Saturday, April 6, 2013

An interview with Susan J. Reinhardt, author of The Moses Conspiracy

I'd like to thank Susan J. Reinhardt for this interview. I am happy to be part of her book blog tour. Please leave a comment.

Susan J. Reinhardt's journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use novels as a vehicle for truth. She's been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals.

A widow, stepmom, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.

The Moses Conspiracy by Susan J. Reinhardt

A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and a buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

Convinced it's now safe to visit D.C., Ellie and her firstborn, 8-year-old Peter, travel to the nation's capital. Both mother and child make an effort to enjoy the sights, but they're unprepared for the challenges they face. Her nightmares come true when she and Peter are separated.

Back home, John witnesses a neighbor's buggy accident. The suspicious circumstances and law enforcement's refusal to take them seriously prompt him to take on the role of detective. He and a tenacious reporter band together and vow to find out what's happening in Bird-in-Hand.

Extended family squabbles erupt when John's sister, Annaliese, faces off with Ellie for blowing her D.C. experiences out of proportion. She'd rather ignore the warnings than deal with the growing danger.

John and Ellie can't decide whether her trip and his involvement with the accident were such a good idea. People are getting hurt, and their own family receives ominous warnings. Turning back the clock is not an option, but going forward could initiate more violence.

The small community is shattered when the unthinkable occurs. Will family, friends, and neighbors band together or allow fear to prevent them from taking action?

Caught between strained family relationships and a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection. Little do they know that He's working on their behalf each step of the way.

The scabs of a past tragedy get ripped open, and the truth of their second child's death is revealed. While they may expose the culprits, will they survive the heartache it brings?

  An interview with SUSAN J. REINHARDT 

1. What inspired you to write The Moses Conspiracy?

 My late husband and I visited Gettysburg prior to Christmas in 2004. While standing in the old town square, surrounded by history, I could "hear" the forefathers' voices. However, they were like fading echoes.

After several failed attempts to write non-fiction pieces, I put it on the back burner and prayed for direction. In August 2005, my husband and I were talking about "the Gettysburg experience," and he said, "That's it!  That's your book! And you'll write it in 4 months and call it Ghosts of the Past."

I thought he was crazy, but caught the vision. The name changed to Echoes of the Past and later to The Moses Conspiracy. When I sat down at the computer, I had no clue what I was going to write. By Christmas 2005, I had 55,000 words.

2. How long did it take you to write the book? Was it an easy journey?

The first draft took 4 months, but then I had to learn how to write fiction. I cut my writing teeth on this book. There were multiple re-writes while I shopped it around. It took 8 years to write, get a contract, and an agent.

The journey was far from easy. From 2006-2007, I wrote very little due to my husband's battle with leukemia, death, and subsequent challenges. When I came through the grief process, I knew I had to finish the book both in his memory and because I felt the Lord had directed me to write it.

3. What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

There are several messages, including the faithfulness of God during difficult times, the importance of protecting our freedoms, and building strong family relationships.

4. What genre is your book?

I loosely define The Moses Conspiracy as Christian Speculative Fiction because it takes place in 2025. Although it takes place in the near future, I've avoided a lot of techno-babble. One take-away I wanted for the reader was the possibility this or something similar could happen.

5.  Please give us a thumbnail sketch of The Moses Conspiracy.

 A trip to post-terrorized Washington, D.C. in 2025 and an unusual buggy accident in Bird-in-Hand, PA set in motion events that expose a diabolical plan to destroy the Christian community. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

6.  What are you working on now?

The Moses Conspiracy is the first book in a trilogy. Book 2, with a working title of, "The Scent of Fear," takes place 3 years after the initial story. The rough draft is written and is now in the editing stage. The third book, "Lost and Found," is still in its infancy. Each book is a stand-alone novel, but builds upon the previous plotline.

7.  Tell us a little about your writing background.

I've written for many years, but only started my publishing journey 10 years ago. Non-fiction is my first love, and I'd still like to produce a devotional or other non-fiction book down the road. I digress. I've had numerous devotions, short pieces, and a few compilation stories published along the way.

Fiction has always interested me, but I never pursued it until a visit to Gettysburg in 2004 stuck in my mind.

8.  What advice would you give others on the writing path?

Each journey is different, but the main thing I'd advise is to stay true to the vision God has given you. That said, publication may come in non-traditional forms such as self-publishing, print-on-demand, or ebooks.

I considered all these options when shopping The Moses Conspiracy around the usual channels, but never felt a peace about them. Helping Hands Press, a small, independent, royalty publisher, found each other through a mutual friend, author Kathi Macias.

9.  Tell us about "the call."

LOL, it wasn't a call. It was actually a series of email communications. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw the subject line, "We want to work for you. Can we talk on the phone?"

10.  How did you react?

I did the ol' Snoopy dance and then near-panic set in as it sank in. This was a moment I'd waited for, but could I really do this? After a pep talk from my critique partners and good friends, I settled down and started checking off items on my to-do list. Yes, I have a list for everything!

11.  Where can readers get The Moses Conspiracy?
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

Enter here for a chance for U.S. residents to win a free copy and a $25 gift card









Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda,

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I'm looking forward to your readers' comments.

Susan :)

Sioux said...

Susan--I loved how this book was conceived. Oh baby...what a story. Hearing voices from the past, voices that refused to be silenced. And what a husband you had--someone who had the foresight to see that you had a book. AND he knew how long it would take to write (at least the rough draft) and he knew what the perfect title would be.

Thanks for sharing, Susan. Good luck with your triplets...

Karen Lange said...

It's great to see Susan here and learn more about her! Loved how Sioux called the trilogy "triplets". :)

Happy weekend!

Tammy said...

Sounds like a compelling read! I love books that have spirituality woven into an exciting plot,which is how this sounds,and I enjoyed reading about the journey. Cool book cover!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sioux -

You've got to be a writer with a comment like that! I've now got a new way to refer to the trilogy: the triplets. Love it. :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I liked the triplet reference as well.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tammy -

Nice meeting you! I hope you'll pop over to the Rafflecopter for an opportunity to win a copy of The Moses Conspiracy and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Susan :)

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Linda and Susan,

Thanks for the interesting interview.

I'm always fascinated to learn about a writers' journey -- both literary and spiritual.

The advice to "stay true to the vision God has given you" is wonderful!

Chatty Crone said...

Susan's book sounds fantastic - she's a nice gal too! Good luck Susan and thanks for blogging about her. Sandie

Peggy Frezon said...

I love to hear about new books, especially in the Christian genre. It sounds like a great read that will keep me on the edge of my seat!

Val said...

This sounds like an interesting mix: the setting in the future, and transportation by buggy like in the past.

Good luck with your projects, Susan. Congratulations on your perseverance to see them through.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna - I always enjoy interviewing authors for the same reason. It was the vision God put in my heart and my husband's encouragement that kept me moving forward.

Hi Sandie - Aww, thanks!

Hi Peggy - Blogging introduced me to many authors I would never have met otherwise. I'm grateful to be part of this community.

Susan :)

Bookie said...

Having visited Gettysburg myself, I too felt that stories oozed from the land. Nice you got such a strong calling to write what you felt. I feel, Susan, that you are sitting on another book right now, entirely different. I think a nonfiction work telling how you wrote, learned to write fiction, and all while your husband was sick and leaving you would make a great inspirational book for writers and other readers both.

Daisy said...

This sounds like a fascinating book. I enjoyed hearing more about it and about Susan and the writing process.

Sioux said...

Susan (sorry Linda)--

I think Bookie is brilliant. You SO have a book on writing.

Do it. Write it. The trip, your husband, the research and the writing...It would make a wonderful memoir for writers and wives and historians.

Just do it.

Jean Jeannie said...

Congrats Susan on your book! It really is something to hold a book in your hands which bears your name, isn't it? Thanks for the mindfulness for us writers every once in a while to look up and from whence the acorns are falling. Best of luck!

Dianna Graveman said...

Thanks to Susan for sharing a peak into her writing life. Her book sounds fascinating!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Thanks for hosting this, Linda,and for introducing us to Susan. The book sounds great and I LOVE the cover art. It is nice also to be reminded that each of us follows a different path to publication and that even a terrific idea by a dedicated author doesn't make it to print overnight.

Lynn said...

I wrote a comment, but it didn't show up. Now I'll try again and hopefully this won't be a duplicate... although I doubt I'll get what I said word for word. Great interview, and I love that Susan listened to her calling. YAY!

Beth M. Wood said...

This book sounds fantastic! As a writer, I always love to hear other writers' tales about how they came to write, their process, their experiences... I love that Susan listened to that voice in her head, and I'm sure her husband is looking down on her in awe... and so very proud!

K9friend said...

Terrific interview. Susan, you are proof that hard work and persistence are what it takes to be a successful writer!

Critter Alley

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

Your comments and suggestions show such thoughtfulness. I love your enthusiasm. Your words will be the subject of prayer, and I'll see how the Lord leads.

Susan :)

BECKY said...

I agree with everyone. What an inspirational story! And yes, like you said, Susan....everyone's writing journey is different. Your book sounds really interesting and I'd love to win a copy of it, plus the gift card! Congrats on your publication!

Susan said...

Wow, Susan has had a fascinating journey. How wonderful the book is now published! Congratulations, Susan.

And Linda, that was a great interview! Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Becky - Thanks!

Hi Susan - Thank you. It was a rather long journey, but totally worth it.

Susan :)