With three new titles on shelves, this author shares the challenges of finding the right mix of faith, danger, and love in her novels.
Prolific suspense writer Susan Sleeman keeps readers on the edge of their seats. She seems to be in the middle of multiple series at any given moment—her latest titles include Kill Shot (FaithWords), the second book in her White Knights series; Cold Case (Edge of Your Seat Books), the fourth in the Cold Harbor series; and Rodeo Standoff (Love Inspired Suspense), the second in her McKade Law series. In this interview, Susan shares about her latest novels, how being a Christian author informs how she writes romantic suspense, and the best things that readers can do to support their favorite authors…
What can you tell us about the White Knights series?
My White Knights series features a six-member FBI Critical Incident Response Team that includes experts in crisis management, explosives, ballistics/weapons, negotiating and criminal profiling, cyber-crimes, and forensics. All team members are former military and they stand ready to deploy within four hours, anytime and anywhere to mitigate the highest-priority threats facing our nation.
Each book has a stand-alone plot that is fully resolved, but the books are connected by the six team members and their interactions with one another.
I got the idea for this series in the six weeks I spent with the agents at the FBI citizen’s academy. As I listened to the agent’s talk about their area of expertise, I saw their incredible hearts for helping others and how that heart for others served as their motivation, but also took a toll on them. When things turn ugly and law enforcement professionals can no longer control the situation, making them unable to provide the help needed, they take it harder than most people.
I thought about how a group of agents on a special team that deploys to particularly difficult situations might behave if they couldn’t provide the help they wanted. Then I wondered how being a Christian might impact their actions and knew I had to put their faith to a test.
To challenge these agents, I had to find really BIG problems that they couldn’t simply use their tremendous skills and abilities to solve on their own. I wanted them to realize they couldn’t rely on their own strength and training, but must turn to God and each other for help, only then could they succeed on the job and in life.
What inspired the latest book in the series, Kill Shot?
The idea for Kill Shot came about when I was reading about recent developments for the military. When I saw that our government was developing self-guided bullets, my mouth dropped open.
Self-guided bullets, or smart bullets, have a guidance system built in the bullet much like missiles. As long as the rifle scope is pointed at the target, the bullet follows the course and hits the target. No skills are needed by the shooter other than to keep the scope fixed on the target.
These shots can be taken at a great distance like a mile away, meaning anyone can now become a sniper without training. It was such a scary thought to me, so, of course, I had to write about it.
Want to know how Susan balances all the elements of a Christian romantic suspense story? Click through to find out!