Susan May Warren’s Montana Rescue series combines adventure, danger, and romance–all in the gorgeous setting of Montana. The latest volume in the series is Rescue Me (Revell). In this Q&A, Susan shares what inspired the series, how the different stories overlap, and why she set the books in Montana...
This is the second book in your Montana Rescue series. Where did the inspiration for the series come from?
I’m a huge fan of shows like Chicago Fire and Grey’s Anatomy, about a team of people who have to work together to save others. When I envisioned this series, I took the type of books I enjoy writing the most—epic “family” series, or team books, and put them in one of my favorite locations, Glacier National Park. Then, I added the action/adventure ingredient and came up with six epic romantic adventures all tied together with one mystery thread (the disappearance of the niece of one of my characters). That birthed the PEAK Rescue Team, and from there, the stories of each character came to life. I think, most of all, I wanted to write a series that I wanted to read, and hoped it would resonate with my readers, too.
The protagonist changes from book to book but will the characters overlap in each other’s stories?
Absolutely. That’s what I love about “team” books—we get to see the lives of each team member evolve in the background of the POV character. And, as they change and grow this affects the main storyline from book to book as well. It’s like hanging out with all your friends.
How many books will you have in your Montana Rescue series?
Six, plus a prequel novella.
Why did you choose to set these books in Montana?
Because I can travel there for research! I love Montana! I set an early trilogy there—The Noble Legacy—and since then have been enthralled with the landscape and the varied activities in Montana, from skiing to mountain climbing to ranching to whitewater rafting. It’s a great place to set an adventure series!
Last year you released three books! Will you continue 2017 at the same pace or do you have plans of slowing down a bit?
I enjoy the “cauldron” of creation, or that intense stewing of a story. I sort of sink into the story and don’t emerge until the rough draft is finished. That’s when the real work starts—reworking it, rewriting it, smoothing out all the rough edges. I can usually finish a story in about three months. I then like to take a couple weeks off—but the stories continue to itch at me until I start the next one.
Because I write a series, the characters are always there, nudging me to continue their stories, so it’s not long before I’m back at the computer, ready for the next book. I’ve also found that if I sit with a book too long, I will over edit it, add too many words and develop rabbit trails that I’ll eventually delete, so it’s better to get it out of my hands and to my editor before I mess it up. Which means that it’s not a matter of “slowing down” as it is finding a new story to write. I like this pace—it keeps me creative, focused and engaged in the series.
What do you feel your calling is as a writer?
I believe I am called to be authentic and honest in my storytelling. As a Christian woman, I am not interested in cardboard characters with unrealistic struggles who receive pat answers. Life can be overwhelming and at sometimes messy and confusing. Relevant faith-filled fiction deals with that and yet offers hope. I don’t presume to know all the answers. I just try and write stories about people learning to walk in faith, every day trusting God just a little bit more.
Find out more about the book:
Montana Rescue #2
Susan May Warren