Hi, my name is Sue Fliess (pronounced "fleece") and I'm the author of numerous children's books including Tons of Trucks, Shoes for Me!, Robots, Robots Everywhere! and Mary Had a Little Lab. My background is in copywriting, PR, and marketing, and my essays have appeared in O the Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post, Writer's Digest, Education.com, and more. My Oprah article was chosen for inclusion in O's Little Books of Happiness! I've also written stories for The Walt Disney Company.
My picture books have received honors from the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators, have been used as curriculum tools in schools, in museum educational programs, have been named to many 'Best Books' lists and have even been translated into French and Chinese. Two of my books have been chosen for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library!
After spending 17 years in sunny Northern California, my family moved to beautiful Northern Virginia, where we live with our English Labradors Charlie and Truman, and way too many mosquitoes.
The long version (if you're up for it):
I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until recently that I figured out what kind of writer I wanted to be. I’ve been writing in some form most of my life. As a child, I wrote poems for my family, and as a teenager I wrote about unrequited love. During college, despite my obvious lack of psychology qualifications, I wrote a “Dear Sue” column for my university newspaper, trying my best to solve friend traumas and heal heartaches. I was constantly collecting quotes and sayings from books, poems - even greeting cards - that spoke to me in some way, and plastering them to my walls. I guess I just liked being surrounded by words.
And that was never more true than when I accepted my first job as a publicist for Penguin’s adult paperback division. I wrote press releases, pitch letters, and met and worked with many amazing authors, editors and members of the media. During that time, I joined a writing group in Manhattan where I worked with a very talented group of writers. When I moved to the Northern California Bay Area, to the heart of Silicon Valley, I held positions including copywriter, Marketing Communications Manager, and Director of Marketing for companies large and small, low to high tech. But even as I wrote product datasheets, signage copy, newsletters and web content, there was a part of me that yearned to write my own stories again.
It wasn’t until I accepted the non-paying-but-constantly-rewarding position of stay-at-home mom of my two boys that I was able to start writing for myself again. When my first child turned two years old, he had an insatiable thirst for all things outer space. And I was inspired to write him a story about it. That, coupled with the encouragement and advice from a children’s librarian and friend, as well as local authors, was when I began my adventure into writing for children. And I’ve been hooked ever since.
I am a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), Children's Book Guild of D.C., and the Author’s Guild, and in both 2007 and 2008 received Letters of Commendation from the SCBWI Barbara Karlin Grant for Picture Book Writing for two of my stories. I was also accepted into the 2008 Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature (RUCCL) based on a young adult novel work-in-progress.
I love to spend time with my family, travel, sing, participate in a children’s writing critique group, visit schools, and write as much as I can. I’ve also been known to buy great shoes now and then. I am thrilled and proud to now be able to contribute my own stories to the wonderful worldwide library of children’s literature.
Nothing like a book almost the same size as me!
I can wiggle my ears.
My last name is pronounced "fleece."
My first job was an ice cream clerk.
I have run two half-marathons. (So, technically, I’ve run a marathon.)
At age 10, I got a 4 ½" splinter in my leg from sliding across a wooden bleacher.
I’m afraid of heights.
I like to sing and was once in a garage band. (and wish I'd stuck with piano, clarinet or guitar)
I don’t like raisins, peas, food with chunks, cockroaches, waking up early, friends moving away, newspaper print on my fingertips, when my children are hurting, and not having enough time to do all the things I want to do.
I love my family, the smell of a new can of tennis balls (really, it's awesome), old friends, a big thunderstorm with lightning, traveling, writing stories and getting to share them, the ocean, how a song can bring you back to an exact moment, sunshine, and listening to live music.