Spain, Susan Rosson
Spain, Susan Rosson
Children: four daughters. Ethnicity: "Estonian/British/Irish/German." Education: Attended college in MD; attended Institute of Children's Literature. Hobbies and other interests: SCUBA diving, biking, gardening, running, yoga, every sort of needle art.
Home and office—Conyers, GA. E-mail—[email protected]
Author. Worked as a licensed optician for eight years; former optical superstore manager; former vision therapy coordinator for private optical practice. Presenter at schools and writer's workshops.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
The Deep Cut, Marshall Cavendish (Tarrytown, NY), 2006.
Even as an adult, Susan Rosson Spain enjoys reading children's literature, and while raising her four daughters she often read the same books her daughters were reading. At some point, Spain decided to turn from reader to author, and in 2006 her first book, the middle-grade novel The Deep Cut, was published. The Deep Cut was inspired by one of Spain's ancestors, a mentally challenged boy named Lonzo who lived during the late nineteenth century. As Spain commented on her home page, she was "intrigued" by Lonzo's story, particularly by one possible scenario: During the 1800s how "could a boy with numerous disabilities find a way to make his mark?"
Cited by critics for its moving story and credible main character, The Deep Cut takes place during the U.S. Civil War and introduces a boy named Lonzo, who is deemed "slow." Spain's story begins when Lonzo is sent to live with his Aunt Mariah, a woman who has two sons fighting in the Army of the Confederacy. Lonzo personally does not believe in war and it is from his perspective that Spain tells her story. The Deep Cut follows the boy as he witnesses and experiences how war affects his own world as well as the world of those around him. Anne O'Malley, in her review of The Deep Cut for Booklist, dubbed the book a "fine first novel" that features "well wrought characters, vivid historical details, and nuanced themes." A Kirkus Reviews critic applauded Spain for introducing readers to an unusual young protagonist, calling Lonzo a "believable and admirable character."
"I've always loved to write," Spain told SATA, "but I first realized I wanted to write for young people when I
was involved in vision therapy. I came into contact with children and teens every day who were dealing with various struggles, physical ones such as strabismus and amblyopia, combined with the usual difficulties every child encounters. I saw in those young people hope, determination, and even heroism. These are the qualities I believe essential to interesting, realistic characters as well."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, December 1, 2006, review of The Deep Cut, p. 45.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of The Deep Cut, p. 968.
School Library Journal, December, 2006, Nancy P. Reeder, review of The Deep Cut, p. 156.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 2006, Steven Kral, review of The Deep Cut, p. 434.
Adams Literary Agency Web site,http://www.adamsliterary.com/ (November 18, 2007), "Susan Rosson Spain."
Children's Bookwatch Web site,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (November 18, 2007), review of The Deep Cut.
Susan Rosson Spain Home Page,http://susanspain.com (November 18, 2007).