Please join me in welcoming the fabulous Susie Finkbeiner back to the blog to chat about her new novel (releases TOMORROW!), Stories That Bind Us!
Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of All Manner of Things, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women’s events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.
STORIES THAT BIND US
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2020
Rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts
Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at forty. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what’s next, never imagining what God had in mind.
When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a five-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960s small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.
Hi Susie! Welcome back to the blog!
Susie: Apples with peanut butter! My favorite are Golden Delicious. Add a handful of crackers and extra sharp cheddar and you’ve got my go to lunch.
Carrie: yummm yes please (only please make mine Honey Crisp)
Susie: Dogs, but please don’t tell my cat. Flannery just doesn’t understand the appeal of soft puppy noses and floppy ears.
Carrie: haha your secret is safe with me 🙂
Susie: Coke! And if I can please have it with a little vanilla syrup that would be nice.
Carrie: excellent choice!
Susie: Oh boy. I don’t know! But I do love Mexican Freight Train Dominoes.
Carrie: oh that IS fun!
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.
Susie: So far this year I’ve read a bunch of gems! I’ll name a few of them, but just know that I could go on and on about this for DAYS! Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green and Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli were both so beautifully written. These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker was breathtaking. The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby was eyeopening. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts was a complete delight. The Phantom Tollbooth was a lot of fun.
Carrie: Sadly all of these (except for The Phantom Tollbooth) are still on my TBR list because I need more hours in my day just for reading lol
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Susie: Oh good gravy! I think it depends on the character. Haha! But if you asked Betty Sweet from Stories That Bind Us I think she’d be very kind (because that’s just how she is). She’d most likely say that I put my characters through the wringer, but that I feel badly about it. And she’d say that I drink a lot of coffee and that she’s worried that I don’t sleep enough.
Carrie: lol well at least you do feel badly about putting them through the wringer 😉
Q: Do you have the whole plot outlined before you start writing, or do you let the characters dictate what comes next?
Susie: I typically have an idea of where I want to go with the story. But as I’m going, I allow freedom for the characters to shape the story in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I love it when I get to be surprised by the story!
Carrie: I think the story becomes infinitely sweeter for the reader when the author is surprised too…
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Stories That Bind Us?
Susie: I struggled through the writing of this story. The emotional toll it took was more than the others and it wasn’t until recently that I realized why. It caused me to confront my worst fear (losing my husband early) and my deepest wounding (the mental health crisis of a loved one). I spiraled into intense anxiety and teetered on depression. On more than one occasion I happened upon Zephaniah 3:17 which is about God being with the children he so greatly delights in.
His delight is not dependent upon anything except for His love. He doesn’t delight in us more if we have it all figured out than when we’re a hot mess. He doesn’t stop loving us because we’re riddled with fear or paralyzed by indecision.
He loves us, delights in us, and cares for us because He wants to. Isn’t that a lovely truth?
Carrie: Amen & amen. So thankful for His unconditional delight toward us!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Susie: This summer will be busy with visiting libraries on the Michigan Notable Book Tour (of which All Manner of Things was honored). I’ll be in Howard City, Mackinaw City, Iron Mountain (that’s in the U.P!), Corunna, Fruitport, and more. In the midst of that, I’ll be finishing up the draft of a novel which will release in 2021. I can’t wait for readers to meet the Miller family!
Carrie: Congrats on the honor for All Manner of Things!
Revell is offering a print copy of Stories That Bind Us to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Stories That Bind Us and/or my Q&A with Susie Finkbeiner?