I signed up to participate in the blog tour for CANYON OF DANGER and RIVER OF PERIL, books three and four of the Goldtown Adventures series. You'll get to read about those next week during the blog tour, but for now, we get to learn more about their author, Susan K. Marlow. She was kind enough to reach out to me before the blog tour to see if I had any questions for her - and of course I did!
Kissed by Literature: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Susan K. Marlow: Probably when my first writing piece, a little poem entitled “The Reflection,” was “published” (actually hung up) in the teacher’s lounge of Grant Elementary School in 1962 (I still have the original poem). The next year, my fourth-grade teacher introduced me to the world of Astronomy and I started writing outer space stories, beginning with Up to Mars. I was hooked on writing! I used any medium I could find, even digging through the trash in the computer center at Penn State University one summer to find the old, green-striped paper the 1960s computer geeks threw away. That paper was great for writing stories.
KBL: Who has supported your writing the most?
SKM: In the beginning, my mentor, Colleen Reece, an inspirational author with countless books in print, was my support. I liked writing stories, but I was too shy and scared to actually try to become a published author. She pretty much cattle-prodded me into submitting my manuscript, even saying over the phone, “Push the ‘send’ button now.” That was in 2003. Ten years later, with sixteen books published, I am not as afraid to push the “send” button to my editor at Kregel Publications. Now, my husband, Roger, is my biggest support. We travel around the country vendoring at homeschool conventions, and he is a super-crazy promoter. He always encourages me to write the next book, so we can have more books to offer folks at our booths.
KBL: Who is your favorite character in the Goldtown books?
SKM: I think it’s Strike-It-Rich Sam. Crusty and unmindful of how he looks, he is nevertheless a faithful friend to the Coulter family. He plays a major role in Book 1, Badge of Honor. I always envisioned Strike and Aunt Rose eventually getting together in a future book. Those two characters remind me of the main characters in the Cary Grant movie Father Goose: “What? They’re getting married? Goody-Two-Shoes and the Filthy Beast?” LOL
KBL: Which character do you relate to the most?
SKM: I relate to Ellie the most. She has that “anything Jem can do, I can do too” attitude, which was the attitude I carried throughout my childhood. As the oldest of four girls, I was my father’s “right-hand man.” No boy could out-climb me, be it a tree or a cliff. While my sister liked ballet, I liked Star Trek. It was with great joy I finally got my own phaser and communicator by buying them as gifts for my sons.
KBL: What has been your most rewarding moment as an author?
SKM: Hands down, the most rewarding moment(s) have come when I get emails from grateful parents thanking me for writing wholesome but exciting books for their children. I get plenty of emails from readers as well. It makes it worth all the hard work.
KBL: When did the realization of being an author finally hit you?
SKM: I think it’s when I saw my books (not the Goldtown books, but my books for young readers) in the CBD (Christian Book Distributors) print Kids’ Catalog. That was quite a moment. I opened the catalog and my eyes bugged out. I was so astonished (and excited). It meant somebody at CBD had made the decision to include my Circle C Beginnings books out of the hundreds of other books they could have featured.
KBL: What other books besides the Goldtown Adventures have you written?
SKM: I have six books in the Circle C Adventures, ranch stories set in the 1880s, featuring a 12-year-old girl as the main character (and her horse). The series overlaps with Book 2 of the Goldtown series, Tunnel of Gold, so everything’s kind of related. I also have six books of the Circle C Beginnings, which is geared for kids ages 6-8 who are ready for first-chapter books. These stories are the same ranch girl (and her friend, a little boy) but she’s six years old in these little adventures. You can read about them at www.SusanMarlow.com.