Author Interview: Susan J. Reinhardt
Susan J. Reinhardt is our guest today. Susan’s publishing credits include her novels, The Moses Conspiracy, The Christmas Wish, and The Scent of Fear, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.
Susan, thank you for joining us. Since The Moses Conspiracy has a very clear message and theme, I’d love to hear why you wrote the story.
Thank you for having me. My original focus was non-fiction, and I thought it would continue tracking in that direction. In December 2004, my late husband and I visited Gettysburg. As we stood in the town square surrounded by old buildings, I “heard” the voices of the forefathers as fading echoes. I couldn’t shake the sense that something profound occurred in those few moments. Yet all my efforts to write a non-fiction piece ended in frustration.
We were discussing the Gettysburg experience in August 2005 when he made a startling declaration: “That’s it. That’s your book, and you’ll write it in four months and call it Ghosts of the Past.” I thought he was crazy, but I soon caught the vision.
I looked at a blank computer screen and started typing. In four months, I had a 55,000-word manuscript. To call it a rough draft is an understatement. It took years of honing my fiction skills for the book to go from that point to the final product.
The first thing I noticed about the novel was the encompassing of so many genres. The story is speculative in nature. You provide political aspects as well as a mystery. Was it difficult to form your plot with that in mind or did you even think of the genre when writing the story?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. The original vision described above fueled the story rather than any plotting technique or genre. It was a story I HAD to write because it spoke to some of my deepest concerns about our country.
I have to say that the story’s overall conflict, your picture of what America might be like in the year 2025, the laws that might be passed, the things that Americans might no longer have during that time, the way Christians are treated, was very disturbing. Do you believe that American can fall to such evil in only eleven short years from today?
This project began in 2005. In eight years we’ve seen many changes that would shock previous generations. I spent a year at BibleSchool in 2003. We did not have television and were totally immersed in the Word. When I came home for summer vacation, the programming horrified me. We’ve been so desensitized that many people no longer recognize right from wrong.
One of my greatest concerns is the passing of the older generations, who remember when God was honored in our halls of government, schools, and the public square. Those who have grown up in a society where God is no longer welcome will think this is normal.
The Moses Conspiracy gives a possible scenario of what might happen if we continue on our present path. While the book focuses on the U.S., it’s really about two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of His Dear Son. Like Israel in the Old Testament, we must decide who we will serve. Our decision will impact and set the course of our nation.
As I mentioned the story was disturbing but only because I do feel that we are headed down the road you portray. For those of us whose hearts quake at the thought, what Scripture would you give to us to remind us that God is in control?
One of the lessons the Zimmerman family learned was that God will turn around what the enemy meant for evil for our good. They asked for God’s help, and He brought it in the form of allies like Jim Kenneman and Monty Addison.
Reliance on God kept them getting up when they were knocked down. Their hope was not in humans, but they recognized the necessity to pray, be involved, and stand for what was right.
Do I believe there is hope for our nation? Absolutely, but it will take a major spiritual awakening for it to happen. George Washington said, “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
The following verse spoke to my heart during a time of great personal trial:
Habakuk 3:19 (Amplified) 19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
Are you working on any future projects? If so, I’d love to hear about them.
The Moses Conspiracy is part of a trilogy. The second book, The Scent of Fear, released in late November 2013. This volume continues the story with Jim Kenneman, the Director of National Security, and Monty Addison, the operative, taking center stage. The Zimmermans are also featured.
Last year, my publisher requested I write a Christmas novella. I took several characters from The Moses Conspiracy and gave everyone a peek at a critical event between the two books. Some new characters were introduced, the identity of one of their enemies was revealed, and clues given regarding future events. The Christmas Wish is a book for all seasons.
I’m currently working on the third book, Out of the Mist. This will wrap up the trilogy.
More About The Moses Conspiracy:
In 2025, the Christian World is under attack!
Two seemingly unconnected events set in motion a diabolical plan. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.
After a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. in the near future, Ellie plans a trip with her young son, Peter, and they become separated. At the same time back home, John witnesses a buggy accident with unusual circumstances.
Caught between strained family relations and ominous warnings from a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection.
The truth of the past tragedy is revealed. While they may expose the culprits, will they survive the heartache it brings?
And be sure to meet, Susan’s heroine, Ellie Zimmerman, in her interview from Monday.