Meet the Author
Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has ten in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Peyton’s Promise, Rachel’s Reunion, and Mary’s Moment. Book eleven, A Summer at Thousand Island House, comes out in July. Susan’s book awards include three Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist.
Before Susan jumped into the fiction world, she served as the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and the former Editor/Editorial Director of twelve Focus on the Family publications. Her first two published books were nonfiction. Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage with an Indonesian and Spanish version, and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness, have helped thousands of couples prepare for marriage. Susan is also the author of two picture books, Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventure. Moreover, she is published in various book compilations including five Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Ready to Wed, Supporting Families Through Meaningful Ministry, The Christian Leadership Experience, and Spiritual Mentoring of Teens. Susan has also written several hundred published magazine and newsletter articles.
Susan is president of American Christian Fiction Writers-CS (ACFW), former vice president of Christian Authors Network (CAN), a member of Christian Independent Publishing Association (CIPA), and a regular writer’s contest judge. For over twenty years, Susan has been a speaker at writers’ conferences, teachers’ conventions, writing groups, and other organizational gatherings. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to the islands she loves.
An interview with author Susan G. Mathis.
How did you get started in your writing career? My mother quips that I started my writing career when I signed my crayon drawings—on the foyer wall—with a great big “S”! Though I’m not sure that was the start I planned on, I really can’t remember not writing.
What life experience, education, and training helped you become an author? As a published author, a freelance writer and editor, a publication’s consultant, a writing coach, and a speaker, I’m simply passionate about working with words. And as the Former Editorial Director at Focus on the Family of 12 unique publications and Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine, I’ve written hundreds of magazine, newsletter and newspaper articles. I consider my writing as a ministry and it’s been multi-faceted, so I pretty much do whatever my hand finds to do. I’ve taught Language Arts for nine years to 4-8 graders, had my own newspaper column, developed and wrote missions curriculum, and have written all kinds of things. It’s been a really fun journey! But I want to always remember why I am writing. In 2 Corinthians 9:12-15, Paul is talking to the Corinthians about giving and sowing into other people’s lives. I believe this is my calling as a writer. “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
What were the first two books you wrote? Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage (2008). Since my late husband, Dale, had two masters degrees in counseling and I love helping people, we served in the premarital ministry at our church. But when we started, we couldn’t find a good premarital book to help couples, so we decided to write it. What a fun and rewarding experience that was, so a few years later we did it all again when we wrote a premarital guide for remarrying couples, The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness. Both The ReMarriage Adventure and Countdown for Couples are easy-to-read premarital guides that will help individuals, couples, pastors, counselors, small groups and/or premarital classes prepare for the adventure of remarriage. We also include helpful questions and discussion starters. We hope, one day, all churches will prepare their couples to marry, and using these books would be an easy way to do that.
What is your writing sweet spot? I’m officially hooked on writing fiction! I can’t believe I get to do what I love to do every day! My first historical fiction, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, is about an 1850’s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.
My first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma, and Katelyn’s Choice have each won multiple awards, and book three, Peyton’s Promise, came out May 2022. Rachel’s Reunion is coming out October 7, 2022. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward and Colleen’s Confession are also award winners. Peyton’s Promise and Rachel’s Reunion releases in 2022. My book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and two Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist.
What projects are you working on now? I just finished Mary’s Moment, book four of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series. Then I’ll get busy writing my next three books.
What has been one of the greatest challenges in your writing career? For over twenty years I worked with words in my day job, so at the end of the day, I rarely had enough creativity to write for fun. But eight years ago, I left my work as an editorial director to write full-time, and it’s been a little piece of heaven. Being able to do what God created me to do—write!—is an amazing and rewarding experience.
What do you enjoy most about writing? Eric Liddel said, “When I run, I feel His pleasure,” and I can sure relate. When I write, I feel His pleasure! I love sharing what God has taught me through the years, and I hope my readers will learn some things and be spared some of the hard knocks I experienced along the way.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I enjoy serving in our church, in the community, and around the globe. I enjoy traveling as well, both domestically and internationally. It’s simply a joy to explore this amazing world and learn about all the cultures and people. But I must admit, visiting and FaceTiming with my precious family around the world is always a highlight of any day. My 5, 8, 10, and 11 year old granddaughters fill my world with laughter, love, and learning with every visit, whether online or in person.
What is your go-to food or special treat? I’m half Irish and half English, so tea is definitely my comfort drink! I can’t imagine not sipping tea from a china teacup as I write. That’s why you’ll see a steaming cup of tea on my desk and in my novels.
What is your life verse? Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Through all the challenges and triumphs of life, His joy remains a plumb line for me. But Jeremiah 29:11 follows close behind, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”
Children: a wonderful son and daughter
Where you grew up: Watertown, NY
Grandchildren: four granddaughters
Current home: Colorado Springs
Countries visited: 48+
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