from the desk of Susan May Warren )
Rejoice Oh My Soul! November 2006
in this issue
  • What's News?
  • Meet Nick!
  • Jim Micah Reader's Choice!
  • Surprises!

    My daughter is so cute. I know, I’m biased, but she dressed up as a Secret Service Agent for her costume day at school. And, as she left the house, she spoke into her lapel mic (aka, my cell- phone earpiece), saying, “the pack is leaving the den. I repeat, the pack is leaving the den.” (Apparently, Jack Bauer has rubbed off her!)

    We have a lot of bodyguards in the Warren family. (That happens when you have three boys). But a recent phrase has made me smile - “I got your back,” Noah says to Peter as they play Warriors or touch football in the yard. It’s spilled over into other areas of life, like fetching the red pepper for the dinner table. Or saving the PS 2 game.

    Methinks they’ve been watching too much television. But the way they’ve adapted it make me chuckle.

    I, by nature, tend to have a vivid imagination, not unlike my kids. People have to sorta watch what they say around me because more often then not, I miss the next ten minutes of conversation as my mind wraps around something they’ve said, a comment, a question and pretty soon I have a book half-plotted. I recently had lunch with a song-writer friend who said that she’s constantly hearing “hooks” for her songs. Yeah, well, imagine constantly hearing stories.

    It gets sorta crowded in my head.

    The fun part about being a writer is research. I love to learn about new professions, new locations. When I wrote The Perfect Match, I enrolled in a firefighter’s course. When I wrote Expect the Sunrise, I had a pilot friend take me through the take- off and landings of small planes (picture me sitting on my kitchen chair, using a wooden spoon as he sits beside me as co-pilot). For Reclaiming Nick (due out in January), I went to Montana and spent a week on a ranch. And in September, in the middle of writing Taming Rafe (the sequel to Nick), I went to Gilly’s in Dallas and climbed on their mechanical bull.

    I’ve interviewed soldiers, firefighters, cops, search and rescue personnel, smoke-jumpers, cowboys and bull-riders, and asked them stupid questions like, “How does it feel to jump out of a plane?”

    The REAL cool thing about all this, however, is that nearly all of these were divine appointments. Like the time our family took a flight to Kalispell, Montana, and my son’s seatmate mentioned he was a Green Beret. Yeah, well, guess who changed seats with his mom? Or when a fellow writer mentioned she was dating a bull-rider who would be glad to look over my scenes for accuracy. Or the unexpected junket this summer to New York, right during the writing of a book sent in Manhattan. Or the surprise last weekend when a fella I’d only just met at a fundraising dinner offered to take my daughter and I out for a spin on his yacht. (Yeah, I said Yacht). Did he know that I am working on a book set on the eastern seaboard?

    No, but God did.

    I spoke this past month at a school, and used 1 Thess 5:24 as my basis – He who called you is faithful to do it. Yes, that verse is talking about perfecting our salvation. But I also think that when God asks us to do something, like be a mom, or run children’s church, or even write books, He’s already there, providing crayons or patience or even bull- riders.

    I don’t know what God is asking of you today, but I pray that you see him providing in surprising, delightful ways that remind you that you are not alone in this.

    Because, God has your back.

    Thank you for being such a blessing to me – for reading my books and writing to me, letting me know that they’ve blessed you or made an impact in your life. I’m very grateful for your encouragement and support.

    Susan May Warren

    What's News?

    Signing at the Mall of America!

    This month I'll be at the Mall of America with the CAN authors ( Christian Author's Network). Look for us in the SEARS COURT by the Barnes and Noble, FRIDAY Nov. 3rd, 7pm. We'll be talking about writing and reading books with a Christian Worldview. For a complete list of participating authors, check out the MOA events site.

    Meet Nick!

    I wanted to do something different to promote Reclaiming Nick, the first book in my Noble Legacy series (out with Tyndale in January). So, because Nick is such a character, I decided he needed his own BLOG, a preview chapter, and as the date for his book approached, some thoughts in his own voice. Meet Nick! (and don’t forget to plug in Promo Code: Noble Boy in the contest section to win SMW books and even a preview copy of Reclaiming Nick!)

    Jim Micah Reader's Choice!

    Thank you to all of you who voted for your favorite SMW hero! With 30% of the vote, Jim Micah won the SMW Reader's Choice Awards -- Hero Category! *grin* Upon notification of his award, Micah had this to say:

    "I won...what? An award? Uh, thanks, I guess. I mean, I'm just doing what I'm supposed to be doing, it's who I am. But Lacey says that I need to work on my touchy-feely side, so thank you to all those who voted for me, I appreciate 'ya."

    Great book!
    "There are those days in our lives that carve their memory a notch deepr than the others, visiting our minds frequently, stirred to life by seemingly innocuous smells of summer or sounds of children playing in the surf. It is the smells and sounds of these happy times that carry my thoughts back to Jordan Lake - for it was there that I first met Wendy Summers." (From, Finding Life, by James Graham)

    Every once in a while I happen upon a book that takes my breath away, makes me ponder, captures my writer's love for words and leaves me wondering why I ever thought I could write. That happened recently with a self-published book by a fella I met in North Carolina. His names is James Graham. And the book is called, Finding Life.

    Another gem from this book:
    "As kids, we could sense the people who had been beaten down by life, and at some point drained of every ounce of compassion or regard in their souls. They scared us. Their eyes were as deep as the cold, dark ocean. We wondered if they just walked out of their mother's womb that way. There were no highs and lows as experienced by most people, just a steady existence with emotions buried deep beyond some impenetrable tundra that disaster, disappointment and loss had effectvely formed."

    Nice, huh? Yeah, this book is chock full of evotative scenes, so much so I could feel the salty water on my skin and the sand between my toes, hear the sound of seagulls, taste the grief in the back of my throat. This book drew me in, not only through the writing, but the story, the relationships, the emotions of the plot. I read it all on my trip home from North Carolina, so glued to it that I barely made my connections, so absorbed that I found myself in tears surrounded by strangers on the plane. (And boy, was that fun for them!). Every bit as good as a Nicholas Sparks novel, this story goes deeper, to touch spiritual issues in a way that makes you feel as if you're experienceing the questions with Chance, the main character. You'll be touched by the love, the grief, the healing and the joy that only God could magistrate. Finding Life is a story that won't leave your heart, I promise.

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