Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of some 70 novels. Her latest romantic suspense novel is Knox (Stonewater Books), the first in her new Montana Marshalls series. Former bull-rider Knox Marshall now runs the family ranch, raising champion bucking bulls. Kelsey Jones just wants a safe life, a family, a home. When Kelsey’s past threatens Knox’s family, he’ll have to choose between saving the Marshall legacy or becoming the protector he’s always longed to be. In this interview, Susan talks about the challenges of balancing faith, romance, and suspense; reveals why she launched the Marshall family saga; and shares the best part of writing Christian romances…
Knox has elements of faith, romance, and suspense. Which of those elements was hardest for you to write? Which was the easiest?
Knox is the start of a five part connected series and an arching plot is woven throughout each book, as well as a plot within each book. So, getting that overarching plot right, dropping the right clues into book one and making sure I balance that with the book plot was the hardest part. But I made a big spreadsheet (yay for excel!) and talked it through with my writing pals and—well, we’ll see!
The easiest part was writing the romance and meeting these amazing men and women. I fell in love with this family immediately. I think my readers will, too!
What inspired the story in your novel?
I love big family stories. And when you add in trouble, and danger and rescues and family drama, it’s even more fun.
I wanted to continue the stories started with the Montana Fire and Montana Rescue series by creating a ranch family who finds themselves in the middle of trouble—and rises to the occasion to save the lives around them.
The story takes place in Montana, but also Texas and even Nashville. As the series progresses, it goes global.
I had so much fun writing it. I can’t wait to introduce my reader friends to a whole new amazing family.
What were your goals writing it?
The Marshall family—five brothers and a sister—have sort of lost their way after the death of their father. I wanted to write a story about picking up the pieces and discovering that they already had everything they needed to live the life their father had dreamed for them, and more. It’s sort of an allegory about trusting in the Father’s love and plans for your life—even through challenges and danger.
What do you want readers to take away after reading Knox?
This story is about how fear can take root and keep you from living the life God has for you. I’m hoping readers will see themselves in Kelsey, the heroine who is struggling to break free of a dark past, and the hero, a man who wants to do everything to protect her and see that this is a picture of God’s love for us.
What’s the best thing about writing romances as a Christian author?
I love a Christian romance because it’s so much more than just about two people falling in love—It’s about how God loves us enough to show himself and his love through the people in our lives. He longs to delight our hearts and often he does it by putting the “one” into our lives to remind us how much he loves us. A Christian romance is one that touches the soul as well as the heart!
Visit Susan May Warren’s author page:
Montana Marshalls #1
Susan May Warren