Sunday, 27 November 2022

I Interviews

Interview: Susan May Warren

Can you provide a brief description of The Price of Valor?

The Price of Valor is a crazy fun spy-rescue-adventure-thriller set in both Italy and America, about a man trying to rescue the woman he thought had died, the only woman he’s ever loved . . . his CIA-spy wife.

His dedication to rescue her brings him and part of his ex-military SAR team to Italy where . . . well, disaster happens when Mount Etna erupts in the middle of his op.

And that’s only the beginning of the trouble when they discover what his wife was really up to. Suddenly they’re embroiled in an international political plot, and they’re the only ones who can save the country they love.

Warren SusanMayThe Price of Valor is the final volume in the Global Search and Rescue series. How are these three books linked together?

Although each story stands alone with their main plots, a subplot thread binds them all together when the team leader discovers he has a daughter he never knew about with a wife he thought was dead. Suddenly the team is embroiled in an international plot to destroy America . . . something they’ll have to stop while still managing to save lives.

The Price of Valor takes readers to Italy, Minnesota, and Washington DC. What type of research was required to accurately describe these settings?

Location! Thankfully, I get to travel, and I was able to take trips to Italy and DC to help build the story worlds and plot. I also watched documentaries (food shows are especially helpful!), read books set in Italy, and, most importantly, I interviewed people who live in Sicily (namely, my son, who is stationed there!).


The Global Search and Rescue team is made of ex-military, former SEALs, and Pararescue jumpers who are bonded together to save and rescue the lost. What type of research was required to accurately portray your characters’ roles?

Memoirs! I started with a slew of great memoirs by PJs and SEALS, to get the attitude and life of these heroes. I dove into Seal Team Six stories (both fiction and nonfiction), and I interviewed men who had been in SEAL training. I also watched some of the many documentaries on PJs and SEALs. In the end, I had to create characters who were the type to be successful as Spec Operators and SAR workers.

You write adventure romances. What characterizes an adventure romance and how did you become interested in this style of writing?

There are so many romantic suspense novels on the market about cops, FBI, and other law enforcement types, and while I love those, I wanted to branch out beyond the typical stories. I am a big adventurer myself, and living on the North Shore of Minnesota for so many years brought many opportunities to meet and interview SAR workers, forest firefighters, and other types who risk their lives to save others. I love survival stories, am a big fan of shows like ER and Chicago Fire that emphasize saving others, and realized that, for many, these “suspense” stories are just as gripping as a fight against evil. Plus, I love the research of “getting into trouble”—hiking, skiing, scuba diving, sailing, and anything where you might need to be rescued by a handsome man (or inspiring woman!).

The Global Search and Rescue series has introduced readers to some deeply layered characters. Do you have a favorite character?

Oh my. I love all my characters the same. But since we followed Ham’s story from book 1, I think he’s mostly deeply embedded in my heart. I really love that Ham is a strong Christian but also a warrior, and a man who is trying to balance his hurt with his desire to forgive. I love how he is authentic with his pain but also willing to do the hard things, despite the cost. (And, my model for Ham is Chris Hemsworth, so that didn’t hurt, either!)

What do you hope readers gain from reading the Global Search and Rescue series?

The G-SAR series is based on the hymn In Christ Alone and the idea that no matter what we do, Jesus is enough and will give us everything we need. My characters aren’t perfect, but they are honest about their fears, needs, struggles, and wins. I am hoping that readers will see that you don’t have to be enough . . . that you just have to show up and let God be enough Price of Valor book coverfor you. On a less spiritual level, in a world where clean, inspirational, yet gripping entertainment is challenging to find, I’m hoping to give readers a great set of stories that entertain and edify.

What are you working on next?

The adventures aren’t over! My next series moves to Alaska, where we meet the King brothers of SkyKing Ranch. Ex-military bush pilots, they’re home (reluctantly) to help save the ranch’s operations. But there’s trouble in the final frontier . . . trouble that only these brothers can stop. Readers will reconnect with some favorite characters while meeting new ones . . . and the trouble won’t just stay in Alaska, of course. It combines the flavor and setting of Montana Rescue with the family elements of my Montana Marshalls, Noble Legacy, and Christiansen Family series. The first book comes out in early 2022.


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