Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interview with client Suzanne Hartmann

What is your latest project? Tell us about it.

The Race that Lies Before Us is a Christian suspense novel that blends the excitement of stock car racing with the thrills and action of the suspense genre. The protagonist is a top-secret agent with enhanced strength who must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments, but struggles with trusting God to protect her secrets, especially when a NASCAR champion becomes determined to find her. As the danger builds, she becomes a terrorist target and realizes the only way she can save her life as she knows it is through death.

How did you research for this book?

Mostly through checking out oodles of NASCAR books from the library. I now volunteer at the NASCAR Nationwide and truck series with Midwest Raceway Ministries at Gateway International Speedway in St. Louis as well. While we minister there, I also have an opportunity to see the race up-close and personal.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

God has always been in control of my writing (and reminds me of that when I try to wrest control from Him) and I try to follow Him as He leads me along my writing journey. Because of this, most of my ideas strike me from out of the blue.

What has been the hardest part of writing your latest book and how did you overcome it?

Developing thick skin and learning how to accept critiques was a huge hurdle. I had to realize that the people critiquing my work wanted to help, swallow my pride, learn from them, then apply the lessons learned to the rest of my manuscript.

What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?

While I mainly just hope people will enjoy a good read and all the twists and turns I pitch them in The Race that Lies Before Us, I hope they also gain an understanding of how we need to trust God even when what He tells us to do doesn't make any sense according to human logic.

What new projects are you working on?

I have two WIP's.

1) Marital Fiction is a romantic suspense novel which also has a NASCAR twist to it. The heroine meets the hero after he is in an accident at a NASCAR race, and soons feels like she might have found Mr. Right, but when a manipulative old woman leaves her an inheritance that will rescue her from the financial ruin caused by identity theft, the terms of the will and her ex-husband's schemes force her to face the consequences of her greed.

2) Disappearing Mom is a story about a woman who learns to embrace the non-entity status that stay-at-home mother's often suffer until she a discovers that she can sink into this status to the point of truly disappearing. She learns to control her new ability and has fun with it, unaware of how her disappearances harm her...until it's almost too late.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

The programs and speaking that you do? I have a website called Suspense with a Twist, where I keep a variety of resources for writers, and two blogs. Write at Home is a blog about the writing craft and The Race that Lies Before Us is dedicated to my novel of the same name.

What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?

The best writing advice I ever received came from my husband while I was writing the first draft of The Race that Lies Before Us: just finish the book. I've received plenty of bad advice, but I file it all in the trash both physically and mentally, and don't even bother to remember it.

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