Susan E. Hamen
Susan E. Hamen has been writing and editing children’s books for more than twelve years. She currently lives in Belle Plaine, Minnesota, with her husband, Ryan, and her two children, Maggie and Jack. The family shares the house with a very large and lazy orange tabby cat named Oliver, and a petite, well-mannered gray cat named Anya. When not writing, editing, or feeding the cats, Hamen enjoys traveling, reading, spending time in bookstores, drinking hot cocoa with her kids on cold Minnesota nights, and attending musical and sporting events her kids participate in.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I can’t choose just one favorite. I grew up in a house that was filled with books! But the one that immediately comes to mind when I think back upon my childhood is The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. My mother would tuck us snugly up onto her lap in the rocking chair and she would read this story with the same engaging inflection every time. She would point out how wonderfully simple life can be amid the rolling hills of the countryside. With this, and several other books, she instilled in me a deep love of reading.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
How does one narrow it down to only three? Well, if I must! Here are my favorite children’s book authors:
J. R. R. Tolkien
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I’ve always loved books and reading. In third grade, my teacher began giving my class creative writing assignments. My classmates would groan and struggle to hit the bare minimum. I would race home and gleefully craft stories that never stopped at the required length. Reading and writing were my happy place, and I became the kid reading with a flashlight under the covers so as not to get in trouble for staying up late. Becoming an author was the realization of a dream I’ve had since I was very young.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Don’t quit! Grasp every opportunity to flex your creative muscles. Writing poems or short stories that never get published might just be the writing exercises that you need to help create the pieces that do get published!