Author Spotlight — Susan G. Mathis
Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis for an author spotlight.
— When did you first discover you were a writer?
I can’t remember not writing. I’ve taught Language Arts for nine years to 4-8 graders, had my own newspaper column, wrote missions curriculum, and have written just about anything God put in my path.
Before I jumped into the fiction world, I served as the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and the former Editor/Editorial Director of 12 Focus on the Family publications. My first two published books were nonfiction, co-authored with my husband, Dale. I also authored two picture books and am published in various book compilations including three Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Ready to Wed, Supporting Families Through Meaningful Ministry, The Christian Leadership Experience, and Spiritual Mentoring of Teens.
I swore I’d never write fiction, but never say never! My hubby and I went to a book talk/signing, and after we left, I jokingly said, “I could write a story about a quilt!” I then proceeded to tell him the entire story, and he said, “Well, write it!” Thus began my journey of writing historical fiction.
— What is your most difficult writing obstacle?
Transitioning from writing nonfiction to historical fiction was a huge leap but a wonderful discovery in finding my sweet spot. I studied fiction writing for about two years before launching out in this wonderful journey. I read books about the craft, went to writing conferences, and learned from mentors, crit groups, and more, and I’m thrilled to dedicate the rest of my writing career to this genre. Now, by next summer, I’ll have four published historical fiction books on the market.
My debut novel released on St. Patrick’s Day. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy is the story of a 1850s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.
My current release is Christmas Charity that’s now available on Amazon. It’s the story of Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill who find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter? She hopes so, before Christmas comes.
Katelyn’s Choice is book one of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age that releases March 15, 2019 with Lighthouse Publishing. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and General Sheridan—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother, Thomas, the handsome boatsman. Katelyn gains popularity with her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears possibly damaging presidential conversations, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger her president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams.
Sara’s Surprise releases July 5, 2019. It’s the story of Sara McNully and Sean Graham who must navigate the challenging waters of work and romance. Sara befriends Sean’s 6-year-old daughter, Madison, but when Sara’s trust is shattered, can Sara learn to trust Sean with her heart or will she break two hearts and run away?
— What is your current work in progress?
I’m currently working on Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series. It’s the story of twenty-year-old Devyn McKenna who is nervous about working on Dark Island in the imposing Castle called The Towers, a 28-room castle complete with dungeons, underground passageways, and castle secrets. Devyn struggles to find the self-confidence she needs to carry out her duties as a housemaid in the summer home of the wealthy president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Frederick Bourne. As she serves the likes of Brig. Gen. Cornelius Vanderbuilt III and others, her curiosity for learning grows. But when she is accused of stealing his plans for expanding the NYC subway and learns the man she loves, Brice, and her brother ‘borrowed’ the plans, her faith is tested like never before.
First page of Christmas Charity
Monday, December 2, 1864
Wolfe Island, Canada
Susan swung her teaching satchel over her shoulder as she took wee Elizabeth’s hand with her free one. Walking home with five of her siblings—who were also her students—always put a smile on her face and a spring in her step. She could simply be the twenty three-year-old big sister, not their teacher, and on this sunny December afternoon her walk home with them felt nothing short of heavenly. She glanced out at the mighty St. Lawrence River still flowing freely past her beloved island home and turned to her eight-year-old sister, Cecelia. “The river hasn’t frozen over yet. Amazing.”
Cecelia pouted. “I don’t like it when it’s all frozen and no one can come to the island.”
“I know, but we’ve learned how to get by, haven’t we?” Susan let go of Elizabeth’s hand to pat Cecelia’s unruly red hair. I do hope her hair deepens to a nice auburn, like mine.
Six-year-old Elizabeth gazed up at Susan with big, teary eyes. “Daniel says I’m a stupid baby. I’m not. I’m six and know my letters and numbers and can write my name.”
Susan’s eyes narrowed as she fairly growled. She whipped around to see Daniel, Robert, and James tossing rocks at a tree. So much for a heavenly walk.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan G. Mathis
Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy and her Christmas Charity novella take readers to a time and place few have gone as does Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series that releases in March, 2019.
Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters. Find out more at http://www.SusanGMathis.com. Find out more at http://www.SusanGMathis.com.
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