Friday, May 22, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: AUTHOR/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR SUSAN ROHRER INTERVIEW

If  you’ve been following my “The Write Stuff” blog for the past few years, you may have noticed reviews I’ve posted on a number of books by filmmaker and author Susan Rohrer. Recently, I asked her to respond to a few questions on your behalf. I hope you’ll enjoy a chance to get to know this author a bit, via this personal interview. Thank you and may the Lord of Hosts bless you as you read, 
Bernie Lutchman
BL: When did you experience the call to your life’s work, and how did that call come to fruition? 
Susan Rohrer, a woman of many hats

SR: One of the things I love about God is that life with Him is always full of surprises. His call on my work came in such a delightfully arresting way, back when I was in my early 20s. You know how the Bible talks about God speaking to His sheep? Well, quite out of the blue, I heard His voice--so clearly that I looked over my right shoulder to see if anyone were there. All I’d heard was one sentence: “You’re going to make movies for Me.” My reaction? Like Sarah, overhearing the promise of a child to come, I laughed. 


One of Producer/Director
Susan Rohrer's many
 film works (TV & Movies)
You have to understand. In the natural, I had no aspirations or qualifications. I had nothing to offer in or of myself. Still, step-by-step, God paved the way and did what seemed impossible, giving me the skills and opportunities I needed to fulfill that call through television series and movies. I started at the bottom and, in time, became a director. Then, in order to have redemptive stories to tell, I wrote many screenplays—a number of which I was blessed to produce and direct.

BL: After a career spent in the entertainment industry, how did you branch into writing Christian nonfiction and inspirational novels? 

SR: In twenty-some years of work on redemptive television series and films, I never dreamed I’d one day become an author. That was, until I sensed a leading to write my first book, about the modern-day work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of everyday believers. It examines things I’d never heard taught in my traditional church upbringing, about spiritual gifts and how to hear God’s voice today. Soon, one of my readers posed a frequently asked question. She wanted to know how she could know if God was saying a certain man in her life was The One. My second book, Is God Saying He’s The One?  was birthed to answer that question. 


Before long, I began considering what to do with my remaining unproduced screenplays. I had this stack of favorite stories yet to be told, with characters I’d grown to love and plots all in place. Though they were written for the mainstream market, they’re all redemptive stories with underpinnings of my faith and values. It can take many years to get a movie made, and I began to realize that as I wait, these stories could have lives of their own as novels. And the novels raise awareness about the screenplays. To date, I’ve novelized six of my screenplays, and I’m currently in the process of adapting a seventh, as a part of my Redeeming Romance anthology series. 

BL: What are Redeeming Romances? Who is your audience, why and do you think this genre is effective, as you see it?

SR: It’s been said that two things most every man, woman, and child wants in life are faith and love. The common thread in all my books, whether nonfiction or fiction, is the greatest romance of all: what it’s like to be a human being, discovering the loving relationship we can have with God and one another. That mingling of divine and human love is how Jesus summed up the entire Law and the Prophets, and it’s become the overarching theme of my work. Jesus knew the power of a parable, and I’m doing my best to follow His lead as I explore these stories of imperfect people on the journey of faith, hope, and love that any relationship can be. Some are more subtle or overt spiritually than others, but all my novels serve that underlying redemptive purpose: to explore the heavenly romance that is possible in this life. 

Though my novels are in the inspirational romance genre that’s so popular with women, I think the reason there are men among my readers is that these stories are about more than longing for earthly love. They’re also about very relevant aspects of the human condition. Each story follows its characters as they respond to the very present help God offers in the midst of life’s often baffling challenges. It’s my hope that these novels will be both a mirror as well as an impetus, to provoke sacrificial love and uncommon goodness in the real lives and relationships of each reader. 

Merry’s Christmas sets a winsome waitress in the family she’d never had. In
Virtually Mine, a modern-day Cyrano fears telling the girl of his dreams how he really feels. Bright Christmas explores how a young Amish woman reconciles her faith with mutually exclusive human relationships. Bridle My Heart encourages that though humans may disappoint, God remains faithful. What Laurel Sees wrestles with the ramifications of having a spiritual gift in a jaded, disbelieving world. Gifted follows a young doctor’s struggle to come to terms with her calling and the faith she’s abandoned. Each novel follows fictional human relationships, but overall, they’re infused with the real-life challenges of mending what’s broken and redeeming relationships in the light of grace.  

BL: You have some very powerful Bible-based books and your series of Illuminated Bible Study Guides. How important are these types of works? 

SR: Fiction or nonfiction, as many books as I write, I think my first nonfiction
book, The Holy Spirit, will always stand out as that book I was meant to write. It’s all about the Divine Romance that’s possible when we open our hearts to our Creator and live in dynamic, creative relationship with Him. That book is a practical outworking of the way He partners with me day-to-day, no matter what else I’m doing or writing. I’m just a flawed, everyday person with a very small footprint in the natural. But it’s amazing to me how God can take these expressions of faith and use them to reach and encourage people all over the world. I pray for my readers and I thank God every time I hear that one of my books has touched or helped them in some way.

BL: Do you have any more books like these planned?


SR: Life with God continues to surprise me. I never know when I’m going to wake up with the inspiration to write another book. The leading to write Secrets of the Dry Bones came in the middle of writing my western. I just paused again, half-way through the current novel I’m writing to publish Splash!, a book of inspirational quotations. Also, I look forward to writing another topical Illuminated Bible Study Guide soon. That’s one of the wonderful things about life in the Spirit. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always something captivating to do. Be sure to stay tuned with Bernie Lutchman’s blog and he’ll keep you posted on what’s coming.

BL:  Thanks for the plug, Su! :)...Hello, “The Write Stuff” readers: in case you’re interested, all of Susan Rohrer’s books are available through the following link where you can follow her to receive updates on new books:  http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Rohrer/e/B005F0CHLU. Most of these above-mentioned books have been reviewed here on this blog in previous years.

Readers can also read, follow and message Susan Rohrer on Pinterest and Twitter and more here:
http://www.pinterest.com/IAMSusanRohrer
http://www.twitter.com/suroar
SUSAN'S AMAZON.COM LIBRARY PAGE
JOIN SUSAN ON GOODREADS!
READ ABOUT SUSAN'S TELEVISION AND MOVIE PORTFOLIO HERE AT IMDB

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