Interview with Author Susanne Dietze and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m excited to bring you Susanne Dietze. Any girl who can switch between high tea and guacamole and chips is a friend of mine. Add to that the first crush being Luke Skywalker, and I almost feel like we should be living next door to each other, sipping on that tea. Please enjoy this interview as much as I did. And, read on — Susanne is giving away an autographed copy of her book! Check out the Rafflecopter to see how you can be entered to win this 9-book collection!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I began writing love stories in high school, casting my friends in the starring roles. I’m married to a pastor and we have two hilarious teenagers. When I’m not driving them around, I love tea parties with fancy china, scones and cream—the works. But I also love a good plate of nachos with plenty of guacamole, which is perfect to eat on the couch while watching a costume drama.

Most Eligible BachelorTell us about your current release. Love’s Reward is a novella in Barbour Publishing’s The Most Eligible Bachelor Collection. It’s set in 1896, and when a hefty reward is placed on the hero’s heart, San Francisco’s single ladies are caught up in the competition—something which horrifies the heroine. The hero is engaged in an architecture contest inspired by a real event, sponsored by William Randolph Hearst’s mother, Phoebe Hearst.

The blurb:

Reserved, affluent architect Daniel Blair is a man with a price on his head—or his heart, to be precise. When it seems Daniel will best his old university rival in their competitions, both personal and professional, his opponent hopes to distract him by advertising a monetary reward for Daniel’s heart. Daniel always thought women wanted love over money, but the most mercenary maids in San Francisco now find him irresistible—all except the childhood friend-turned-do-gooder he’s long admired who has made it clear she wants his money, not his heart.

After joining a Society dedicated to helping San Francisco’s poor women, Josie Price is eager to provide the neediest a home, and who better to donate his skills and money than her dear architect friend? His “no” disappoints her. Granted, a pauper’s home is not the prize-winning sort of project that could solidify his reputation like the international competition he’s engaged in, but the ultimate reward of helping others is far sweeter. When he’s distracted by the so-called competition for his heart, however, she agrees to help him ward off women in exchange for his assistance. She never expected she’d be caught up in a quest of her own to win Daniel’s heart.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely! As Christian authors, we yearn to write for an Audience of One—for His pleasure, His purposes. That said, I’d love it if someone was blessed by my story, too. If anyone got something out of it—a bit of encouragement, or the urge to refocus on an aspect of God’s character—I would be humbled.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self publish)? For me, the stories in my head, the feeling that God wanted me to write them down, and the childhood dream to see my name on a book cover were stronger than my fear (which I have in proverbial spades).

Not that it wasn’t scary to submit to an agent and publisher. When I first sent a manuscript to agent Tamela Hancock Murray, I felt sick whenever I thought about her reading it. If I hadn’t risked rejection by sending her my story, though, I would never have known the immense joy that came with her offer to represent me.

Also, I’ve learned through experience that rejection can be my friend. Pain can be a good motivator, and with some rejections, I’ve seen places where I could improve my stories. However, sometimes rejection isn’t predicated on anything other than my story just isn’t the right fit, right now. It still hurts, but I have learned to trust that God is in charge. Rejection is a huge part of writing. For most of us, anyway!

SusanneDietzeHeadshot Whats the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? I remember Elvis’ death. I hardly knew who he was, but my aunt called the house in tears.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? Luke Skywalker. Maybe it was his swooshy blond hair. I was really, really young, but after seeing Star Wars for the second or third time, I came home and wrote “Susie Skywalker” on a piece of paper.

Do you have pre-determined length in mind when you first begin a book? So far, I’ve written each project with a particular publisher in mind, and each publisher I’ve considered has preferences for the lengths of submissions they’d like to see. I’m a plotter, and knowing the total word count before I start writing helps me break down the story in advance.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? It’s cliché, but read a lot. Books on writing, yes, but also fiction, especially in the genre you’re writing. We absorb information about writing from the novels we read: how to weave details and setting into the story, how to introduce characters, etc.

I also found help and guidance by entering writing contests. I wanted feedback to see what experienced authors thought of my writing. Generous judges gave me great advice, which helped my writing improve.

I think it all comes down to being teachable. Writing is a craft that takes practice, sweat, and perseverance. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning how to write, and we writers are truly blessed because many members of the writing community are eager to help others.

Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? This is happening to me right now! As hard as I try to get to know my characters before I write a story, I always have something to learn about them. In this case, something needed to change. That necessitates a time out, and in this case, a rewrite. I’m grateful God pointed it out to me now.

Find Susanne online on Facebook, Twitter, her blog, her website.

Find Susanne’s book at the following locations:


Barnes & Noble
 

Enter to win an autographed paperback of The Most Eligible Bachelor! (US only, please)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Christian Fiction Friday: May 22nd

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

Today, I’m giving you a snippet of my book Grace’s Ground War, part 5 of The Virtues and Valor
series as a tribute to those who have served. I pray you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

GraceThey heard the boisterous sounds of the party flood the night again as the couple went back into the room. Matthew came out from under the balcony and grinned, holding the invitation up for her to see. They walked around the side of the building toward the front door. Once at the door, they handed the envelope to the bored soldier who stood guard. He barely glanced at the invitation before allowing them to enter.

She tightened her arm through Matthew’s and laughed up at him as they passed the girl at the coat check counter. They entered the ballroom and immediately walked to the dance floor where Matthew swung her into his arms and they began dancing a waltz.

It disgusted Ruth to slip into the party, but she did it anyway. She’d suggested blowing this building up along with the bridge, but her team had talked her out of it. Grudgingly, she knew they were right. Too many innocent civilians attended the party – civilians like the teenaged coat check girl. To blow it would be wrong when the mission could be accomplished with just the bridge.

Just a few steps into the waltz, Ruth counted down to “zero” in her head. The wave of the explosion from the charges beneath the bridge ripped through the room. Even though she was expecting it, the noise and force of the blast still startled her. The windows blew out and threw glass and debris into the room as people started screaming and running in circles.

Knowing they needed to be seen by as many people as possible, Ruth put a hand to her chest. “What was that?” she yelled, allowing the sting of tears to come to her eyes.

Matthew put his arms around her shoulder. “No worries, darling. I’m sure they will figure it out. Come this way. Be careful now.”

She started walking and shifting through the debris, trying to step carefully. Despite her caution, she felt something sharp go through her foot and she gasped and rose up onto her toes.

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.




Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: 3. Charity's Code, Christian Fiction Friday, Virtues and Valor Series | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Christian Fiction Friday: May 15th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

HOW is it the middle of May?? This month is flying by! Today I’m bringing you and excerpt from my upcoming novella Valor, which will be an addition to my Virtues and Valor Series:

Charlene waited and finally raised an eyebrow in inquiry. “I find this information extremely interesting, gentlemen. I must ask again, what all this has to do with me?”

Schäfer spoke again, this time in flawless German such as might be overheard in the halls of the Bundesrat. “The woman assigned to be my wife is ill. Her condition is very grave. The timing of this operation is vital. To come directly to the pont, I need a new wife. Your father, the General, has volunteered you … pending your consent of course.”

A proper young lady would feel horror at the prospect. She knew that and tried to stamp down the surge of excitement that suddenly flooded her chest. She prayed her dash of powder masked the color she knew rushed to her cheeks.  Also in German, she replied, “I beg your pardon? Don’t you have any other trained women to do this kind of work?”

“Charlie,” Her father cautioned in the same language, “Everyone here is not as fluent as you and young Master Schäfer.”

Schäfer clicked his heels before reverting to English, “My apologies, sir. Gentlemen. I was simply explaining the situation to Young Miss Radden. I confess, I also wanted to verify her fluency.”

Her father nodded, obviously appreciating this young man’s keen mind. In English, he said, “Very well. Charlie, we don’t have another woman whose nanny taught her to speak German like a native as you do. Nor do we have a woman fluent in German who has already successfully jumped from a balloon with a parachute as you have done – against my rather vocal objections at the time if memory serves,” her father replied.

“Father, you know I have only jumped the once, and only for a lark. Never in the dead of night into enemy territory.”

Now it’s your turn! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.




Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: Christian Fiction Friday, Virtues and Valor Series | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Virtues and Valor is Now on Kindle Unlimited!

Exciting news! I’ve put the Virtues and Valor series into Kindle Unlimited. SO — if you are a member of KU, you can read the entire series for FREE! Click here for the series page on Amazon.


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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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Christian Fiction Friday: May 8th

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

I haven’t written anything new in the last couple of weeks, so I’m bringing you a snippet from my recently released A Parcel for Prudence, book 4 in the Virtues and Valor Series:

4ParcelPrudence_640Muriel reached for the coffee pot on the stove, but yanked her hand away quickly, shaking it to ward off the burning heat that came from touching the hot handle.

“Sorry there’s no kitchen staff this morning but there’s a war on after all. First time making coffee with your own two hands?”

At the sound of Praetorian’s voice, she jumped and spun around. He’d left the cottage after their exchange yesterday and never returned. Unsure of what to do, Muriel had spent the day fasting and praying and preparing for what lay ahead. She felt good today, centered, energized.

“I had a lesson at the camp,” she replied. “I just forgot to get the towel for the handle.”

His mocking look made her want to grit her teeth. “They taught you how to make coffee?” With a snort, he used a towel to lift the coffee pot. He poured himself a cup but did not offer one to her. “Rather odd training for a school of espionage.”

“Perhaps, but they recognized I knew nothing and would have to pass as a simple French girl. So, I had classes in all sorts of the day-to-day mundane.”

He stared at her for a long time before speaking. “Interesting.”
With a forced polite smile, she replied, “Indeed.”

“Tell me. Did you receive training in dusting, darning socks, or washing underclothes? If so, I may have a few chores for you before handing you your field assignment.”

“I can barely wait to inform Joseph that you asked me to launder your soiled undergarments.”

Praetorian frowned. “I pray you live that long.”

Muriel took a deep, calming breath. “I fully intend to reunite with my husband the moment this awful war is over.”

Now it’s your turn!  Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.




Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: Christian Fiction Friday | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Christian Fiction Friday: May 1st

Welcome to this week’s edition of Christian Fiction Friday brought to you by me and my lovely and talented co-host, Alana Terry! This is a chance for Christian authors to post short snippets from their works in progress! Easy and fun!

I’m traveling this week, so I don’t have a snippet. But, don’t let that stop you from linking yours! Just link your Christian Fiction Friday! Here are the rules:

1. Christian Fiction Friday is a blog hop where authors post short (400-ish words or less) snippets from their current works in progress (not published pieces).

2. Keep it PG-13 or lower. No swearing, no sex scenes. If you have a particularly violent scene or deal with a heavy or controversial subject matter, please include a disclaimer at the beginning of your post.




Suggestions:

1. Visit at least some of the other Christian Fiction Friday authors each week and comment on their blogs.

2. Don’t offer critiques unless the author specifically asks for it in his or her post.

3. Please include this blurb at the end of your weekly post:

Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current Works in Progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman.

Categories: Christian Fiction Friday | Leave a comment