Susan J. Reinhardt’s journey to publication began as a non-fiction writer. She’s been published in The RevWriter Resource, Devotions Magazine, A Secret Place, Vista, Live, and numerous other compilations and periodicals. Her appreciation for using fiction techniques inspired her to use fiction as a vehicle for truth. Her novel, “The Moses Conspiracy,” is tentatively scheduled for release in late February/early March.
A widow, stepmom, and active church member, Susan enjoys reading, couponing, gardening, and searching for small treasures in antique shops.
Susan is represented by Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency.
When Seat-of-the-Pants Writing Stands Up and Shouts
by Susan J. Reinhardt
“This story is about me.”
I’d originally thought the couple from The Moses Conspiracy, Ellie and John Zimmerman, would once again take center stage in my second book. A reader commented on one of the social media sites that she liked Jim Kenneman, the Director of National Security, a lot. Her remark stuck in my head, but sometimes I’m a little dense.
I remember a time when I was out of work and kept saying, “I should get two part-time jobs and make one full-time job.” After saying that as a joke umpteen times, it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, God was trying to tell me something. One of those part-time positions became an excellent full-time job a year later.
Thinking outside the box has never been my strong point. During one of my writing sessions, I kept focusing on the Zimmerman family and coming up dry. Thoughts and scenes involving Jim Kenneman teased my brain. Since subtle hints weren’t cutting it, he finally tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This story is about me.”
Talk about a “Duh” moment.
Being a Seat-of-the-Pants writer has advantages and disadvantages. Writing a book is like a great adventure where I never know what’s around the corner. Unfortunately, I can also end up going down rabbit trails that come to a dead end.
It takes prayer and a quiet heart to pick up on the cues the Lord gives me regarding each book. At times, there’s a sure knowledge I’m headed in the right direction. The Scent of Fear was an exercise in trusting God and listening for those random thoughts on what to write next.
When something keeps popping up and waving its hands at me, I’ve learned to take note and further explore where it will lead. Someday, thinking outside the box will become as normal as breathing.
Writers: What kind of detours have you encountered when writing a novel?
Readers: What suggestions have you made to authors concerning their books?
More about A Scent of Fear:
The Zimmermans enjoy the tenuous peace in the wake of their hair-raising year battling the New Patriots. Unexpected visitors once again throw them into turmoil.
Jim Kenneman, Director of National Security, masterminded the plan to break up a hate group ravaging the Christian community. Now, his enemies are out to eliminate him. Should he make a run for it or stick by his tried-and-true negotiating skills?
Monty Addison, a topnotch operative, carried out his assignment in Bird-in-Hand. A plot to destroy his boss sends him on a mission. Without agency sanction, it may cost him everything – his career, his family, and maybe his life.
Dr. Abby Weaver strives to save infants and toddlers in Holmes County, Ohio. When she meets two strangers, she can’t get the tall, handsome one out of her mind. Will their paths intersect again or will dangerous times keep them apart?
As a seat-of-the-pants writer, I also have “duh” moments. With the manuscript that I’m working on now (editing to send to an agent), at the very end it took a twist that I didn’t expect at all. I thought two brothers were fighting over the same woman, but it turns out one of them was only pretending so the other one would marry again after a disastrous first marriage.
How about you? What is your answer to Susan’s questions? If you’ve never made a suggestion, tell me what suggestion you would like to make (though you may never do so).