First, I must praise the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed on my writing and I pray that the books will entertain readers and at the same time provide a spiritual message for their lives. I am blessed to have two romantic suspense books coming out this year, Behind the Badge and The Christmas Witness and have recently signed with Love Inspired for a romantic suspense series about a family of adopted siblings who fight injustice. The first two books in this series are scheduled for release in 2012.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have the most amazing family ever. My husband Mark is a church music director at the most incredible church. I am so thankful God has brought us into this loving fellowship of believers. My oldest daughter is married and a graphic designer by trade, but a stay at home mom by choice to an adorable son who is two and a half years old. My youngest daughter goes to college and is majoring in psychology with plans to become a school counselor.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Writing has changed my reading habit for sure.
used to be something I loved to do as a way to escape the routine of my everyday life. But now I often read to do reviews for publishers and or endorsements for fellow authors. So the line between enjoyment and work has blurred. Also, I find I cannot read today without looking at the mechanics of a book. I often stop to admire something a writer has done well and truth be told, take the time to learn from what is not done so well. This takes me out of the story and puts me back in a work mode. Still, I love to read and be swept into a world of imagination as only reading can do. Reading
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just started writing a new series for Love Inspired Suspense. This series is called The Justice Agency – When all else fails. It’s about five adopted siblings who work in various fields of law enforcement until their adoptive parents are murdered. When the police can’t figure out who killed their beloved parents the Justice siblings come together to solve the case. They discover in the process that they like working together and they form an investigative agency called The Justice Agency. They dedicate the agency to helping people who traditional law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to help. The first two books of this series will release in 2012.
Sounds like a really interesting series. What outside interests do you have?
Something I like to do, though it’s related to work, is web design. I designed SusanSleeman.com, HometownMysteries.com and TheSuspenseZone.com and am constantly working on these sites and learning the necessary skills to make them better. I also love to garden and anything plant related.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
All of my books are set in
. We used to live in the Oregon area and moved for my husband’s job. My oldest daughter and her family still live in that area and my youngest daughter goes to college there. I love that region of the country and we visit often. My visits motivate me to set books in Portland and as I write, it helps me feel a bit closer to my family. Oregon
Book two of my McKenna's Daughteres Series, Mary's Blessing, which I'm writing right now is set in and near Portland in 1885. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
The obvious person to me is Jesus. I know this may sound clichéd, but there is no one I would rather speak to than Jesus. To hear his teachings, to see his compassion, to know his love in person. What could be better?
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How hard it is. LOL Actually, there is nothing I wish I had known before starting the journey. I believe God lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it. If I had known the hours of work, the pain of rejections, the challenges in finding publishers who will take a chance on an unpublished author, and on and on, I don’t know if I would have started down the path. Each step in the process is a learning step and each step I take continues to be a learning step. Some lessons are easy some are still very hard and painful. But when all is said and done, it’s amazing to have a job that I love to do and get up every morning looking forward to doing.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I know what you mean, but it really does get better with age. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Only three, huh? LOL
Be teachable – It’s difficult to have your work critiqued but it’s part of the job and will never go away. Even when you’re published, others will analyze your work. Readers review, editors make revision suggestions, and so on. So get used to hearing the suggestions and be ready to implement the ones that are necessary.
Know why you’re writing – When times get tough, you have to know why you are writing. I write because I want to share my faith in an entertaining way. If I didn’t have this purpose behind my writing, there are times I may have given up. It’s what keeps me going.
Realize it takes time and practice to learn the craft of writing – There are people who write one book and it is published, but this is not the norm. Most writers can tell you about hours, days, weeks, months, years spent sitting at a keyboard before selling their first novel. It’s like any other job. You have to learn how to do it.
My first book was published, but not my second. Tell us about the featured book.
Behind the Badge is a romantic suspense title from Love Inspired Suspense. In this book, a killer is threatening the life of rookie cop Sydney Tucker and her sister-unless
turns over evidence from a drug bust. But she doesn’t have the evidence. Not that the thug believes her. She and the sibling in her care are under the watchful eye of Logan Lake police chief Russ Morgan…but will his protection be enough to keep them alive? This book is special to me as the characters deal with some very difficult things in life. I have had some tough times in my own life. Times when I wondered if God knew what I was going through and if He did, why didn’t He rescue me from these hardships? But when I look back on my difficulties, I can see how God used those trials to make me a better person and to allow me to use what I’d learned in these trials to help others. And I hope the readers of Behind the Badge will see the same thing. Sydney
Please give us the first page of the book.
Gunshots split the inky darkness.
Deputy Sydney Tucker hit the cold ground, a jagged rock slashing into her forehead on the way down. She reached for her service weapon. Came up empty handed. She’d stopped after work to check on the construction of her townhouse and left her gun and cell phone in the car.
Inching her head above knee-high grass, she listened. The keening whistle of the wind died, leaving the air damp and heavy with tension but silence reigned.
Had she overreacted? Could be target practice. But at night? Maybe. Hunters did crazy things sometimes.
Footfalls pounded from below like someone charging through the brush. No. Two people. Maybe a chase. One person after another. A loud crash, branches snapping.
“What’re you doin’, man,” a panicked male voice traveled through the night. “No! Don’t shoot! We can work this out.”
Three more gunshots rang out. A moan drifted up the hill.
Not target practice. Someone had been shot.
Heavy footfalls crunched up the gravel path.
“I know you’re here, Deputy Tucker,” a male voice, disguised with a high nasally pitch, called out. “We need to talk about this. C’mon out.”
How can readers find you on the Internet? Readers can learn more about me and my books at : http://www.susansleeman.com Websitehttp://www.thesuspensezone.com Book review website
http://www.facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks Facebook fan page
http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com Love Inspired Authors
Thank you, Susan, for visiting with us today.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.