Welcome, Susan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There is one character in Rescuing Hope that slightly resembles me. I didn’t think about it when writing the book. However, my friends who have read the book pointed it out. Most of the characters in the book are based on someone I interviewed or read about. Some of the minor characters are based on people in my community.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I volunteer at our church youth camp every year. I’m responsible for the evening activities, which are the fun, festive time of the evening. I intentionally dress up as a country hick named
Pearl complete with pigtails and host the
evening events. It was such a huge hit the first year it has become an annual
thing. Pearl has even gone on a mission trip to India.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Honestly, while writing Rescuing Hope. I’ve been writing a blog for about five years, but I never referred to myself as a writer before Rescuing Hope was published.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love fiction, especially Christian fiction. I also enjoy historical fiction. I will also read non-fiction on topics of interest. I also enjoy reading cookbooks that have stories in them about the recipes or the people who created them. Everyone has a story to tell and I love hearing stories about people’s lives.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Some days I don’t feel like I do. I am a woman of faith, so I start my day with the Lord. The days I fail to do so are the days I tend to fail at many things. He keeps me on track, focused on the things that matter, and helps me let go of things that don’t. I also keep worship music playing in my office at all times to keep me ever mindful of why I do what I do. I also have an amazing prayer shield made up of women who pray for me daily. Add that to an incredibly supportive family and that keeps me afloat.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Rescuing Hope deals with the issue of sex trafficking in
The names of the characters in my book had to be authentic sounding street
names, so I asked some of the survivors I interviewed to help me with names. I
also interviewed a former drug dealer who turned his life around and asked him
to look over the “street names” for my characters and make sure they sounded
authentic. I nearly died when we sat down in a crowded, local restaurant and in
a very loud voice he said, “What’s your pimp’s name?” I knew people in the
restaurant, so I can only imagine what they were thinking if they overheard
him. I had to laugh and let it go.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my family. I’ve been married to my best friend for twenty-two years and my children both say I’m one of their best friends. They are my first mission field. I fail in life if I’m successful in the world, but not in my home.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a golden retriever, because I get along with everyone and I love to have fun. The more the merrier. I don’t like anyone to be left out. I could also be a bear, because I’m fiercely protective of those I love and I won’t back down when they’re in danger or hurt. I will fight for them at all cost.
I love golden retrievers. That’s what my family had during most of my growing up years. What is your favorite food?
My husband would tell you salmon, because it is my go-to food anytime we go out. I do love it, but I love, love, love just about anything cooked with garlic and onions.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t know where to start. I had never taken a writing course, so I didn’t have a clue what to do or how to do it. Basically, I prayed a lot. Rescuing Hope was not written using any traditional format or formula. I would wake up every day, go before the Lord in prayer and say, “Show me what happens to Hope today.” Some days I would be there for thirty minutes, other days for two hours. I would see a movie in my mind’s eye. When it stopped, I would get up and type what I saw. God is truly the author of Rescuing Hope. I’m just the typist.
Tell us about the featured book.
Rescuing Hope gives the reader an inside look into the sex trafficking industry in
It shows how the girl-next-door can be lured by a smooth-talking pimp without
realizing it until it’s too late.
Sex trafficking is not a respecter of persons. It impacts every demographic imaginable. Rescuing Hope is written to be a catalyst for conversation among young girls and those who love them. It’s meant to raise awareness and call to action.
Our church’s women’s ministry has been active for a number of years working to rescue girls and woman imprisoned in sex trafficking. It’s all so heartbreaking. I’ve even been involved in a ministry to strippers. Please give us the first page of the book.
“I need my money.” She pulled her tank top back on in the dimly lit room. The scent of their act still hung in the air. She gagged on her shame. Most days she could go through the motions like a robot. But tonight she saw a price tag hanging on her that read “clearance, damaged goods.”
“You’re nothing,” he said. It was like he took a chunk out of her already pulpy soul. The low-watt bulb dangling from the crumbling ceiling was a spotlight that revealed her. “Pay you! You’ve got to be kidding me. You weren’t worth the time I spent away from my family.” He threw her jeans in her face. “Get dressed and get out, you little tramp.”
“I can’t go back to T without my money.” Her voice cracked and rose. She knew T wouldn’t take it lightly. “He’ll kill me. Then he’ll come kill you too.”
“I really don’t care what he does with you. I’m going to get cleaned up and then I’m out of here. Make sure you’re gone when I come out.”
The bathroom door closed with a bang. She slid her jeans over her bony hips; she’d always been thin, but this life made her gaunt. Then she saw his wallet on the dresser. She’d pay herself. He wouldn’t know until she was long gone. She picked up the wallet and counted out what he owed her just as the water turned off.
How can readers find you on the Internet?Readers can find me on my website, www.susannorris.org, where they can read my my blog as well as share their insights. They can find me on Twitter @SusanCNorris, on Facebook: Susan Norris Author, on Linkedin: Susan (Cogggins) Norris, on Google+ : Susan Norris, and they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing your book with us.
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Rescuing Hope - paperback
Rescuing Hope - Kindle
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