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Monday, February 08, 2010

FEATURE AUTHOR: Susan Pennington-Hurtubise

Susan Pennington-Hurtubise was born in Norwich , Connecticut , in 1956. To become a published author was her dream. The mother of three and grandmother of six, she found little if any time to devote to her writing. Her children grown and her grandchildren rapidly growing up before her very eyes, Susan found herself once more inspired to get her new career off the ground. The time had finally come to begin working on “The Adventures of Toby and Doby.”

This story, originally created in the early 1960s by Susan’s aunt, Olive, has been taken off of the shelf and dusted for the very last time. Now, at last, it is complete and will soon be followed up with more upcoming and exciting adventures.

Growing up in Norwich , Susan spent much of her time bouncing back and forth between her three passions, bowling at the local Ten Pin, horseback riding at a stable in nearby Preston and, of course, writing. After graduating from St. Bernard’s High School in 1974, she married and relocated to Texas for three years. Upon returning to Connecticut , she and her family resided in New Haven until 1986, when they moved to the northern Adirondack Mountains in northern New York .

Susan trained to be a veterinary assistant and an LPN. She also took a course in scriptwriting. After working as an LPN for ten years, she was looking for something new and exciting to do, so she trained to become a card dealer at the new casino opening on the Mohawk reservation near where she lived. Not once did she let go of her dream of becoming a writer.

Susan now resides in Lancaster , Ontario , Canada , with her new husband.

How did you start out your writing career?

Gosh I have been writing as long as I can remember...in the 1st grade I wrote a poem about my kitty, sure wish I still had it...As a single mom, it was difficult to find the time to devote seriously to my writing so I just dabbled...A couple years ago, I ended up on Workers Compensation from my job and lo and behold I finally had the time...First I self published and then was fortunate enough to be picked up by Strategic.

What was your most difficult scene to write?

Actually none of them...for some reason writing comes easily to me and once I start the words just seem to flow...

Have you had a "Wow" moment since you have been an author? What made it a "Wow" moment for you?

I would have to say visiting my grandchildren’s classes at school...The expressions on their faces..the pride that gleemed from their little eyes lighting up their tiny faces..that was what made it a "WOW" for me.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I am hoping to re-introduce a simpler more innocent time to today’s children...God knows they need it...a time when children were allowed to be children...when life was fun and imagination ran wild...each book also offers morals, values and some simple life lessons about how to treat other people, that lying is wrong, that you should always listen to your parents...some even teach children about society events, how to handle them and what they are about...going to school for the first time, Holiday customs such as Christmas and Easter. I even did research on Easter...did you know that the Easter Bunny came from Germany and was originally the Oschter Haws...

What’s playing on your CD while you’re writing?

A little bit of everything...I enjoy most music but tend to favor the golden oldies and 1940's big band sound.

If you could choose to be a superhero for a day, who would you pick and why?

My mom...because she made my life magical and left this world long before I could learn all she had to teach me...I would learn and try to touch as many children with her love and wisdom as possible...

If you could be on a Reality TV show, which one would it be and why?

With out question 'Dancing With the Stars', I love to dance and I think it would be the most relaxing and exhilerating way to spend a few weeks of my life...It would also teach me disipline and whip me into shape lol

What is the neatest place you have ever visited so far and why?

I guess I would have to choose Disney...after all it is a Magical Kingdom where children can run and play and laugh all day just what my books hopefully will allow parents to help their little ones do all the time and not just on vacation...it is also my highest of highest goals that one day someone at Disney gets their hands on one of my books...because in my heart I know that Toby and Doby are Disney material 100% and will look amazing on the big screen..once a Disney exec reads it, they WILL be hooked...and I am not one to brag, I am just telling the truth...

If you had $100.00 and had to spend it today, what would you buy? Why?

Something for each of my grandchildren...they're what life is all about.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That writing may be used as a great outlet for all you wildest ideas, creativity and imagination...that it isn't hard for everyone, and that all you have to do to get started is pick up a pad and pencil and start...writing is easy, it's the editing afterwards that is tough but there are lots of people who can help you with that.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

Just to be cautious I would have to say...there are so many publishers, you hope to get one that has your best interest at hand as well as an earnest dedication to your story...They have to believe in it too. Haven't really been in it long enough..hopefully I will never get bad advice...

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

DO have fun with it...write about what you know, what you love, anything just write, in the end you will be surprised at what you have accomplished...DON'T think you can't...because anything is possible if you only dream...

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Probably that I spend way to much time farming and cooking on Facebook...lol...but I have to admit I have made some really great friends there and I have even had the good fortune of re-connecting with 2 of my best friends from highschool whom I hadn't spoken to in over 30 years...gotta love FB...

Our theme for this month is Writing The Book. What advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?

The Little Engine That Could...an absolutely inspiring childrens book for kids of all ages...just say it over and over...I know I can, I know I can...

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Hello Again

Toby, Doby, Suzy and I knew you’d come back for more. We are sure that you will enjoy, “Toby and Doby Go to School”, just as much as their first adventure.

In this adventure, Suzy is very excited! She is off to Kindergarten and can’t wait to share the good news with her friends. At first, Toby and Doby are happy for their new friend, but as time goes by, they miss her, and are very sad.

In this story, we hope to teach children about how much fun school is, as well as what they can expect when they go to school. We hope to answer their biggest question: What is school??

Toby and Doby learn all about school thanks to their friend Suzy. She brings home new stories, and fun things to do, that she learns each day.

We also hope to help the little ones left behind adjust, to the loneliness; they feel when their older siblings go off to school, leaving them behind.

“Toby and Doby Go to School”, will hopefully make the adjustment to school, easier for both parents and children.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

The best way would be my e-mail :


The Adventures of Toby and Doby

The Adventures of Toby and Doby tells the charming tale of two brother mice who one day while playing in a basement, meet the little girl, Suzy, who lives upstairs. As you would expect they are frightened at first but with a little coaxing, they come out of their hole and the three become very unique and special friends. This is their introduction to literary society, there first step hopefully on their way to becoming movie stars.

In this their first adventure, they learn not to judge by appearances, that telling the truth is always better then telling a lie, that parents are fair and that if you listen to them, they will listen to you.

It is a tender story of friendship, love and family; told chapter style to make for some enjoyable parent/child bonding moments at the end of a busy day. Each chapter ends leaving you as well as your child curious about what will happen next.

Leave a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of The Adventures of Toby and Doby

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Anonymous said...

Dream that is what life is all about. One's dreams are special and yes, It is important to make ones dreams come true!

Rachel Wentz said...

I have to tell everyone that "The Adventures of Toby and Doby" is my all time favorite children's book. I have 3 children, ages 1, 3 and 8, they all LOVE this book. I can't wait to read the the entire series.

Anonymous said...

Your books teach children, (and adults), lessons in life, ethics, and blessings. What you've been through and how you held on to your dreams leaves me in awe. Way to live your dreams. Your books help and educate many. Feel good about what you've committed yourself to. The world certainly benefits by your writings. I read them. They made a difference in my life, and I'm an adult. Thank-You!
Please keep writing.

Anonymous said...

The best book I've ever read to my children. They not only helped my children, they helped me. We all learned a lot from them. Looking forward to the next. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Love them all. Keep writing! Your helping the younger generation......AND THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!

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