Friday, March 6, 2009

Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Spotlights Our Own Susan May!

Thanks for having me as a guest author. Being a member of this group, I’m honored that my peers are shining the light on me.

My book, Nick’s New Heart, is the story of my son’s battle with heart disease. He was born with a three chambered heart. He had a heart surgery at five days old, another at three months old, again at one year old and received a heart transplant before he turned two. In my book I share Nick’s story and how our family survived and thrived while dealing with having a chronically ill child as a member. In a few weeks Nick will celebrate eighteen years with his new heart, and next month will turn twenty.

I wrote Nick’s New Heart because I believed there were other families that could benefit from hearing Nick’s story. Also people in general need to know about the life saving gift of organ donation. Even with what sounds like a sad subject there is a lot of joy intertwined.

As a writer, I’m not sure I’m a good one, but I do know that I had a story to tell. One that needing telling. I had to believe strongly in the need for my book because I received over 300 rejections, some of which were encouraging rejections, before I found the right publisher for my book. Tiger Iron Press believed in my story and the need for the story to be told. Working with a small press I received the attention that I wouldn’t have gotten with one of the big guys. I got to have input in regards to the font, paper, title, cover, color –everything. My thoughts might not have been used, but at least I was asked.

It was one of the most exciting days of my life when I got to hold Nick’s New Heart for the first time, all of my hard work and hours of being in a funk after a rejection had paid off. I’m proud of the results.

I’m currently working on romances targeted at the Medical and Presents line for Harlequin and doing promotion for Nick’s New Heart. It has been said you are either a fiction writer or a nonfiction writer, but I’m determined to write both. I would like to write the nonfiction that interests me and all the romance I have stored in my file and mind.

I’ve enjoyed cooking for you today. I would like to give a copy of Nick’s New Heart to someone who makes a comment. So let me know what you think or ask me any questions.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Hello readers. Susan is tied up on a family matter today and may not be able to reply to your comments. However, she will read them as soon as possible. Susan, if you get to a computer today, I wanted to share my memory of you at the last Moonlight and Magnolia's conference. You were sitting at the author signing with your book on display, looking so much the professional and yet so much the proud momma at the same time! I'm glad you hung in there to get this book a home.

Dianna Love said...

Susan - Congratulations on seeing your book reach publication. And trust me - you can be both a fiction and nonfiction writer. I haven't read Nick's New Heart, yet, but have a copy that's in my ever growing TBR pile. The good news is that when I get a break I go through them like a termite through wood.

I'm so amazed at anyone who has raised a child to begin with but really awed when it comes to things like dealing with an infant going through heart surgery that is only 5 days old. I can't envision the procedure on someone so tiny. I would say God had a purpose for your son and your family must be very strong.

Cyrano said...

First of all, I am honored to know someone like you. Your strength as a mother and passion as an author are truly inspiring. God bless you and your courageous son and family.
I didn't know you had been rejected 300 times. What were these pubishers thinking?
I'm so glad that Tiger Iron Press saw the need to publish a story like yours. And how wonderful that you are now pursuing a fiction writing career. I wish you all the luck in the world in your endeavor and just know you'll be able to break the misconception that a writer is either a non fiction or fiction talent.
All the best to you and your family.
Thank you so much for your post and have a lovely weekend,

Christy LaShea said...

Great Post Susan! And I can't wait to read your book. I can't imagine having my child go through all your son has - but what a blessing that he's 18 years old. I know you are a proud momma!

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Susan,

Great post and I'm looking forward to reading your book. I won't even try to say I know what you're going through, even though my youngest had surgery on her head at 8-days old to repair an injury to her skull by the forceps. They said IF she lived, she'd be paralyzed and/or retarded.
There's a wonderful God on watch in heaven since she was neither. But once her one surgery was over, our ordeal was over and you, on the other hand,have had to face so much more...even now.

I applaud your conviction to see this message from YOUR heart published for others to share and be strengthened. May God again bless your son and your family.


Sally Kilpatrick said...


Don't doubt what a good writer you are! You are an inspiration on so many levels--we all need to hear about those 300 rejections and how you kept your conviction through them.

Maxine Davis said...

I am honored to be in a group with you. You certainly have what it takes to be a mother and an author - both of which are tremendously time consuming and takes a tenacious yet loving person. You are a lady I am proud to know.
Stay strong,

Mary Marvella said...

Susan, your courage and determination are an inspiration to us all!

Betsey said...

As a mother, I appreciate your sharing YOUR heart. I know it will be an encouragement to many.

Mary Marvella said...

By the way, that's a beautiful photo of you! You been drinking from the Fountain of Youth? I know you're older than twenty something!

One/Six Photography said...

Amazing! I especially loved that you still pushed on after 300 rejections. It touched me that you had such conviction to push on for your's and Nick's story to be told. Very neat!

Ana Aragón said...


I of course know your story and have read Nick's New Heart and am still amazed you kept after it--even after being rejected many times over. I don't know that I'd have had the fortitude to do that.

You're an inspiration to us all...and a dear, dear friend.


Susan May said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. When I agreed to be the guest on this date I had no idea what life would be handing out. I was most dependable in high school and not much has changed, so I made sure Debbie got my post early because Nick would be having SUrgery on Tuesday. That was moved to yesterday. We were afraid we would lose him. Today I'm proud to say he is alive, and breathing on his own in ICU. He did MUCH better than expected in surgery and today. Thanks for being my friends, my groupies, my supporters and for the prayers.

Tami Brothers said...


I LOVE your book. I have personally "sold" four copies to people I've told about it. My mother-in-law read mine and went right out and bought her own copy the last time she was out here. You are an awesome writer and I can't wait to read some of your fiction stories.

You and Nick are both in my thougts and my heart.

I wish you all the very, very best.


Carol Burnside said...

I'm proud to know you and count you as a friend. You know I loved my copy of Nick's New Heart, though I had to keep the tissues handy. What an amazing, heartbreaking and yet uplifting story. Your love came through on every page!

Thanks for the news on Nick's current condition. We're all pulling for him.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read your book. I have been through the transplant process with my husband - I cannot imagine how hard it must have been waiting for your child to be transplanted. Thanks for not giving up on getting your story out, and I hope Nick is back home soon. Take care of yourself,

Mary Marvella said...

Yay, Susan!

Anyone got an extra minute? If you can spare one, please visit the www.pinkfuzzyslipperwriters and comment on the blog for Saturday. Our guest, Romily Bernard is new and so sweet.

If you can spare two minutes, Heather Graham blogged Friday.

I promise not to use this as ad space.

Linsey Lanier said...

Thanks, Susan, for sharing this touching story. I'm so glad you wrote this book. I'm sure it will encourage a lot of families. You are a strong, courageous lady. And Nick, who must have inherited those genes, is lucky to have you. So glad to hear he's doing better.

There are plenty of writers who write both fiction and nonfiction. Good luck with your romances. Hope you sell lots of both kinds of books!


Dianna Shuford said...

Susan, I admire your strength in writing on such a personal topic. You not only lived the circumstance, but published it in order to encourage others. That speaks of great character and courage.

I've not gotten to read you're book yet, but I look forward to having time to sit down with it.

J Perry Stone said...

When I think about it Susan, I think it takes some of the same stuff to be both sorts of writer.

With non-fiction, you obviously need to write about a topic for which you care greatly. There's not anything you could care more about than your son and his struggles. Your struggles.

But the same must also be said for your fiction endeavors. People always say, "write characters I care about." I think if you can, that really comes through.

As for your fortitude, that, in itself, is a blog topic, an M&M workshop or a conversation I need to have with you. Please tell us the hows and whys of it because I'm seriously lacking.

SO glad things went well with Nick's surgery. All the attentions of this community were directed towards you. Hope you could feel it and be comforted by it.