When I was a kid I wrote fiction but gave it up for a life of crime (no, not really) until I was about 26, when I started writing in the morning before work, first on the bus, then in a coffee shop. This writing became Alice, I Think, which was first published by a small Canadian press called Thistledown in 2000.
I set out to write a comedy that would make my 30-year-old best friend and my 50-year-old godfather laugh. It was only when it came time to get published that I was told that I'd written a teen novel. I am inspired by writers like Sue Townsend and J.D. Salinger as well as Gerald Durrell, Stella Gibbons, John Kennedy Toole and David Sedaris.
When I first started writing my intention was to write a book about a teenager who doesn't fit in, but doesn't allow that fact to crush her. The Alice MacLeod series is my homage to oddballs. I wanted to create a character who has the courage and integrity to find her own way and define herself independently of other people. I've always admired people who can do that.
Lately, I've decided that my goal is to write every kind of book I love to read. After comedies, my next favourite type of book is the horse book. I was a lunatic for horses when I was younger. I owned several horses (for a time when I was quite young I was convinced I was a horse, but let's keep that between us) and I became obsessed with an equestrian sport called dressage. I quit riding when I left home for college, but part of me always thought I could have been a "contender". (In retrospect, I'm not sure why I would have thought that.) Anyway, I got a nice payday when Alice, I Think was made into a TV series, and the first thing I did was rush out a buy a horse and start working on a book about two young dressage riders. The story was initially about two girls, but soon I fell in love with a secondary character, a boy named Alex, and the book became mainly about him. That is my most recent book, Another Kind of Cowboy.
Next up: a detective novel!
To sum up this rather long-winded biography, I always tell people that if one person who's feeling isolated or left out reads my book and laughs and thinks "I'm not alone" or "at least I'm not that bad", then I've achieved my goal. And if one adult reads it and laughs and thinks, "thank god those days are over" it's been a success.
I'm married and my husband James and I live in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island with our dog, Frank, and an assortment of guppies. My horse, Tango, lives down the road.
Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (December 18, 2007)
Amazon: Another Kind of Cowboy
Amazon Kindle: Another Kind of Cowboy
For Alex Ford, dressage is an oasis. In the stable, he can slip into his riding pants, shed the macho cowboy image, and feel like himself for a change.
For Cleo O'Shea, dressage is a fresh start. She's got a new boarding school, absentee parents, and, best of all, no one to remember her past. . . .
They're an unlikely pair. Cleo's looking for love, but Alex has a secret he's not ready to give up, and a flirtation with Cleo is the last thing on his mind. But you can't find romance before you know real friendship, and sometimes the last person you'd ever think of as a friend ends up being the one you need the most.
Susan Juby's trademark humor brings life and laughter to this remarkable story of relationships, mixed signals, and the soul-searching that sometimes takes two.
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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