Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing a Book was only the Beginning

Edie here. I'm really excited to introduce you to Susan Baganz, one of my fellow authors at Prism Books. Be sure to read about her latests novels, out soon! 

by Susan M. Baganz @SusanBaganz

In October 2009, I had a strange dream. I sensed I was supposed to write a novel in November for National Novel Writing Month ( I figured it cost me nothing, wasn’t illegal and if I didn’t finish the 50,000 word goal in November, I would have at least tried.

So I wrote a story that I’d been too afraid to write for more years than I can count.

I had a blast. I wrote 110,000 words in 21 days. That story has since been whittled down to the 80’s through many rewrites and revisions due to minor issues like, say, head-hopping? I knew nothing then.

What was more amazing though than finishing the rough draft of my first novel, was that I connected with someone through the forums on NaNoWriMo. I never did things like that! We lived in the same town and were both first timers. When she won I sent her a NaNo-mail and told her my real name and gave her my contact information. I figured it would be fun to meet and talk about the experience.

I got a response. She called me by my maiden name. Told me we went to high school together. She told me who she was—Carol.  

I’d been praying for Carol for twenty-five years. She’s a distant cousin of some kind as well. Our initial separation after high school was over my faith in Christ.

Carol wasn’t following him in 2009 either but we met and she brought reinforcements—several other friends from “back in the day”. We sat at a restaurant and I listened to 25 years of stories from each person. Tales of heart break and survival.

We connected on Facebook. Back then many of my posts were just plain silliness (okay, sometimes they still are). A stay-at-home mom coping with craziness of raising three children. She said every time she read a status it was as if God poked her.

God grabbed a hold of her heart. She quit smoking. Joined a church. Was baptized. Started helping with leading worship there. Carol moved out of the home she shared with the father of her son. Took an 18-month-long theology class I taught, because she wanted to be mentored by me. Me?

My life is messy. My choices in obeying God have led me down paths some people disagree strongly with. There is nothing remotely “normal” about my life. She knew the down and dirty of my reality.

Carol says she believes the only reason she wrote a story for NaNoWriMo that year was because God wanted her to reconnect us.

I didn’t bring her back to faith in Christ. But I loved her where she was at and lived my own authentic, messy faith, without apology.

Now I’ve written so many books I’m losing count and have had several published and more in the process. More waiting to be written. I edit for a publishing house. I attend writer’s conferences and teach and encourage other writer’s on their journey to publication.

When I can I try to remind up and coming authors that publishing isn’t the real goal. Of course we all want to see our names in print as writers. We cannot forget as Christian writers that while God can and will use our words to bless others, often he chooses to use us. You and me. Messy. Real. Fallible.

We lose something precious if we focus on the temporary thrill of seeing our book come out. Don’t get me wrong. It is a thrill! But that passes. It’s temporary. The impact we can make on the lives of those around us as we navigate our writing careers though, can have an eternal impact. We can’t lose sight of people and the value they have, on our way to a best-seller list.

Carol’s name is published in the Lamb’s book of life. Just because I obeyed God and wrote a book. The book didn’t bring her to Christ. It was our relationship that had the impact and opened the door for the Holy Spirit to work. There’s nothing more thrilling than getting to be a part of that.


The Baron’s Blunder (August 26, 2016)

Fighting evil has been a hobby, but fending off marriage-minded debutantes—a chore.

Lord Charles Percy fends off a land pirate robbing a carriage in broad daylight. Noting he has rescued a beautiful debutante, he lies about his title claiming to be a mere mister.

The Honorable Henrietta Allendale isn’t convinced Mr. Percy is who he claims to be. But after he admits to one blunder can she ever truly trust what he says? Especially about the evil threatening her? Who is the Black Diamond anyway and why would he be after either of them?

One intrepid debutant and one bumbling Baron soon join forces to defeat evil. But to do so might mean they have to sacrifice the one thing they’ve each held as most important—their single status.

Can the truth set them free to love? 

Feta & Freeways (September 16, 2016
He’d never noticed her…till now.

Nikolos Acton is the lead singer of a Christian Band, Specific Gravity, struggling to make it in the industry after an unplanned break, touring the country with their manager, Tia.

Tia Bartel loved Niko for the longest time, but it wasn’t until she stepped in to save his life that he finally realizes what has been there all along. Is it too late for him? Could a relationship between them work after years of ignoring her? How would he ever convince her he’s worthy of her trust?

Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits, and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group, specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

She is the author of the Orchard Hill Romances, contemporary inspirational stories taking place in the Milwaukee, WI area. Pesto & Potholes and Salsa & Speed Bumps and Feta & Freeways and three more stories to come!

The Baron’s Blunder, a Regency-period romance, while part of the Love is . . . romance series by Prism Book Group, is also a prequel to Susan’s Regency series called Rose Hill Romances which are filled with love and adventure in the early 1800’s. The first full length novel of five, The Virtuous Viscount will be coming soon.

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 and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and serves on the board of the southeast chapter. Her favorite pastimes are lazy…snuggling with her dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup of spiced chai latte.

You can learn more by following her blog, her Twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page, Pinterest:


  1. Love your story of how God uses us in ways we never imagined. WHat a thrill to be part of His story in a friend's life.

  2. Thanks for visiting! My friend Carol does know I share this story. Cool to be part of God's bigger work.

  3. Thanks for this story. God does use us flawed people to reach others. I hoped that would be the case with my first book "Aimless Life, Awesome God" and it seems to be turning our that way. I too, live in SE Wisconsin and would enjoy connecting with you sometime.

    1. Robert - I would love to connect! I'm president of our local ACFW chapter that meets in Milwaukee. Here's our facebook page: We meet on the first Thursday of the month at a new location at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Thanks for visiting and I pray your books provide wonderful fruit in impacting lives for Him!

  4. Susan, Your story brought tears to my eyes. I struggle to complete my first book. God blessed me with a contract, an editor, and people who want to purchase it when it is finished. I write out of obedience. I did not want to write. I have grown to like (not love) the process over the last two years. Your story has rekindled my desire to finish. Some of the people waiting to read it are unsaved or given up on God. They know my messy life and still want to read it. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I am inspired to continue the arduous task of writing.

    1. I pray God will give you joy in the journey. Much of writing is hard work to be sure and we all struggle at times to get it done. God blesses obedience though! Congratulations on the contract! How cool!