Robin: Hi, Susie! Thanks for stopping by and answering a couple of questions. I have to ask...who was your inspiration for Nick Noble? Such a strong hero.
Susie: I love strong heroes – as long as they have some sort of Achilles heel. During the time I was writing Nick, I was addicted to an old television show called “Seven Days.” It’s a time-travel show where the hero is sent back in time seven days to change the past. I loved the hero – he wasn’t perfect, and often made mistakes, but also longed to set right what went wrong, driven by a strong moral compass. I wanted to create a character driven by regret and poor choices, and allow him the chance to redeem the past. Added to that is the idea derived from Philippians 1:6 and the belief that God will finish the work he began in this hero, years ago. A work that will help him hold onto the Noble legacy.
Robin: Tell us a little about your background that provided research for the writing of this book.
Susie: I grew up loving all things cowboy – horses and trucks and songs, immersed in shows like Bonanza, and Big Valley and Louis L’Amour books. I dreamed of living on a ranch someday, in love with the land of the west. But I didn’t want to write a western – I wanted a contemporary story, with real-day issues, and today’s “cowboys.” This story sat in my heart for three years before God opened the doors for me to actually travel to Montana and actually live the ranch life, learn to rope, and peel back the stereotype to peek at the realities of ranch life. I tried to write a story based on theses observations and actualities, while still preserving the magic of the west.
Robin: I've seen the blog for Nick...wow! LOL I'm wondering if there's a real Nick out there somewhere, and if there is, what do you think he'd say about his blog?
Susie: LOL! I don’t know! I’ve had so many people wonder who Nick REALLY is! Sadly, I’ve never met the cover model, but I wonder if he’s stopped by to see his image on the cover. Trying to get the voice of a cowboy wasn’t easy – I took copious notes on dialogue when I traveled west, noting lingo and conversation style. I hope that a “real” Nick would say in a slow drawl, “Well, I guess she got ‘er done.”
Robin: Tell us a little about your writing schedule.
Susie: I like to write every day, but since I’m also homeschooling three of my four children, my time this year has been reduced to afternoons, so my writing time has been sketchy. Normally I try to start writing after lunch and write 3000-5000 words, depending on chapter length. But even if I am not actually writing, I am still in scene, talking to myself, conjuring up images, scenarios and outcomes, so that I’m ready to fly when I sit down to write. Also, I find that when I give my time to the Lord, He carves out the time I need to write.
Robin: Now for the hard questions....if you could be any animal, which one and why?
Susie: This may sound crazy, but I’d be a male Lion. I love the image of a lion, strong and beautiful, bold, and protective. And the female lions do all the hunting!
Robin: LOL...I love the unsuspecting questions! Okay, back to writing questions....what is the one thing you'd like readers to take away from your book, and why?
Susie: I hope they see the different shade of God’s grace to each character. I loved exploring the different sides of grace – what it means to give grace, and to receive grace, how to embrace grace, and how grace chances a person. I also loved the romances, and the difference between a new romance, and a marital romance, and yet how they can both been delightful to experience.
Robin: Can you share with us a little bit about your writing journey?
Susie: I’ve always been amazed at the journey God has taken me on. I always loved to write, but being a missionary in Russia, I never dreamed about being an author. I just tried to do the best with what God had entrusted to me, and for me that meant writing missionary newsletters. I honed my skills through my newsletter, and then, after a number of years, began to write devotionals and magazine articles. Although I tried my hand at writing novels (I wrote 4 before I ever had one published), I never thought I would get anything published. But I diligently studied craft and analyzed books, even though I was hidden away in Siberia. I’ll always be grateful that Tyndale and later Barbour and Steeple Hill took a chance on me! I’m still learning, and still trying to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to me.
Robin: Thank you so much for visiting, Susie! I've enjoyed having you. Good luck in your career and I'm looking forward to reading this book!
Susie: Thank you, Robin, for letting me stop by to share a few behind-the-scene nuggets about Reclaiming Nick!
Robin: That's it, folks! Go to Susie's website to see the other stops on her blog tour and find out more. And don't miss RECLAIMING NICK...available now from Tyndale!