Peril might be Suzanne Hartmann’s first foray into novel writing, but this mother of three is no amateur. As a contributing editor at Port Yonder Press with a degree in composition and linguistics, she’s not a stranger to writing. In fact she’s even written a book called Write This Way. In her debut thriller, she drops us straight into the shady world of undercover intelligence and introduces us to Lady Anne, top operative of the OJL – the most powerful government organization you’ve never heard of.

Q. What led you to write Peril?
The Fast Track Thrillers series (Peril being book #1) began as stories I created to entertain myself during my children’s music lessons and sports practices. I had no intention of writing a novel when I created these characters and scenarios. That didn’t enter my mind until one day when I was walking in the neighborhood thinking about one of the stories. A thought popped into my head, “Why don’t you write them into a book?” For a while, I considered whether I was having an early mid-life crisis, but eventually decided it truly was a nudge from God. The NASCAR aspect entered the picture after my daughter decided she liked watching racing. I started paying more attention to the races and after a while realized that stock car racing would make an exciting addition to the stories I’d already created.

Q. Starting out, who were the authors who inspired you? Who inspires you now?
I love character-driven thrillers like Tom Clancy and John Grisham write. They have great tension and action with plenty of unexpected twists and turns, but also create characters you want to get to know. Since that’s the type of books I like to read, I work to create novels with similar qualities.

Q. How does your faith influence your writing?
My faith plays a huge roll in my writing. I put plenty of action and conflict into my novels, but they are all written from a Christian worldview. In other words, there will be nothing that offends Christians such as profanity or condoning activity the Bible states is sin. I also work to create realistic characters readers can empathize with. Real people living out real faith in the real world. They struggle, but live out their faith in spite of their circumstances, and in the end learn to follow Christ’s leading better.
Q. How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
I’m an odd bird in the writing world. I haven’t always wanted to be an author, nor have I been writing fiction since high school or college. It never occurred to me to even try to write a novel until God sent me that nudge in 2006 while I was thinking about one of my stories while taking a walk. Even after that, I wondered if I would be able to finish the book I’d started. So I guess it wasn’t until after I finished the first draft of my first novel, Peril, in 2007 and really wanted to see it in print that I can honestly say I wanted to be an author.

Q. What do you most hope that readers get from reading your work?
First and foremost, I hope readers enjoy the story and consider it a good read. Beyond that, I have included a theme of trusting God in my Fast Track Thriller novels. I hope readers see that we can follow God’s promptings even when they don’t seem to make sense. He sees the bigger picture and has everything under control.

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About The Author

Suzanne Hartmann, a homeschool mom of three who lives in the St. Louis area, is a contributing editor with Port Yonder Press and operates the Write This Way Critique Service. To relax, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading, and Bible study. Peril is her debut novel. She has also written a book on the craft of writing titled Write This Way.