Good to have you back, Susan! Congratulations on Out of the Mist! What is the story about?
Thanks for inviting me, Karen. I'm excited that Out of The Mist released. Here's the back cover blurb:
Drive, determination, and an anti-Christian attitude mark Kendra Marshall. When she collides with Peter Gruber (a.k.a., Zimmerman) in a college hallway, she has no idea her life is about to take a sharp turn.
Dave Yoder's geeky ways are a turnoff to the sophisticated, pre-med student. Undaunted by her brush-off, he works to capture her heart.
Peter's family and friends see red flags in any relationship with the feisty young woman. Trouble is written all over her, but when she's injured, they come to her rescue. They soon find she's marked by The New Patriot organization and could blow their carefully-devised cover.
Once again, the Grubers' (a.k.a., Zimmerman) Amish friends in Bird-in-Hand, PA and Holmes County, Ohio join in the race for answers and protection. Kendra's not always cooperative and gets herself into major trouble.
Will a young woman accomplish what The New Patriots haven't over the course of two decades?
This book is the third in a trilogy, yes? Can you give us a brief overview of how the three tie together? Do we have to read them all to understand what is happening?
All three stories take place in 2025 and later. They track the Zimmerman family and friends through an America that is no longer friendly to Christians. The hostile environment breeds hatred that explodes into a conspiracy led by a secret organization, The New Patriots.
While each book is a stand alone novel, readers will get a better foundation if they start with The Moses Conspiracy. My novella that's not part of the trilogy, The Christmas Wish, fits between the first two books and gives some information that will enrich the overall story. The Scent of Fear is considered Book 2 of the trilogy. Out of The Mist is the Grand Finale with romance, suspense, and twists.
I can vouch for that; it is a Grand Finale! Your main character, Kendra, is quite the determined young woman. Did you have any particular inspiration in her development?
From the beginning, I knew I wanted a feisty woman that was polar opposite to the other female characters. She's the quintessential modern woman who relies on her own abilities. As I wrote the other books, she grew in front of my eyes. Eventually, her part in the grand scheme of things became clear, and I couldn't wait to write her story.
It is interesting to see her story unfold. You are a seat of the pants writer. Without revealing too much, did you find your characters leading you in any surprising directions?
The Moses Conspiracy started out as a single volume. When I wrote, "The End," I had this vague feeling that the characters had more to say.
After several frustrating months, I couldn't seem to get into the story groove. As I prayed, my mind kept rolling out scenes with a secondary character. At one point, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, "This is my story."
I've discovered the infamous writers' block occurs when I'm on the wrong track. Once I switched gears, the folks in The Scent of Fear took me on a wild ride.
Characters do clamor for more attention sometimes, don't they? What advice do you have for someone who wants to or is writing a novel?
I'd say take your time and learn the craft. You might want to try your hand at short stories. I started off as a non-fiction writer and had some modest success with devotionals, short articles, and anthologies. Smaller projects will build your skills and give you the confidence to tackle a novel. Most of all, enjoy each step of the journey. :)
Good advice! What good is the journey overall if you don't enjoy it, right? Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us. Wishing you all the best with your stories!
Susan J. Reinhardt is a multi-published author and blogger. Her books include three full-length novels, The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and Out of the Mist, as well as The Christmas Wish, a novella for all seasons. Her passion for faith and freedom are reflected in her characters and stories.
She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and represented by Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency. You can find her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. A widow, stepmom, daughter, and follower of Jesus Christ, Susan resides in Pennsylvania and is active in her church. Her interests include reading, bargain hunting, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.
My Review of Out of the Mist
I thoroughly enjoyed all the other books in this trilogy, but this one just might be my favorite. Deep yet down to earth characters complement the plot that offers a delightful pace as events progress. Ms. Reinhardt blends the heroes and the villains, offering readers a good dose of mystery, adventure, and suspense. Hearts and loyalties are tested throughout the story, and I found myself examining my own convictions while reading. This exciting conclusion to the series is, I believe, Reinhardt's best book yet.
Out of the Mist on Amazon
What are you reading this week?
Happy reading and writing,