This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
We had an opportunity to visit with Susan Baganz earlier this year about her novel Root Beer & Roadblocks. I’m happy to have her back to visit today with her newest release, Bratwurst & Bridges. Before we begin, here’s a brief summary of the story.
Pastor Dan Wink has suffered his greatest loss. His best friend, Sharon, died a year ago. He’s ready to walk away from ministry…and life. But the men he’s ministered to over the years won’t let him. Sometimes accountability sucks. And the redhead next door with her precocious children brings up desires he thought had died with his wife.
Skye O’Connell has given up much to rescue herself and her kids from her ex-husband’s drug abuse. With a new career, she’s come to the Milwaukee suburbs to start over…but something about the enigmatic pastor who lives across the hall has her asking questions she’s not comfortable with.
A man stuck in grief is challenged by a woman who is lost…can both find their way to life and love?
You can purchase a copy of Bratwurst & Bridges here:
Welcome back, Susan! Do you have a favorite character from Bratwurst & Bridges? Why is this character your favorite?
Well, Dan Wink is a hunk, so what’s not to love there. A godly man with a deep struggle. But I really I love Skye O’Connell. She’s a single mom of two little kids who left an abusive marriage. She teaches Zumba and is an artist. She starts the story knowing about God but not believing he’d be interested in her given her life choices. She’s willing to ask the hard questions of herself—and others as she explores who Christ is. And she wears fuzzy pink boots. I think I’d like a pair like that if I could find some but mine would be more magenta! She also struggles to accept that she is worthy of people loving and caring for her. I think that part of me struggles with that as well as a single mom myself. It’s humbling to accept help but I’m beyond grateful how God brings people into my life to meet needs (and even grant me unspoken wants) just because He loves me right where I am.
She sounds like a very real character. Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I take guitar lessons. People will ask if I play guitar and I say “I just pretend to” because I still have so much to learn. I don’t play on a worship team or in a band or anything like that. Just for me. It’s something I’d done in the past and it helps me focus on something other than the challenges in my life. Prior to starting lessons last year I kept making excuses that I couldn’t afford it and in the past I wasn’t very good at practicing, but this past year I’ve learned more than ever because I had more definite goals of what I wanted and a better understanding of the fundamentals that I needed to master to get to the really fun stuff. We throw some fun stuff in there too though. My grandmother was just diagnosed with terminal cancer at 96 and I was able to play and sing a song for her that I had worked hard on for months. It felt good to be able to give her that gift while she was still around to enjoy it. I also lead worship with my guitar (and voice) at our annual American Christian Fiction Writers Chapter conference.
What a sweet blessing! Music definitely provides a nice break from the day-to-day challenges. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
I would return to England and spend time in London and visiting castles around the area again. I’ve been there once but that was long before I became a writer and I do write Regency Romances as well (Gothic – so they are a little darker than Jane Austen’s stories).
That would be very fun! What are you reading right now?
Right now, I’m proofreading my Black Diamond Christian Gothic Regency: The Virtuous Viscount, due out in October. It’s the first book I ever wrote, back in 2009, and I was afraid I’d not like it anymore because it’s had more rewrites and revisions than anything else I’ve ever written, but I’m falling in love with the story and characters all over again. The prequel, The Baron’s Blunder is due to re-release with a new cover (and some corrections) in October as well. There are four more books in that series due to release this year and next: Lord Phillip’s Folly, Sir Michael’s Mayhem, Lord Harrow’s Heart and The Captain’s Conquest.
Wow! That’s a lot of new books to watch for! You’ve written in a couple of different genres. Do you prefer writing one genre over the other? Why?
I write contemporary romances as well as Regencies and I enjoy both. The challenge is to keep the language straight. The vocabulary for Regencies is more complex and varied which is fun. Sometimes I spend so much time editing those that I itch to write my contemporary series again. Then my editor-in-chief will call and ask for another Regency novella for something and of course, I write it because it is fun. There’s more research that I need to do to write the Regencies but I often have research to do in my contemporaries as well. For instance, I really need to have a conversation with a Wisconsin State Patrol officer to do some fact checking on one story and a Funeral director in preparation for the next. Thankfully the latter is a resource I’ve used often. I call him my “undertaker friend” but he enjoys it when I ask him questions about his field because it’s so different from what he normally does.
What a great resource to have. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Susan!
Your turn! Do you play (or have you played) a musical instrument? If so, which one(s)?
More about Susan:
Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.
Susan speaks, teaches and encourages others to follow God in being all He has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology, a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.
Bratwurst & Bridges Giveaway:
Susan has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of Bratwurst & Bridges. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.