Allison's Book Bag

Interview with Sue Ann Sellon

Posted on: January 27, 2016

SueAnnSellonBorn in Nebraska City, Nebraska, nationally recognized as the birthplace of Arbor Day, Sue Ann Sellon grew up writing poetry and short stories lying beneath the large oak trees near the Arbor Lodge Mansion. She recalls these memories as some of the best of her childhood. Nebraska City and many other locations referenced in Secrets of the Porch are from Sellon’s own memories of being raised along the Missouri River and the surrounding farming communities.

As a teen with challenges herself, Sellon could relate whole-heartedly to her main character, who is hardened by life but softened by love. Sellon also drew on her experience of many years of mentoring young teens through school programs to write Sophie’s story. In an interview with Feathered Quill, she expresses her hope that “Secrets of the Porch” can give young teens a glimpse of how easily we can be disillusioned. “It is not until we are healthy and spiritually minded that we can find just what God has intended for us.”

Married to her husband and best friend, Dr. Paul Sellon, together they share a love and interest in their historical home and a taste for cooking. Creative by nature, she also loves painting, decorating, and restoring vintage furniture. On her website, Sellon refers to herself as an expert in the arena of estate auctions and garage sales. However, she remains loyal to her first love of writing.

Sellon didn’t get started with writing until later her life. She tells Feathered Quill that she always had a gift for writing. However, it wasn’t until later in life that she pursued it, due to a conversation with her son Jonathon who informed her that he’d be quitting college after semester end to join the Navy. She was disappointed at first, but he wanted to follow his dream and asked her why she wasn’t following mine. At that moment, she started to write. Check back tomorrow to read my review of Secrets of the Porch. Save the date: January 28!

ALLISON: Do you prefer farm or town or city?

SUE ANN: I enjoy all of them but, because of such special memories of the farm, it would definitely be my preference.

SUE ANN: Arbor Day is a significant part of Nebraska City’s history.  I always loved the parades when I was very young.  As I got older, my love for nature changed and I realized that Arbor Day wasn’t just a parade, it was so much more.  I now appreciate the significance of Arbor Day and the true sense of the celebration.  My husband and I purchased a historical home in Nebraska City.  The home was built in 1880 by Robert Payne.  Mr. Payne was a partner with J. Sterling Morton on many business endeavors and on December 19, 1888, Mr. Payne’s daughter, Boatie, married Mr. Morton’s son, Carl, in our home in front of the fireplace.  When our home was built, Mr. Payne planted five oak trees and named the home “Five Oaks” (three of these massive historic trees remain in our back yard).  I still live in this home today and never miss an Arbor Day celebration!

ALLISON: What is a negative experience from your teens that has shaped you?

SUE ANN: My teen years were difficult.  Becoming pregnant at an early age was a quick way to jump start adulthood.  It was a different time and people were quick to judge.  I currently work for an organization that supports young women who are homeless and pregnant.  I am compassionate to their situation and I know that judgement is not mine.

ALLISON: What is a secret you once kept but now have shared?

SUE ANN: I kept a secret of abuse for many years.

ALLISON: You have a taste for cooking and used to own a restaurant. What was your worse food disaster?

SUE ANN: No food disasters.  Can you believe it?  But true.

ALLISON: You refer to yourself as an expert in garage sales. What has been your best garage sale find?

SUE ANN: I love garage sales and estate auctions!   I found a baby crib that I had lost many years prior.  It was the greatest find ever!

ALLISON: What have been the challenges involved with started with a writing career late in life?

SUE ANN: I have a lot of novels in my head and the biggest challenge I face now is finding the time to write all of them…lol!

ALLISON: If you couldn’t write, what would you do instead?

SUE ANN: Writing is my freedom.  It is an incredible escape.  I will never quit writing.  As I mentioned, I work for an organization in Omaha that supports women in crisis but, after my work day is done, I reflect on the day and find that this is when I do my best writing.

ALLISON: When you meet a fan, how do you feel? What greeting do you give?

SUE ANN: I am humbled and grateful when someone loves what I do and is moved by my writing.  I am always thankful in my greeting.

ALLISON: What’s next?

SUE ANN: I am currently working on a third novel titled, Blue Skies, Wheat Fields and God, and a screenplay titled, “It’s Over at 50!”

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2 Responses to "Interview with Sue Ann Sellon"

Sounds like she learned from her difficult teen years. What a kind women.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Her book reads with compassion and kindness too. Enjoy your week!

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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee

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