t do that, you know. I’m here to help you.”
“There ain’t no help for me.” He turned away, his shoulders rigid.
She glanced past him, measuring the distance to the ground below.
The blackout curtains washed the town into the milky darkness—the Queen Anne style homes, the bungalow “box houses,” purchased once upon a time from Sears and Roebuck, the stately colonials, the few Victorians with their steep-roofed towers and ornamented gables—like Caroline’s boarding house, all nested between the budding oaks, maples, and elms, the balsam firs, and occasional cottonwoods, the pedestrian sidewalks that cordoned off Locust, Park, and Walnut streets. A gentle town, filled with hardy German immigrants, the kind that sent their boys to war in the land of their ancestors.
Her gaze tripped over Judge and Mrs. Hahn’s three-story French Empire monstrosity, with the mansard roof that sat like a cap upon the house, the round windows’ eyes despising the peasantry along Pine Street. Above it all, the twin spires of the Lutheran church parted the night.
And as if it were a woman in repose, watching the doings of the Wisconsin hamlet, the dark shadow of the Baraboo range lounged along the horizon.
What it took for Charlie to drag his shattered body out of the fourth ward, down the hall to the roof access closet, up the ten-foot ladder, and out to the crisp, fluorescent night, well… Despair made a person lose themselves sometimes.
Charlie, for sure, had left too much of himself on the beaches of Normandy.
Her feet scuffled as she stood, but Charlie didn’t move, as if contemplating freedom.
Of course Esther should tell him not to jump.
Of course, she should scream that life was worth living. Really.
Of course she should remind him that he couldn’t fly, and a three-story plunge wouldn’t release him from his wounds.
But the words lodged in her throat.
Because, PFC Charlie Fadden was right. Up here on top of Roosevelt Mercy Hospital, flying seemed downright congenial.
Okay, this is going to the top of my to-be-read pile. Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.susanmaywarren.com/ , or http://www.mybooktherapy.com/ .
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