Midwestern Author Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of eBook with Global Print Run

Coverage of the paperback release of Secrets from the Columbia City Post and Mail newspaper. [View the scanned version here]…

Midwestern Author Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of eBook with Global Print Run

Columbia City, Indiana – When Hoosier writer Susie Duncan Sexton inherited an old IBM computer from her late, beloved sister Sarah, she had no idea just a few years later she would be a published author. “It’s true that playing with email and writing letters to the editor [primarily referencing the primary and presidential election of 2008] helped me re-discover my voice. My mother loved to write throughout my childhood and beyond, and we always had books and magazines and great conversation in our home. I passed that on to my son, but it had been awhile since I had put pen to paper or, in this case, fingers to keyboard.”

Flash forward a few years later to September 2011. Open Books published Sexton’s first book, a collection of memoir-style essays, Secrets of an Old Typewriter. From the Open Books’ website: “This book may be about small town life, but the ideas contained within it are expansive. The written accounts of the life of a ‘smart and sassy small town girl’ are as urbane as those of any city dweller. From ’50s and ’60s nostalgia to modern-day values, and from the drama and insight of America’s great books and motion pictures to politics, religion and animal rights, Susie Duncan Sexton’s ‘secrets’ always hit the mark with unexpected candor and a unique perspective.”

Melissa McIntyre, a librarian at New Mexico State University at Alamogordo, wrote in her review of the book, “It was an enjoyable read. Something to curl up on the front porch and enjoy a crisp fall morning with…engrossing enough to keep me captivated page after page.” Martin L. Davis II added as part of his review on Amazon, “I was reminded of Vonnegut…at times poignant, scathing, & compassionate. It is worth a second read,” with J.A. Hernandez of jensreview.com noting, “Poetic, energetic. Sentimental, temperamental.”

Now, one year after the initial release, Open Books, due to popular demand, is augmenting the book’s successful digital distribution with a print edition, available worldwide through various retailers, including Amazon.com and the publisher’s website. “It’s funny,” Sexton remarks, “that while this digital age of social media and blogging brought me back to writing, I am most overjoyed that I shall now get to hold this book in my hands. I love my Kindle and iPad, but there is nothing like turning the pages of a book, sharing it with others, and being able to tuck it into one of my shelves…nestled beside works of my favorite authors. I guess I shall always be that nostalgic Baby Boomer at heart.”

Sexton writes two monthly columns (one for hometown newsblogTalk of the Town and the other for the Columbia City Post and Mailnewspaper) and maintains a prolific presence on her Goodreads’ author profile blog and various Facebook fan pages. She comments, “I would like to thank my son Roy who has introduced all of these worlds to me. I grew up in a small town, but I always found the power of film and television and literature so transporting. I find that to be true now with Facebook and other sites. I can meet like-minded souls the world over and have these great virtual ‘cocktail party conversations’ online, among new friends in Ireland or Australia and my next door neighbors.”

Roy Sexton, son of Don and Susie, grew up in Columbia City and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he serves as vice president of marketing and planning for the law firm Trott & Trott, P.C. and has helped found a theatre company there, The Penny Seats. He holds degrees from Wabash College, Ohio State, and the University of Michigan. He notes, “I am so proud of my mom. She is doing what she loves. She has put together a book that runs the gamut from classic film and Howdy Doody and Playhouse 90 to her time on the stage (Wagon Wheel, Arena Dinner, and First Pres theatres) to animal rights and religious freedom to Russell Crowe and Susan Boyle and back again…yet it is all thematically coherent and an absolute pleasure to read.”

Susie grew up in Columbia City, Indiana, and lived for a couple of decades in nearby Fort Wayne. After graduating twelfth in her class at Ball State University (winning the first ever John R. Emens award for “most outstanding senior”), she returned with her husband Don (who is originally from Shelbyville, Indiana) to her hometown where she has worked as a teacher, a publicist, museum curator, and a health lecturer. Describing her writing, Susie says, “I willingly share nostalgic trips to the past as I have now achieved such an old age that no one remains who can question the authenticity of my memory of places, people and events that were very much never what they were cracked up to be!” Susie writes extensively about her youth and adulthood in Indiana, referencing many beloved Hoosier places and figures from the 1950s to today.

Fellow author Donald O’Donovan sums up the appeal of Sexton’s first book nicely, “I’m going to confess that I didn’t read Secrets from cover to cover, just like that. I picked an episode at random, then another, then another and another. I think the book is meant to be read that way, informally, as if you were gabbing with the author over the back fence. Secrets of an Old Typewriter is a scintillating pastiche of memories, anecdotes and portraits that the author has quilted together in a very agreeable way.”


Secrets of an Old Typewriter is now available in paperback via the publisher’s website at www.open-bks.com and via Amazon.com!

Some neat comments in response to the above article – thanks, all!

Patty Golden: “I love your mother, Roy!”

Paul Clifford Schrade: “I have a great admiration for Susie the woman and also as a writer who can dip her roving eyes in so much sweet nostalgia and keep the best part of America so vibrantly alive! Interesting that the cyber world that has brought Susie alive has been a Berlin wall for me and holds me back, but I shout with all my heart, Susie dear…citizen extraordinaire…I’m so glad you were emancipated!!!…you are such a delight as a writer and a person that you must face the risk of winding up in the Smithsonian! You are my female Charles Kuralt! {Would rather tour the back roads of America with you instead of Charles, though}”

Donald O’Donovan: “Congrats on the print copy, Susie. I agree that a book really needs to be someTHING that you can hold in your hands, carry around with you and pass from hand to hand. And, of course, make notes in the margins!”

Pat Evanatz-Mossburg: “I got her book in the mail yesterday!! Looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and her book this weekend!”

Mark Ross: “Great news, Susie! I see many people young and old (like us!) reading books while traveling on the NYC transit system as well as elsewhere and that adds up to a lot of people, so… the print edition of your book’s gonna do just fine, yes! Happy for you my dear. All the best! ♥”

Pamela Forbus: “I have said the exact thing to many! FB has a magical way of bringing like minded people and kindred spirits from all over the world together! Absolutely, a magnificent experience to behold! Today’s technological possibilities are truly astounding! ! Thank you, Roy!”

Bob Kellogg: “Roy, what a great article! I know you must be very proud of your Mom. And, I can just see your Granddad Roy looking down with that infectious smile and great pride. He had a particular posture and attitude when he was proud of something, and I can see him now.”

Tressa Marie: “I agree with all the above comments about you Susie! You are truly a wonderful, amazing, compassionate lady and an inspiration to many. Much admiration and respect to you always! Also love, thanks and best wishes ♥ xxxx ♥”

Diane Karen Doucette: “Susie, I don’t know you, but with all these accolades I’m sure I would enjoy meeting you for tea :)”

Bev Sexton: “Roy has sent me material in regard to your latest. I have not read it yet….but plan to as soon as possible. Congratulations!”

Irmgard Guters: “Your mom is an extraordinary person, Roy! I endorse that quote 100%!”

Kat Kelly-Heinzelman: “Susie, I’m ready to come and paint your porch and my cup or two of coffee and that nice chat…♥♥♥ love you girl so glad I know you…Thank you, Roy, again for being such a great son to a wonderful woman inside and out.”

Ramona Sue Zachary: “Well, looks like I am going to have to make a purchase, AND have my local library buy it as well!!!”

sharing my adventures and impressions while experiencing and observing the 50s and 60s…a joyous and meaningful and poignant era in which to be “coming of age”… i watched, participated, cried and laughed, succeeded and failed — savoring each moment…i continue at this present second to apply lessons learned from that very unique time…

thanks, all, for these wonderful comments:

Paul Clifford Schrade: “A small time girl perhaps..but that girl has a woman’s ideas of the world at large and worth listening to!!! An unremittingly brave and tireless woman named simply Susie. Perhaps she should have been named Joan of Arc!”

Susan Alcott Jardine: “Glad to hear the good news. I will purchase one, as I don’t own an e-reader. Congratulations, Susie.”

Cara Sam Blount: “Congrats, Susie!”

Pat Evanatz-Mossburg: “Just ordered it and should get it by the end of the week. I’ll have to get Susie to sign it!

Pat Heinbaugh: “Yaaaaahoooooo….’THE’ book in print…..proud of you, Susie…..”

Drex Morton: “Brava, Susie… I wish you every success with your continued sales. Your marketing strategy is being nurtured by none other than the ‘media maestro’ we respect & love.”

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