Thursday, February 21, 2008
Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren
|CONTEST ALERT! Scroll down to find out how to win!|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan May Warren is the
award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour
Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes
Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.
Visit Susan's website at:
http://susanmaywarren.com or drop by her blog at
Also check out Rafe's Own Blog:
The TRAILERS for the Noble Legacy Series can be viewed HERE!
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve always been a writer. I began writing in first grade when I won my first book contest! I wrote my first novel at 15, but I never really thought I’d be a full –time writer because I was a missionary, and there didn’t seem to be any room for that in my life. I did, however, determine to write the very best missionary newsletter I could – and to my surprise that led to my first published article. I suppose that is when I caught the bug – the first time I saw something I wrote in print! But I was still living and working overseas (in Siberia !), so I couldn’t keep on top of the magazine market, so I asked the Lord what I should write…and God directed me to novels. I dove in and wrote my first novel (approximately 800 pages – a James Michener epic about Russia from 1938-1980) in about a year. I learned a lot about pacing and setting and storytelling and characterization in just “doing it.” I did get great feedback from a couple publishers and also landed my first agent. However, I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I spent the next four years writing more novels, and gobbling up everything I could about writing and craft. I read books, and joined ACFW, and attended online chats, and submitted my work for critiques and contests. My big break came after a traumatic experience – I was locked in an elevator during one cold November night for about 2 hours, and after relating my experience to my ACFW friends, they encouraged me to write a book about it. At the time Tyndale was having “novella” contests….so I wrote “Measure of a Man,” and submitted it the day before the deadline. I thought for sure nothing would come of it because I had talked to another author who said the two things publishers didn’t want were missionary stories and international stories (and mine was both!) But, Tyndale took a chance on me, and bought it! I couldn't believe it when I got “the call” (or, in my case, the email, since I lived in Russia at the time.) That opened the door to my “arsenal” of books that I’d been writing for the past four years. Oh, but the epic is still sitting unpublished on my shelf. (It makes a great footstool!)
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love creating stories!! I love words, and story, and seeing how they work together. I love the magic of watching a character come to life on the page. A well-written book is thing of joy and beauty. *grin*
I don’t love all the technical savvy I have to have to do promotion – beyond corresponding with readers, that is. All the technical stuff about blogging, or promotional tours…ack! (but I have very good help!).
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Balance? Oh, you said the B-word! I once lamented that I go in cycles – sometimes my house is immaculate, but I haven’t written a word in weeks. Then I’m a writing maniac but no one has any clean clothes. My girlfriend, who also happens to be a life-coach said balance isn’t when everything is perfect all the time – balance is an average, say a month, where if you put it all together, you managed to accomplish it all, just not all in one day. I really liked that definition. Mostly, I prioritize my family and my time with the Lord, and if the house gets cleaned, if I have balanced meals, if we have clean clothes and if I get my allotted writing done, well then life is very good. I do have to interject that 1. I ask for help from the kids. 2. On my gravestone, I am okay if it never reads, “And she had a really clean house.” (Although I have to say, my house is pretty clean…*g*)
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
I start with a premise, or an idea, and then match a character to that premise (or sometimes that premise includes the character). Then I have a unique plotting system that unearths the story particular to my character. I then do research and refine the plot, and the world and the setup.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write romantic suspense – with different degrees of suspense in all of those. I am a huge fan of romantic suspense, but I also just love a well-written book with great characterization, and that’s what I try to deliver. I write stories I’d like to read. *grin*
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That you are immediately rich and famous. Most of us write in quiet obscurity, with normal paychecks and lives that are more distinguished by our work at church or home than by our books. Only 1-2% of authors of all the books out on the market make it big… Regardless of where I am in publishing, for me it’s about writing a great book, enjoying the journey and trusting God for the outcome.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Oh, I take outside characteristics from actors or magazine pictures – I like to see what my character looks like. Beyond there, they are a unique creation.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I love Josey – (Everything’s Coming up Josey, Chill Out! Josey,) – she’s adventurous and strong, yet willing to be the person God directs her to be. And, for heroes, my current heartthrob is Rafe. *grin*
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Gerard Butler (oh, that accent!), and Kate Hudson. She’s just so cute!
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I believe firmly that our time here on earth is meant to prepare us for eternity – and that starts with a relationship with God. So, having been a recipient of so much grace in my life, I try and pass that in into my stories – filling them with hope, and encouragement, filled with real characters who struggle with real issues. Of course, I like to do it all against a great backdrop of intrigue or suspense, or even the beauty of a state like Montana! My desire is that, when people finish my stories, they are inspired to seek after the God they met in my books.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Pick your favorite book and figure out the structure, and why you like it. Start a writing notebook that details elements of storytelling that you learn from other authors. Join a critique group and get honest feedback. And go to www.mybooktherapy.com and get my daily blog on writing craft! (shameless self-promotion there!)
Who are your favorite authors?
Dee Henderson, Francine Rivers, and some new favs – Rachel Hauck, Sharon Hinck , Karen Hancock. The CBA is so rich in great authors, it’s hard to choose
What are you reading right now?
The Light of Eidon series by Karen Hancock
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Taming Rafe is Book 2 in the Noble Legacy series!
Hotel heiress Katherine Breckenridge just wants to make a lasting difference in her world by running her late mother's charity foundation. But she fears she lacks the passion and courage to be as successful as her mother was--a fear that's realized when money from the foundation goes missing and Katherine's one shot to recover it is ruined by Rafe Noble. Two-time world champion bull rider Rafe Noble is at the top of his game when tragedy hits. Guilt stricken over the loss of his best friend, Rafe accidentally drives his truck into the lobby of the Breckenridge Hotel during Katherine's fund-raiser. With a broken knee, a ruined reputation, and the threat of several lawsuits, Rafe goes back to his family's ranch--the Silver Buckle--to recover. Desperate to save the foundation, Katherine heads to the Silver Buckle to talk Rafe into helping her raise the needed funds. But a few days under the bright Montana skies give her more than she bargained for, and Kat discovers there's more to both herself and Rafe Noble than she realized.
FROM THE BACK COVER:
Two-time world champion bull rider Rafe Noble had no idea how quickly his world could end.
In less than eight seconds, he lost his title, his career, and his best friendall on the dirt floor of a noisy rodeo arena.
Katherine Breckenridge just wants to make a difference by running her mothers charity foundation. But the mysterious disappearance of half a million dollars has forced it to the brink of bankruptcy. Her last chance to save it is the annual fund-raiser, an event thats destroyed by an out-of-control Rafe Noble.
Desperate to rescue the foundation, Katherine heads to the Noble family ranch to enlist Rafes help in raising the money he cost her in lost donations. What she doesnt know is that Rafe is brokein cash and in spiritand that helping her could end up costing him his life.
Rafe Noble, two-time world champion bull rider and current king of the gold buckle, had never met a bull that he feared. Oh, sure, he knew well the tension before a ride that buzzed his nerves and slicked his hand inside his taped-tight leather glove. But normally he shook it off the second he wound the bull rope, sticky with rosin, around the animal's chest and wedged it into his grip. Then the adrenaline, the heat, took over.
And for eight long, harrowing seconds, it was just man against beast.
In Rafe's world, man usually won.
However, as Rafe straddled the champion bull known as PeeWee, which had to be some sort of joke because the bull was the biggest, orneriest creature Rafe had ever ridden, coldness rushed through him. Something foreign and overwhelming ignited a tremble from deep within his bones.
For the first time since he was thirteen he felt . . . terror.
Maybe it was just the residual agony of watching one of his fellow bull riders being carried out on a stretcher only minutes earlier. Maybe it was the roar of the crowd hammering at the raging headache he'd nursed most of the day. It could be the fact he rode in pain, that he'd had to tape his hand, wear his knee brace, and the sports medicine doctor had reminded him that one more fracture to his neck would land him in a wheelchair permanently.
Or perhaps it was just the eerie feeling that hung in the air, along with the smells of animal sweat and popcorn and leather and dirt, a surreal sense that tragedy lurked right outside the arena of spectators. (Read the rest HERE)...
ABOUT THE CONTEST:
Win a steak dinner with Rafe (an Omaha Steaks gift certificate and a copy of Taming Rafe!) by signing up for the Dinner with Rafe drawing HERE.
Taming Rafe, Noble Legacy Series #2 by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: December 26, 2007
Genre: Romantic Suspense
$10.39 from Amazon.com
Purchase Taming Rafe by Susan May Warren HERE!!!