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Susan May WarrenSusan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels. A four-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. Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike.

A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota.

Favorite Verse: Ephesians 2:8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.


 Our Interview with Susan May Warren


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a mother of four and have been married for over twenty years, and I served as a missionary in Russia for ten years before returning home in 2003 to write full time.  I have authored over 26 books, won a RITA, the ACFW Book of the Year, and been up for a Christy 4 times.  I love to write, and teach people to write, which I do…when I’m not writing, through my website,

How did you get started as a Christian fiction writer? 

I was always a writer, but never considered being an author because, well, I was a missionary.  But I did love to write, so in my spare time, I penned novels, not really knowing what God would do with them.  My first published novel came after I entered a contest with Tyndale – I couldn’t believe it when I won! When God sent our family back to America, I began writing full time.  

How did you come up with the concept for the PJ Sugar series?

I believe that all of us feel inadequate sometimes – maybe even all the time.  So I wanted to write a character who was a messy Christian – someone who didn’t get it right – and put her on a journey of discovering who she was in Christ.  I also love zany suspense stories, and wanted PJ to be loveable, smart, a bit of a troublemaker, and especially a gal trying to understand that God love her.

What is significant about Licensed for Trouble?

Licensed for Trouble is all about discovering what it means to have an identity in Christ – and how our identity as co-heirs should change us and impact our lives.  So…I had PJ inherit a house – but not any house.  It’s a mansion.  A run down, decrepit mansion that she has ALWAYS wanted to live in.  The story is about her journey of discovering why she inherited this mansion.  Well, that’s only one of her journeys. We also have to figure out which man she will be with, and of course, if PJ will ever become a real PI.  


Is any part of Licensed for Trouble factual?

The house that PJ inherits is an actual house near where I grew up – a house that seemed like a fairytale to me, and one I always dreamed of living in. Unfortunately, although it went on the market a few years ago, it was too much for my pocketbook!  (Maybe I’ll inherit it!)

What is the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Licensed for Trouble?

I learned that we often define our lives by how we see ourselves, and how God sees us, and if we could just get a heavenly perspective, it might change the way we live our lives and the choices we make.

I also learned how to skydive. 

How many books will be in the PJ Sugar series?

Only three – PJ has finally found a home, an identity, and true love.  She has completed her goal of coming home.

Do you have a favorite character Licensed for Trouble?

I love Jeremy.  Oh, and Boone.  And Max, too. 

Probably, Dog is my favorite, though.

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

I am working on a Contemporary Romance called My Foolish Heart, about a girl who looks everywhere for love…but can’t see it right in front of her. 

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

I always have to keep my stories fresh, and improve my writing with every book.

Who was the person who most influenced you in your writing journey?

Writing teachers – Brandilyn Collins.  Author – Dee Henderson, Champion – my husband.


What message would you like your readers to take from Licensed for Trouble?

We have to stop seeing ourselves as refugees in the kingdom of heaven, people who God begrudgingly loves and wants to delight.  We are coheirs with Christ – which means that we will inherit all that Christ inherits – an intimate relationship with God, the power of heaven, and especially the identity of God’s child, which we can never lose.  It’s worth pondering…

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

To write stories that reflect the grace and truth of the Gospel.

What do you do to get away from it all?

I go dancing with my husband!


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