Question: Susie, Twee' is an unusual way for a Psychologist to begin her author debut. When did you first think about writing this book?
Susie: Actually, I didn't begin the process with any idea of Twee' in mind. I started out to write about my aging Morgan horse one spring when I felt we were entering our last riding season together.
Question: Why was that?
Susie: In the spring of 2011, I sensed something was wrong when I began to ride him. It felt as though he was telling me. It was so strong that I wrote his resume for Heaven.
Question: Seriously? You did that before he died?
Susie: Yes and I cried because it felt sad and good and right all at the same time. But I tucked it away and rode him for a while. Then over the course of the next few months I had the vet out several times and although we couldn't figure it out, my horse kept losing ground.
Question: So what happened?
Susie: Lots of things and that's the making of another book in the works. I did buy another horse because my 25 year old guy couldn't be ridden by August. Then in early December I had to put him to rest. That's it.
Question: I'm sorry to hear that. But how did Twee' come of this experience?
Susie: Well, as I was writing about my horse I began to research how I might want to publish and market my book. As I did this I realized that this would be a huge undertaking for me. I also discovered that it could take years to attract an agent or for a big publishing company to work with me. I didn't feel that I could afford that much time at my age so I developed Coda Grove Publishing.
Question: I know this is hard work, but why so huge for you?
Susie: I first learned to use a computer for word processing when I entered graduate school for my Clinical Psychology degree in 1999. Then beginning 2003 while private practice I continued to learn more about spread sheets and billing, but I had no idea how to do online marketing until I decided I wanted to write and publish.
Question: What made you decide to jump into this huge undertaking?
Susie: First I'll tell you that I really fought against the whole idea because I had been counting the costs: in time, hard work, research, marketing, and financial investment with little, if any guarantee of success. I fought it, but it continued to feel like I should do it. I believed that it was something God had for me to do yet. But, like I said I didn't want to. It wasn't my first choice at this point in my life.
Question: Why? What did you want to do instead?
Susie: My husband retired in 2011 and enjoying his life. I figured pretty soon I could join him and we get along so well, after 42 years, that I thought maybe we could move someplace warm and ride our horses all year round. I don't like to ride in winter.
Question: That was quite a temptation to quit this pursuit. What made you finally decide to publish?
Susie: For many months I had started a number of book ideas, but none felt like the first book I wanted to produce. The research indicated that the first book was vitally important. If people liked it, then they would want to read more. I had a lot I wanted to produce, so this first book became crucial. One day I just sat down and offered up a prayer that if God wanted me to write and publish then He needed to help me choose and finish just one book. Then this idea for an allegory came to me. It seemed to just appear out of nowhere. I wrote the entire first draft that day.
Question: Do you mean you had not thought of writing a children's book before?
Susie: No. I'd thought about it. I even wrote a book about my colleagues child. It just didn't feel like my first book. However I've saved it for another series I have planned.
Question: So Twee' was born in one day, following a prayer of desperation.
Susie: Yes. It was kind of like she downloaded: her name, her story and the ending. Even more interesting than that was that I wrote two more Twee' stories in my head during a 3 hour road trip while husband was driving. Of course a lot of editing came later.
Question: Wow. Okay so tell me what you like best about Twee'.
Susie: There is a lot to like about Twee'. She is adorable, irresistible really and much like a charmingly self-absorbed three year old child. She is self-taught too! She is willing to grow.
Question: I know Twee' is an allegorical story. Is there a message you want to convey in Twee'?
Susie: There are lots of lessons and messages in Twee'. I believe there is something for everyone. Her story is about thoughts, feelings and actions and how they interconnect and influence each other and how they can change. It is also about things in our lives we may not have wanted, but that may also, in the end, turn out to be something we actually needed. It's also about how we relate to ourselves and to others in our world. I even discovered, when I began writing a PDF: "Questions and Activities for Parents, Teachers, Caregivers and Friends of Twee'", that Twee' can also teach us about feelings people may experience when they are bullied, or when we are mean to another who is different.
Question: Some folks may see something more personal or even religious about Twee'. Did you write it for those reasons.
Susie: As I wrote, I felt there was something personal about it for me. I believe there have been many times in my life when I kicked against something I found difficult or unwanted. I also wonder if others may see something personal about their lives in Twee': for example people dealing with aging family members, or children who fight against parent restrictions may see something about that in Twee'. Finally, yes I recognize the possibility of a religious interpretation for Twee'.
Questions: Did you name the boulder the Rock as a reference to God or Christ? It's very scriptural.
Susie: As I said the book really wrote itself, but yes I did see it...the religious reference at the time.
Question: What would make you really happy about Twee'?
Susie: Honestly? I'd love for Twee; to experience as wonderful a following as Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, which was also an allegory. People love the Giving Tree. It makes us moms cry because of all the selfless giving of the tree to the boy. However, I recognize that the boy, unlike Twee' never seems to realize how selfish he was all those years. Twee' learned from her mistake. As a result of growing awareness, Twee' became grateful. And I yearn for children and parents to spend Twee' time together.
Question: Do you think you'll get back to writing about your horse anytime soon?
Susie: I don't know when that may happen. Right now I have to market Twee' and follow up with the other two in her series. I also have plans for a gift type book of Twee' wisdom. I also have another series in mind along with a helpful parenting book.
Question: I guess then I better let you get back to work.
Susie: Yes and Thank You.
Between you and me: There is nothing more important than healthy relationships for making our lives rich and rewarding.
The ways we come to know ourselves, our God, our closest family members and friends and how we develop and nurture healthy relationships is vital to our well being. In fact, we simply do not live well without good and healthy relationships? But where do we start?
Let's begin with Chairo?
Chairo is the Greek word meaning 'Joy' and it is also the center of the Greek word for 'thanksgiving.' I begin with this because I believe we start best by evaluating our relationships with friends and family members by looking at how thankful we are for ourselves! Do you count your blessings more, for example than you spend time complaining?
Attitude of Gratitude
Begin today by developing an attitude of gratitude for yourself. If this isn't your current habit, begin by thinking something honestly good about you. Practice that for a while. Then add one-new-good thought each day. Focus on the good and don't give any room for negative thoughts. Practice, practice, practice. It will help change the way you think, feel and act. It may also alter some of the ways in which you see others behave toward you. Remember this: Between You and Me: You Matter and I Care!
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!