Susan Allison-Dean writes of an opportunity to share and delve into her passions.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Writing my first novel was like going for a hike in the woods without a compass. I had no idea where I was going with it, what I would include in it, or how it would get published. I just wrote to get the nagging internal nudge to write out of me.
As I wandered deeper into the writing process, I was excited to find that opportunities abounded to share things that I enjoy – gardening, the wonder of the sea, and helping others to name just a few. Some of the dolphin and whale stories in the novel are based on real experiences that I have had in the blue world. I felt like I relived these magical moments while writing them. It’s a gift to hear readers share the particular parts of the novel that they connected with.
As the novel took more form, the path for it to be published became clearer. My writing coach and editor, Alice Osborn, was a huge contributor to the novel becoming a real book. Along came Debra from Tugboat Design, an awesome graphic designer. I had an agent interested in the book with just one query letter. I chose, however, to author publish in order to get my novel out sooner and learn the publishing process. All this required a lot of time and dedication, but to me it was just as fun as writing the book.
As I write the sequel to this first novel, I have to do more research instead of relying on writing ‘what I know’. It has been an engaging process to interview people who have the knowledge, or experience, I want to include in the new storyline. The more I learn, the more I wonder. I hope that happens to the readers too.
Jill Bradley is a twenty-four-year-old nurse whose life is going great; she has established herself in her new career and she’s looking forward to getting engaged to her high school sweetheart. But faced with a watershed moment, she has to deal with simultaneous family tragedy, injury, and betrayal, and feels it’s way too much to cope with. In a moment of despair, Jill books a trip to a Caribbean island in an effort to escape. While she finds respite and romance, her problems have also packed their own suitcase. Helen Bradley, Jill’s mother, dedicated her entire life to her family like many mothers in the 1970s and 80s. Despite her best efforts, however, she hasn’t always been able to be the type of mother she wished she could be. She has a secret she was hoping would just go away, but it won’t. If she doesn’t share it with Jill it might bring her daughter more harm. I Know You’re There is a mother-daughter journey, celebrating the highs and delving into the lows of family life. Can the power of love heal all things?
Susan Allison-Dean is a nurse who retired from traditional practice in 1999, after working 13 years as a wound, ostomy, continence clinical nurse specialist. She found a second career in gardening after working in a garden centre and completing an organic gardening internship at Highgrove Garden in England. She now co-owns Naturescapes with her landscape designer husband, Robert. She has authored several clinical and horticulture articles and was a contributing author to the bestselling book, Touched By A Nurse. She is passionate about the sea and loves exploring tropical islands. She extends this passion by doing volunteer work benefitting dolphins and whales. Sue splits her time between Armonk, New York and Cary, North Carolina, with her husband and English bulldog, Bubba.