Ray Sutherland is a Kentucky native who grew up on a farm outside of Bowling Green. He served in the Army, spent two years in Germany, received his B.A. in religion from Western Kentucky University, and his PhD in the Bible from Vanderbilt University. Ray has served of Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke for over thirty years, pastored a small church for nine years, and is retired from the Army Reserve. He and his wife Regina live in North Carolina and have two sons and four grandchildren.
Q: What’s inside the mind of an inspirational suspense author?
A: First and foremost in every novelist’s mind has to be telling an interesting story. That was my primary aim. I tried to tell a good story that would hold the reader’s interest. When the story is about an angel who works on earth in the form of a reasonably normal human, it made it a lot of fun to write, and took some hard thinking. Next, believable, likeable, and sympathetic characters are necessary. Trying to write the angel as believable took a lot of thinking and experimentation, but I think the angel comes off as very believable and heavenly, but not at all unapproachable or beyond comprehension. I also tried to inspire with my story by pointing out that God is at work in our world and that what you do as an individual matters, in ways that you don’t imagine.
Q: Tell us why readers should buy Secret Agent Angel.
A: I believe that I succeeded in my aim of telling a good, interesting story. I believe that readers will definitely like the characters and that you will truly be rooting for them as you read. The suspense isn’t terror inducing but it keeps you eager to see what comes next. There’s also a little bit of humor in the book. My humor tends to elicit smiles instead of belly laughs, but it is fun. Lastly, you will be uplifted by the book. It leaves you optimistic about life and humanity.
Q: What makes a good inspirational suspense novel?
A: Most importantly, a good story with interesting characters. Without that no novel can really succeed. I worked hard to make the story interesting and to make the people in the story believable and sympathetic, but they’re not saints-except for the angel, of course.
Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
A:My Facebook page and my website: raysutherland.com
Q: What has writing taught you?
A:The value of hard workJ. It also highlighted the need for persistence. I had to write when I didn’t feel like it and would rather have been walking in the woods or reading comic books. It all paid off, both in the fun of writing and the enormous gratification of finishing the book and even greater satisfaction of seeing it published.
Name: Ray Sutherland
Book Title: Secret Agent Angel
An imaginative and intriguing tale, Secret Agent Angel is a story about how sometimes even angels have to act on faith.
About Secret Agent Angel: Samuel, a secret agent angel on earth, has to improvise when things go badly wrong—and sometimes, Samuel has to prepare people for a purpose unknown even to him. From the jungles of Vietnam with porters on the Ho Chi Minh trail, to Omaha truck drivers who befriend an abused boy, to wounded veterans who need to learn to let go of the past, to an accountant tempted to steal, Samuel works with fallible people, trying to get them to see their true strength.
But forty years of angelic missions come to a head when a fire at a snowbound truck stop leaves one man’s faith—and his life—hanging in the balance. The only hope for success rests with the spiritual power of the humans Samuel has tried to prepare for the struggle. But have they gained enough spiritual strength and awareness? And if not, does God have a Plan B??
An extraordinary story that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned, Secret Agent Angel is irresistible. Tender and touching, thoughtful and thought provoking, heartwarming and filled with heart, Secret Agent Angel is a powerful story about faith, healing, and the redemptive power of love.