Saturday, February 11, 2017

Interview with Susan Baganz and #giveaway!!!!

 Today we welcome Susan Baganz to our blog. Susan is giving away one copy of her book to one commenter. Please leave contact information! 

Your book sounds very interesting, Susan. Can you tell us about it? 

When God strips away all your hopes and dreams could you trust Him to give you something better?

Johnny Marshall’s cancer is back . . . and so is the girl who broke his heart seven years ago. As Johnny struggles to find the will to live and fights his second round with the disease, he finds hope comes in small packages with an energetic little boy named David.

Years ago, Katie abandoned the one man she ever loved, having bought into her parents’ narrow views of finding a man worthy of her. In all those years, no one ever compared to Johnny. Now as a single mom of a young boy, she wonders if their reunion right on time or is it too late for a future together?

Where did you grow up and attend school? Are there any other authors in your family? 

I grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and finished my bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I got my graduate degree, a M.A. Counseling Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL., commuting from Milwaukee where I worked at the time.

Authors in my family? Yes! My paternal grandfather, James B. Pollard, was a fabulous writer although he never published. I finally put together his writings from WWII and published them with my Grandmother’s blessing. Journey to Lekhipani is a short read but a cool look at a young G.I.’s thoughts as he left his family to go to war. I wanted something for my kids so they could know him. He died in 1989, before they were born.

My grandmother eventually married a gifted author named Earl Wichern who wrote Life in the Slow Lane: A True Adventure Story of a trip he took with several friends right out of high school in Baraboo, WI as they journeyed on bicycle to the World Fair in New York in 1939. They sang for their supper many times. Both books are available on Amazon.

How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child? 

I think I’ve always written. I had journals and wrote poems and stories and would write little plays my brothers and friends would act out. Being able to write well is what got me through graduate school and helped me a lot on my job—but that was all non-fiction, research type writing.

In 2009 I did my first National Novel Writing Month and wrote 110K in 21 days. I was hooked. That novel had a lot of problems and has been sliced, diced, rewritten, and revised numerous times and releases in a few months. The Virtuous Viscount is an inspirational Regency romance and the first in a five-book series contracted by Prism Book Group.

I was a voracious reader as a child. During the summer, I was at the library every other day checking out as many books as I could and returning the ones I’d finished. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as well as Laura Ingalls Wilder books were favorites. When I grew older I fell in love with Regency romances, especially Georgette Heyer and Marion Chesney. My historical novels are a bit darker than theirs. They are not Jane Austen even though they take place in that time period!

I tried my hand at contemporary and had fun with that too…and have continued to write inspirational romances and romantic suspenses.

How old are your children? Do they read your books? Have any of them got the writing bug, as well?

My children are 16, 14 and 12 and they are not avid readers (yet) much to my dismay. My youngest two can be quite creative with their writing for classroom assignments. No writing bug yet. They haven’t read my books but my daughter promises to do so when she’s older. I’ve brainstormed ideas with them at times though which is fun.

How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having do a lot of research? 

Even though I’ve read a lot of Regencies I have a lot of websites, books and a file folder filled with research as well as a six-foot timeline spanning from 1800-1820 so I can hang my stories on some real life historical events.

My contemporary romances take place in the Milwaukee area where used to live and work. Depending on the jobs of my characters I do sometimes have to call people or ask questions or do research. It’s always fun though. My search history on my web browser would likely be considered suspicious.      

Which is your favorite book? Do you have a character in your books you identify with the most?

Is it fair for an author to pick a favorite story? I love them all! The one releasing February 10th, Root Beer & Roadblocks might be one of my favorites. Johnny was a significant character in Feta & Freeways which released in September 2016. The dynamics between the two men was so fun to write. At the end of Feta I realized Johnny needed his own happily-ever-after, but he goes through some pretty tough stuff. He was a fun character.

My first novel, Pesto & Potholes has a character, Renata and there is more of “me” in that novel than anything else I’ve written although I think an author leaves their fingerprint everywhere in their stories. I also relate closely to Tia in Feta & Freeways too. I learn things about myself as I write new characters…it’s said that writing is a veiling and a revelation and I think that’s true. We hide some things and bury truth amongst the lies but we also discover things about ourselves as well. 


Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

Susan speaks, teaches and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

You can learn more by following her blog, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page,


Kelly Dickinson said...

Miss Susan, thank you for sharing some of your world! I believe that God has created all of us for a purpose and that each of us has been blessed with one or more gifts. I loved reading your interview and was encouraged. While I've been led to write several children's books, I've never had the courage to submit any of them to a publisher. I am now inspired to complete what the Lord has laid before me without the fear of rejection. If the Lord brought me to it, He WILL carry me through it. Sometimes I need that reminder through others. :0) I am looking forward to reading "Rootbeer and Roadblocks"!
Blessings to You,
Kelly Dickinson
505 McKnight St.
Rutherford, TN 38369

Marilyn R. said...

An interesting title, Root Beer and Roadblocks. Sounds like a great read. Laura, thank you for the interview with Susan Baganz. It's always nice to learn about a new author and her journey to publishing a book. God bless.

Sally Shupe said...

If you haven't read this story yet, go read it! It is awesome! Susan brings her characters to life and their stories touch your heart. Johnny's story is one of my favorites!

lollipops said...

congratulations to Kelly!