You Don't Know Me, Deep Haven Series #6You Don't Know Me, Deep Haven Series #6
Susan May Warren
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To everyone who knows her, Annalise Decker is a model wife and mother. She’s a permanent member of the PTA, never misses her kids’ sporting events, and is constantly campaigning for her husband’s mayoral race.

No one knows that Annalise was once Deidre O’Reilly, a troubled young woman whose testimony put a dangerous criminal behind bars. Relocated through the Witness Security Program to the sleepy town of Deep Haven, Deidre got a new identity and a fresh start, which began when she fell in love with local real estate agent Nathan Decker. Twenty years later, Annalise couldn’t be more unprepared for her past to catch up with her.

2013 Christy Award Finalist/2013 AWSA Golden Scroll Novel of the Year Finalist


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Susan May WarrenEnergetic, vibrant and out-of-the-box, award winning author Susan May Warren, whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike is a five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. She is a two-time 2010 Carol Award winner, and 2011, 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner! She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes and mentors authors full-time (also winning the mentor of the year award at ACFW)

Favorite Verse: Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.


 Our Interview with Susan May Warren


What inspired your interest in writing the Deep Haven series?

I love small-town life. I am blessed to live in a tiny town in northern Minnesota, and everything from our small-town football games to the fact that I see my neighbors in the grocery store delights me. I believe people long to live in a place where “everyone knows your name,” and the Deep Haven series nurtures this nostalgia.

How did you come up with the concept for Deep Haven series?

Deep Haven is based on a small vacation town in northern Minnesota where I spent my summers. I fell in love with this town and decided to set my first novel here. Since then, the world of Deep Haven has grown, and I’m delighted to keep writing stories set in this world.

Will there be any more books in this series?

There are currently six books in this collection, and we are working on a spin-off family series of six more books set at a family resort just north of Deep Haven.

The Deep Haven series was written over several years; was that planned?

No. I wrote the first three books and then dove into some romantic suspense and even mysteries. However, when we realized that readers wanted more Deep Haven books, I happily returned to that genre and am thrilled to write more Deep Haven stories.

Is any part of the Deep Haven series factual? Explain.

Yes! Of course! A great book is always based on some element of truth. All the wonderful locations—World’s Best Donuts, Mona’s little yellow bookstore/house, the coffee shop (Java Cup), the Blue Moose Café, the football field, the various resorts and celebrations—are based on actual locations and events in our town. What I did not base on truth are the characters. They are my own creation and I work very hard not to emulate anyone in our town. However, the themes and situations are often drawn from something personal in my life. I think drawing these themes from a place of truth in my life helps bring authenticity to the characters’ journeys.

Do you have a favorite character in the Deep Haven series? Why?

That’s hard. I love all my Deep Haven children! I think I love Noelle Hueston (The Shadow of Your Smile) because she is so much like me—and her house is my house in the woods. But I appreciate Annalise Decker (You Don’t Know Me) for her courage and the fact that she loves her small-town life. Really, all my characters are beloved.

How much research did the Deep Haven series take?

Well, let’s see. I drive into town. I buy a cup of coffee. I watch the waves of Lake Superior out the giant windows. Not much researching setting. But I spend great amounts of time researching the topics and professions in my stories—from firefighters to donut making!


What were the most interesting facts that you learned while writing and researching the Deep Haven series?

I love bringing out big questions about life in a small town. For example, how one person’s life decision can affect so many. And yet, how everyone has secret lives, even in a small town. My favorite part however, is being able to call up the courthouse, the fire station, the mayor’s office, a real estate office, or stop into the donut shop, the coffee shop, or the library and have the proprietor say, “Are you writing another novel? How can I help?”

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

After forty novels and novellas, I am always looking for new ideas and story slants. I want to keep my spiritual threads fresh and interesting and my themes and story questions current and relatable. I want my readers to get a different story (but with SMW elements—romance, laughter, a strong inner journey, a great story question) every time.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love writing the story, discovering my characters, and then—this is weird I know, but—I love reading the story after it’s in print! I love to write stories that I would like to read, so my favorite part is after the book is published, simply reading the story with my internal editor turned off (to the best of my ability). Sometimes I just pick up one of my books and simply read them for fun. I know—weird!

What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write by the seat of your pants? Or somewhere in between?)

I do extensive character work and plot the entire story, including writing the synopsis. Then I “discover” each scene as I go, letting the scenes be more “seat-of-the-pants.” I am a big fan of understanding the structure of your story before you begin, however, as it saves revision and rewriting time.

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I just finished Take a Chance on Me, the first in the spin-off Deep Haven series about a family who owns a resort in northern Minnesota. They’re third-generation resort owners who want to pass on the resort to one of their six children. The only problem is, the children don’t want it. The story has the underlying theme of passing on our faith and legacy to the next generation. And of course, it’s filled with romance and adventure and small-town fun!

What message would you like your readers to take from the Deep Haven series?

That God finds us and draws us to Himself, wherever we are, and He is always our “Deep Haven.”

You’re very involved in mentoring aspiring and new authors. Will you tell us a bit about that aspect of your writing journey?

I run a company called My Book Therapy, which is a craft and coaching community for novelists. I like to say that we are the coffee shop inside the Walmart world of publishing. We have a community of over 1,300 writers, a premium membership for advanced writers, video classes, online chats, writing products, retreats, contests, and an annual pizza party. We also publish a daily blog on writing—go to to learn more.

What is your greatest achievement?

My family. My amazing children. My twenty-five-year marriage. I’ve worked hard to build a family who loves the Lord, loves each other, and loves life. I’m very proud of the Warren Nation (as we call it!).

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

I want people to hear the truth so that when they finish a Susan May Warren novel, it causes them to think about their life and their relationship with God. I am hoping it helps break them free of any lies they believe and sets them on a path of truth.

What do you do to get away from it all?

I take mini vacations with my family. I watch football. I go for walks in my beautiful northern wilderness.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am so grateful for the life the Lord has given me. My greatest desire is to rightly handle these blessings and to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Thank you for reading my books and allowing me to share my heart with you today!



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