The short version:
Suzanne McKenna Link is an independent author whose storytelling is fueled by an inquisitive nature to understand the balance between intimacy and pride within personal relationships. She especially enjoys writing realistic fictional tales of the trials and tribulations of young adults.
Starting out as a graphic artist, Suzanne returned to her life-long dream of writing during a hiatus from her design work and is committed to fulfilling her dream of being a recognized, published author. She lives on Long Island, minutes from her childhood home with her husband, two children, a pony of a dog, and a spoiled cat.
The long version:
I grew up in Bayport, New York.
A tiny suburban town on the South Shore of Long Island about half way between the hubbub of the Big Apple and the exclusive, swanky Hamptons. The youngest of four siblings, I was very much a latchkey kid with lots of unsupervised time. I was a pretty good kid. (just ask my mother!) Well, I wasn’t always so well-behaved, but shhh… my mother doesn’t need to know about those times! Mostly though, I was one of those introspective teens who spent a lot of time writing letters, journals, short stories and poems.
Aside from writing, I enjoy an assortment of artistic outlets.
Photography and drawing, along with the written word, have always given me a way to express myself. In school and at home, I developed a love for words and was often acknowledged for my writing ability. Rewarded with the desired laughter for the satirical humor of my short stories, and further inspired by good grades in writing classes, my passion for writing grew. I studied writing at community college as an undeclared major.
I knew I wanted to write, I just wasn’t sure what.
I fell in love, married my soul mate and began a family.
With the demands of a young family, I put aside my career pursuits and plowed through a plethora of interesting part time jobs and volunteer community services—Hallmark Cards merchandiser, Girl Scout leader and religious education teacher to name a few.
When my kids entered the middle and high school grades, I went back to school and got my graphic design degree.
I landed a job with a small, family newspaper that covers events in the local area.
The Long Island Advance is an old fashioned, unassuming office that puts out three, weekly newspapers. Laying out the paper appeases my visual, creative side, and I simply love it. And what’s more, I adore all my wacky, diverse co-workers. Deadlines are inherently stressful, but I find myself laughing all the time
And, it was at this job that I rediscovered my love of writing.
The two women editors of these newspapers are great advocates for new and undiscovered talent.
Several years ago, I inquired about writing for the papers, and the editors put me to work. It was with their encouragement that I dove in and published my first pieces of writing. I learned a lot, and my writing grew stronger. In addition to my work in the production department, I continue to do freelance articles and photography work for them.
It took me several years to piece together a full-length book.
Saving Toby is my first book, and as an independent author, I was personally responsible for every aspect of writing, publishing and promoting it. I have had an enormous amount of support from my family and friends and assistance from a handful of professionals, like my editor and cover artist, but knowing I have come full circle, I’m extremely proud of this journey.
Despite the bad lighting, long hours and extremely poor pay, I am totally head-over-heels in love with the whole process. And while I can’t quit my day job, I not only dream of future writing successes, I expect them.
I believe I am exactly where I need to be right now, and that’s a really good place to be.
Author photo by Francis De Petris