Saturday, April 20, 2013

RESCUING HOPE - Susan Norris - One Free Book

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 America. 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 America. 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,, 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

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Rescuing Hope - paperback
Rescuing Hope - Kindle

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 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Jo said...

Great interview! This book sounds like something that I would love to read.

Jo from Southern Arizona

KayM said...

I have recently become interested in sex trafficing and slavery through reading Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias. I would be interested in reading this book.
I live in Tennessee

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book for my church library.
Janet E.

mongupp said...

I wish this topic didnt have to be written about!

Monica, Ontario

Mary Preston said...

An horrific issue that does need to be aired & highlighted. I would love to read RESCUING HOPE thank you.

Mary P


Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Marianne Barkman said...

The first page certainly drew me into the story! Thanks for a great interview, Lena and Susan

Marianne from Northern Alberta


sharon m said...

RESCUING HOPE by Susan Norris sounds wonderful. A new author to me and the topic of sex trafficking is a very pertinent topic, especially here in San Diego. We have an organization called GENERATE HOPE working with girls trafficked in our area. Would love to win. sharon, san diego

Kandra said...

Sign me up!
Kandra in Tennessee

Susan Norris said...

Ladies, thank you all for your encouraging words about Rescuing Hope. I pray each one of you will read it and pass it on. We need everyone to raise their voice and sound the alarm on this issue. It is a $32 billion dollar a year industry worldwide and it needs to be shut down. It will take all of us working together to make this happen. I'd love to hear from you if you read it. Please feel free to email me at

rubynreba said...

I would like to be entered for this. Rescuing Hope sounds very interesting.
Beth from Iowa