Are you ready for the perfect Christmas read?! Susie May and I have been IRL friends for a while, and she’s the best. If you haven’t picked up the Christiansen Family books, you should! A series about a family trying to figure out how faith meets real life, set on the north shore of Minnesota. The newest book in the series is Have Yourself a Christiansen Christmas — and while you don’t have to read the other books in the series before you read this one, you’re going to fall in love with the Christiansens and want to!
Make sure you stick around to the end to see how you can enter to win a copy of Have Yourself a Christiansen Christmas!
Writer’s Desk with Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.
She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.
Q&A with Susan May Warren
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
I’m usually up early and spend about an hour in my “miracle morning” (thank you, Hal Elrod). AKA, personal quiet time, reflection, bible reading, etc. Then I plan out my day using my Brilliant Writing Planner (www.mybrilliantwritingplanner.com) which helps me focus on my values and priorities. I have three major creative blocks in my day—a morning block, an early afternoon block, and a late afternoon block, and during that time, I schedule either intense writing, or other tasks, (like a marketing block, or maybe a research block). On all writing days, I write during all three blocks and can get about 5-6K words on the page.
I write in a big red chair with an oversized ottoman to hold all my research!
When are you most productive?
Definitely, I’m an early afternoon girl. I like to dive in around 1 pm and write hard until 6 pm. That said, if I wake up with a scene cooking, I love a great morning writing session!
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I drink a lot of water. And occasionally Reeses mini chocolate peanut butter cups. In desperation. But a lot of time it’s just an orange, or a piece of string cheese, or maybe even nuts.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I ask myself—what does my character want right now, and why. And what is he most afraid of right now? That usually gives me great ideas. Otherwise, sitting down to write a journal in the voice of my POV can usually get to the heart of the matter and show me what he cares most about accomplishing in the next scene, and the motivation and emotions behind it. From there, I can get into his head and bring it to the page…and off we go!
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
I’m a total plotter when it comes to the overall story arc. I need to see how the story will play out (even if it changes when I get in it) and see the direction I’m heading. And then, although I have a structure to my scenes, I generally pants my scenes. So it’s a little like saying—I know where I’m going on the trip, I just don’t know what day trips I’ll make until I get there!
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
READ in your genre! Know it in your bones so you can at least FEEL the story as you get it on the page. Take notes of your favorite phrases and descriptions—that will help you develop your own voice as you figure out why you like them. And then write—a lot. Invest those 10,000 hours. You will become a better writer with every story you write!
What is your favorite thing to binge-watch: I’m currently binging Money Heist season 5. Soooo good! Waiting anxiously for Cobra Kai season 4 (Dec 31st!)
What are you currently reading: Tari Faris, Under a Midnight Snow (Christmas Novella!)
What is your favorite song: CeeCee Winans: Believe for it.
What is your favorite specialty coffee/tea drink: Ho Ho Mint Mocha from Caribou Coffee!
Enter to win a copy of Have Yourself a Christiansen Christmas.*
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More about Have Yourself a Christiansen Christmas:
Please…come home for Christmas…
It’s Christmas in the winter wonderland town of Deep Haven, and the Christiansen kids are all heading home for the holidays. But no one feels very merry.
- Grace is worried about her husband’s life-changing illness…
- Eden is facing devastating news…
- Casper is in over his head (of course!)…
- Amelia is dodging a walk down the aisle…
- Owen…well, Owen just nearly died, again…
- But it’s Darek who has news that just might destroy the family legacy.
The trip home for all is filled with secrets, memories, and old dreams. But when they discover the real reason they’ve been asked home for the holidays, it will shake their world. It’ll take a disaster for them to discover that home is the place for answers, hope, and most of all…miracles.
This year, spend Christmas with your favorite small-town family.
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