I love behind the scenes stuff in people’s lives (some people would call me nosy, but since I’m a writer, so it’s research…) So I have asked some of my favorite authors to tell me some of that behind the curtain stuff. Plus, being extra pushy, asked them to give away my favorite one of their books to one of my readers.

I start off the series with Susy Flory.

Kathi: When and why did you begin writing?

Susy: I always wanted to be a writer but because books and words were so important to me, I felt inadequate and intimidated and didn’t dare to give voice to my dream. I grew up not ever knowing a real living writer and so I felt intimidated, that writers were an elevated, highly evolved race that I could never be a part of. That changed in my late thirties when I went to my first writers conference at Mount Hermon. I will never forget my very first meal at the conference; I sat with an editor of a major Christian magazine and he was wearing a teeshirt and jeans. Moreover, his hair was messy and he seemed completely normal in every way. I was terrified but he chatted us all up and was very warm and friendly. He wasn’t that different from us after all. At that conference, as I came across more friendly editors, literary agents, and working writers, the idea of becoming a writer finally seemed doable. I could finally voice my dream.

Kathi: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I began to see that my words, sentences, and paragraphs touched people. Just recently, I visited a local group that was using So Long Status Quo as a group study. One woman came up to me before the study and told me a story; she had been reading chapter 1, where I wrote about being inspired by Harriet Tubman’s life of sacrifice and service and deciding to sell my jewelry and use the money to fund village water wells in Africa. This woman shared that she loved to travel and everywhere she went she bought a ring as a souvenir. After reading this particular chapter, she had counted her rings and found that she had accumulated 105! “I only have 10 fingers,” she told me. “I don’t need 105 rings.” She started selling her rings, and some other things, on eBay and so far she’s accumulated over $500 for well projects. When your words begin to make a difference in people’s lives, it’s time to trust yourself.

Kathi:Tell us about what you are working on now.

Susy: I’m collaborating with a blind 9-11 survivor named Michael Hingson on his book THUNDER DOG: A Blind Man, A Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero. It’s an amazing and inspirational story and will be released next fall by Thomas Nelson. I also have a book of true dog miracles called DOG TALES out next June with Harvest House. It’s all dogs for me right now and I don’t mind a bit!

Susy’s newest book is So Long Status Quo: What I Learned From Women Who Changed the World (Beacon Hill, 2009). So Long Status Quo chronicles Susy’s journey when, inspired by nine amazing women such as Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mary Magdalene, she decided to get up off her comfy couch and try to change the world, starting in her own backyard.  Adventure and self-discovery ensued, ranging from a secret humanitarian mission to Cuba to learning how to weld, and from going on a fast to trading her jewelry for water.www.susyflory.com

To enter to win Susy’s book, just comment below by Thursday at Midnight and we will announce the winner next week.

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