The Purveyor of Tomatoes?
I'm so happy to be back on the Diamond Mine, folks. It’s great to see you! It’s good to be back with the Diamond Mine. Life hasn’t been kind but then since when is life anything but? I know I can always find solace in the Lord’s fold and that’s exactly what the Diamond Mine was created to be . . . a special place. The Diamond Mine is where Words are more than letters on a page and when God speaks, all are willing to hear.
For right now though, I know an amazing suspense writer I’d like you to meet. She is known for her many crime novels and series which are dead-on for authenticity. Many don’t realize that this author is a graduate of the FBI Citizen's Academy as well as other local law enforcement academies which gives credence to the action-filled plotlines and life-like characters filling her books. If you don’t know Susan Sleeman through her books, then you may know her as host of TheSuspenseZone.com. Either way, I rest assured that you’ll love this Purveyor of Sleuth as much as I do.
When the sunsets, justice wins the day, and Susan hangs her hat in Oregon with her retired church music director of a hubby, two beautiful daughters, an incredibly special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson. She snuggles into her big comfy couch as those big doors close and keep the evil world at bay . . . at least for a while.
So— to celebrate my Diamond Mine Homecoming, please welcome Susan Sleeman to the couch! Oh, and as part of all my Gemstone Interviews, don’t forget to check out the “special information” at the end of the chat! That’s geek-speak for GIVEAWAY!!! 😉
RB: Hi, Susan and welcome to the Diamond Mine. I’m excited to be back on board here and even more to have you as my guest! You are quite the suspense and crime author and we have so much to talk about today. How about I stop jabbering so we can get started?
SS: Wow, thanks for the introduction. You’d make a camel blush with all those fancy words. It’s me who is honored, and I’m thrilled to be here as well.
RB: You are welcome. You deserve it and more. I’d like to start out this interview by getting to know you and I’m sure the readers would like to do the same. So, Susan, if you could say one thing about yourself and your books, what would it be?
SS: First and foremost, I would want readers to know I am a Christian and love God. I hope this shows in my books. I don’t set out to write a Christian book, but my faith is such a part of my life that I can't not include it. In fact, I have written one secular series, and not including my faith and a message of hope and change was the hardest thing I have ever done as a writer.
RB: I would have to agree. I don't think I could omit the very thing in my life that gives me the strength to breathe. I wish I could hike into the mountains and breathe in that cool, clear mountain air. That's what I usually do when I need time alone with the Lord. Do you have a special place for the two of you? Or a place you'd like to visit?
SS: Mmmm... (A brief silence ensued. Suddenly a sharp sound reverberated through the stillness when Susan snapped her fingers.) England, I've always wanted to travel to England. I'm a big BBC TV fan and I would love to visit some of the small villages I see in the shows. And my hubby's family is from Cornwall so I would like to see that area too.
RB: I love to watch BBC as well! My husband and I got hooked on a show this last year through Prime called Poldark. It was great to watch one of these shows again! My dream is to go to Scotland, my husband's homeland, well, his not so distant ancestors' homeland. ;) I should've known that man was a Scot when I met him! His hobbies gave him away - coaching and officiating USA wrestling, hunting, fishing, debating, apologetics. I liked to read and hang out with my friends at the time!
Speaking of hobbies, what do you like to do when you aren't writing and editing your awesome tales, Susan?
SECONDS TO LIVE
|HOMELAND HEROES #1|
One PRINT COPY of SECONDS TO LIVE by SUSAN SLEEMAN
HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a personal comment regarding this interview with your email address in the comment section following this post.
RULES: One winner will be selected by Renee Blare seven days from the post date of this blog from eligible entries and notified by entry email. Entrant will be selected from those residing in the United States and its territories, void where prohibited by law.
SS: Yes, I have a favorite hobby. I love to garden. Both flower and vegetable gardening. I love spending time outside, seeing God's handiwork as the flowers unfurl and the seeds sprout to produce organic fruits and vegetables for my family. To outwit squirrels who love to steal my first tomatoes and strawberries of the year., and the birds who think I have planted raspberries and blueberries just for them. Oh...and I also just plain love digging in the dirt. Maybe I didn't get enough of it as a child. LOL
And I enjoy trying out new varieties of plants. and foods. These purple tomatoes are just like God's jewels in the garden. in the garden.
RB: Diggin' in the dirt... that sounds like so much fun! I can see how that would be a great hobby. Talk about getting back to the basics! LOL
I guess we have to talk books now (winks), so . . . . turning to the writing side of your life now, what is your biggest challenge as an author?
SS: At this point in my career as an author, I have written over forty published books and another five that will never be seen. I write romantic suspense so coming up with unique and exciting plot twists is becoming a challenge. I can easily come up with an overarching plot, but the nitty-gritty details that move the story forward is getting harder for me to develop.
RB: I can see that being a challenge. And your characters?
SS: I always write in a series. So before I begin the series, I create the traits of all the main characters. I make sure they are all different in what drives them, and then I begin to ask them questions like what's your greatest fear or what do you want most in life?
RB: And in your books, they achieve these things?
SS: Sometimes, and in others, no. I do my best to create situations where their characteristics are displayed and show how they must change and grow. I put them with the lead character who is their opposite to provide instant conflict and a chance to show how they must change and grow to be their best self. Much like how we - in the real world - are challenged with dilemmas and must make similar decisions when faced with the same adversity. In many ways, I believe that makes the characters not only interesting but, for the most part, just as real.
RB: And I believe you do an amazing job at it, Susan. An amazing job! I have one last question for you and I'll let you go back to your digging in the dirt. If for some unforeseen reason you could not write anymore, what would you do? Would you continue in the "writing world" professionally?
SS: If I could not write novels, I would not have a writing career. Period. I am not at all interested in writing for other publications or short stories, etc. It's just not my thing.
So if I could no longer write, I would either retire or go into graphic design. I have basic design skills, but would have to get a degree to do it well, and that in itself would be fun and interesting for me.
RB: You sound like a determined, interesting lady and I wish you the best. Thanks for being here on the Diamond Mine with us!
SS: Thank you for allowing me to share my writing and life on your wonderful blog, Renee. I am happy to offer your readers a print copy of Seconds to Live. This is Book One in my HOMELAND HEROES series and it was just recently named a finalist in the FHL Reader's Choice Award in their Romantic Suspense Category. To enter to win the copy, just comment on this blog with your email address!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
SUSAN SLEEMAN is the bestselling author of over forty novels with more than one million books sold. She writes romantic suspense novels that are clear with inspiring messages of faith. Readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge-of-your-seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police citizen academies, so her research is spot-on and her characters are real.
In addition to writing, Susan also hosts TheSuspenseZone.com. She has lived in nine states but now calls Oregon home. Her husband is a retired church music director, and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law, and an adorable grandson.
To learn more about Susan's books sign up for her monthly email that includes exclusive excerpts, giveaways, and other goodies.
Or stop by any of these locations on the web.
Website - http://www.susansleeman.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/susansleeman
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/susansleeman/
Review Site - http://www.TheSuspenseZone.com
ABOUT THE MINER
RENEE BLARE loves to read and write. She spends her time now judging writing contests for ACFW, scribbling her thoughts in her journal, and editing for beloved friends any chance she can get.
A multi-published, bestselling author through Pelican Book Group and a pharmacist by trade, she wrote and served the down-home folks of Wyoming until afflicted in 2017 with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2 or Causalgia, the most painful nerve disease in the world. At this time, she struggles to write, blog, think . . . and has found a new love in the arts, but fights on.
Before her new life with severe pain arrived, she wrote any time she could spare and now prays to do so again someday. A romantic suspense author who writes with a flair of mystery, Renee is known to keep her readers guessing while constantly turning the pages. "Never a dull moment," as they like to say.
You can discover more about this creative and fascinating writer at her website:
Search her out on social media too! She's everywhere.