Please tell us a little about yourself and Sukey’s Unfinished Mission.

I’m an active, curious, and playful retired elementary teacher of 39 years. As a lover of nature, animals, family, and children, I seek to write stories that contain these elements in an entertaining way. I diverge from the norms of wife, parent, and grandma by my enthusiasm to invent new places, characters, and adventures every day. Stories break barriers of time, age, and place. I seek to transport the reader into new encounters that refresh and satisfy. Sukey’s Unfinished Mission is such an endeavor, taking the reader to other worlds where Sukey, the main character, is driven to reunite a broken family.

How did you choose the genre of your book?

Actually, fantasy chose me. Trudging along the path of reality, I tripped over a “What if?” that sent me tumbling into a world of endless possibilities: animals spoke, the laws of nature and the universe could be conquered! Such fun, to write and read. I want readers to experience thrills and joy that eventually connect to resolutions of common problems.

Was your storyline something that you envisioned from the beginning, or did you build/change it as you wrote your novel?

For the first book, Grandma’s Sock Drawer, I started with a ridiculous inheritance, a sock drawer, from a grandmother that Sukey, the main character, never knew. I had a hazy vision of the destination, but it crystallized when the characters arrived.

With Sukey’s Unfinished Mission, the story unfolded when Sukey and her two new helpers faced unexpected twists and turns.

How has critical and/or reader response influenced the way you think about your work?

A story without critiques is like wind-whipped hair without a comb. After I’ve done my best writing, honest feedback forces reexamination. Feedback spotlights and stimulates questions that trigger better revisions and tighter writing. I’m thankful for honest feedback, the results are: a better story and a better writer.

Readers’ response to my first book, Grandma’s Sock Drawer was the motivation for the sequel, Sukey’s Unfinished Mission. Readers wanted to know what happened next with Sukey. Their delight with the first book encouraged me to embark on the second.

What are you working on now?

Currently, the revision of my children’s book for ages 8 to 11 years is almost complete. Evert, a somewhat unlikable shrew, seeks to live an independent life following his mother’s advice to “Mind your own business.” He finds it increasingly difficult to do this when his neighbors disturb his tranquility with unexpected problems.

Also, readers’ questions about Sukey’s grandma may prompt a possible prequel to the adventures of Sukey.

Portions of this Q&A were edited for clarity.