About Me

I'm Susie, and I'm a writer from Minnesota. I've been writing professionally for 20 years. When I began my journey as a writer, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Lucky for me, I have a rich family history, complete with famous relatives and fascinating details. This led me to write my first two books, Steel Glory: The Life of Shipbuilder Arthur Sewall (1835-1900) and From Down East to Midwest: The Life of Margaret Sewall Hector (1889-1977).

After publishing Down East, I shifted my focus to children's historical fiction and wrote Saving the Schooner and Fire Runner, both loosely based on my family history. In addition to these books, I have written hundreds of articles on topics ranging from history to health to animals. I especially enjoy writing about writing and helping new writers improve their craft. In 2014, I published No Average Writer: How to Stand out in the Writing Crowd and Write Your Best, an e-book for writers of all skill levels. Please visit my Books and Articles pages for more information.

In my free time, I like to do what many writers like to do, read. I don't think it's possible to write, or at least write well, without being an avid reader. When I'm not reading or writing, I enjoy exercising, hanging out with my family, and travelling up north to the beautiful lakes of Minnesota, especially Detroit Lakes, where I spent my summers growing up. Oh, and one more thing about me: I am a dog lover. And while I'm partial to golden retrievers and my boy Riley, I     recently got a vizsla named Rue, who has taught me plenty about patience - a good quality to have as a writer.

Rue and Riley

Rue and Riley

Thanks for visiting my blog, where I offer writing tips and musings as well as answers to common writing questions and inconsistencies. Please contact me if you have any suggestions or ideas for future posts, and feel free to share your own thoughts on writing.

7 thoughts on “About Me

  1. peter farley

    Struggleing with a novel. Would like to find a writer’s critique group to test my material. Honest but helpful comments preferred to humiliating evicerations. Any suggestions?
    thanks,
    farley

    Reply
  2. Kathy

    I would like to join a children’s book club; however, I would also like to take a beginners course. I would like to write for young children, as I have worked at an elementary school, and am involved with my young grandchildren. I have also had a Brownie troop, and I belong to a club that works with children–organizing and participating in entertaining events.

    I just want to make sure that I will be working with a reputable organization.

    Thank you for any suggestions and advice you may be able to give me.

    Reply
    1. Susie

      Post author

      Hi Kathy,

      I would suggest contacting the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators. This national group has many local chapters, so there may be one near you. The SCBWI’s website (scbwi.org) has lots of information for beginning children’s writers. You can also check into writing courses in your vicinity, through local colleges and writing centers. Many online courses are available for children’s writers as well. A Google search will uncover quite a few, and you can narrow it down based on price, format, reviews, etc. Best of luck to you! Your interaction with kids will give you great insight into what inspires them. Understanding your audience is key when it comes to children’s writing…so I would say you’re already off to a good start!

      Reply
  3. Carl Dow

    Dear Susie, I read with interest your piece on the construction of the Red River Cart and then on to your positive blog and ended up here. A very serious question I have regarding the Red River Carts is: if the cart is made entirely of wood, how were the wheels secured so that they wouldn’t spin off or be jerked off in rough country?

    By the way, I live and work in Ottawa, Canada, and am writing a novel with Gabriel Dumont as the protagonist. The question of the cart wheels are important to me.

    Thanks in advance. With all best regards and looking forward, Carl Dow.

    Reply
  4. Susie

    Post author

    Hi Carl,

    Thanks for your interest in my blog and my article on the Red River carts of the Metis. To answer your question, I believe the wheels were, in fact, in need of constant repair, but I will refer you to the research listed at the bottom of my article (https://suite.io/susie-yakowicz/2gbh2y5) for a more in-depth explanation about the construction of the wheels. I’m sure any of those materials will help. You can also contact a historical society in Canada or Minnesota, such as the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County or the Manitoba Historical Society. This article from the Clay County society might be of help: http://www.hcscconline.org/research/secondarypages/redrivercarts.html

    Best of luck on your book! And thanks again for visiting my blog.

    Susie

    Reply
  5. Annette Allen Reuter

    Dear Susie,

    My name is Annette, I am the daughter of Virginia Allen Jensen, the Danish writer of children’s books that you wrote about on your blog some time ago.

    My mother died last week.

    I just wanted to thank you for your nice article about my mother. I am very proud of what she has done for children around the world.

    Best regards
    Annette

    Reply
  6. Susie

    Post author

    Thank you, Annette, for your kind message and for informing me of your mother’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. She was a talented, fascinating woman, and I thoroughly enjoyed researching her life and work. As I believe I mentioned in my article, one of my very favorite childhood books was Lars-Peter’s Birthday. I still own it and will pass it onto my grandchildren one day. Your mother left an indelible mark on the world of children’s literature!

    Reply

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