A lifelong dream of becoming an author is finally a reality for Sue Jaskula, a woman who has a long-time connection to Bruce County. She now splits her time between living in the Niagara region and Tiverton.
Jaskula’s interest in writing, specifically in the genre of romantic suspense, has deep roots. She was inspired to follow her passion while in high school.
“I’ve always loved writing and credit my grade twelve English teacher for telling me I was good at it and encouraging me to further my education in that direction,” said Jaskula. “I hold a bachelor of arts degree in English and a creative writing certificate, both from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.”
Her background in criminal and civil law and hospital administrative work have provided her with fodder for her books and relaxing long walks along the trail system near the lake give her time to get her creative juices going.
“I formulate as I walk the dog or as I lay half-awake in the middle of the night, then rush to scribble notes or text myself lest I forget my most recent great idea,” said Jaskula. “When the scenarios come to me, I can write thousands of words non-stop without eating or sleeping. Then some days go by when I can’t create a single paragraph. Going for a walk or relaxing with a book usually cures that block.”
The release of Jaskula’s debut novel, All Fired Up, was delayed because of the pandemic. In the meantime, she worked on and completed Unexpected Connection, which is scheduled to be released on July 28. Both books, as well as her third and fourth books (no release dates are available as of press time), are romantic suspense.
“I write romantic suspense because I love a plot with lots of action, intrigue and twists that draw me in and keep me on the edge of my seat, but I also love, love,” said Jaskula. “The crossover of the two genres has always been my go-to. I prefer to create independent, confident heroines to challenge my sexy, strong heroes and even though they struggle through murder and mayhem, you can always count on a happily ever after. I truly miss my characters when I step away from writing them and even more so once I finish their story.”
Jaksula says becoming an author and seeing your work published is not for the faint of heart. It takes about two years from the time the book is finished until it is finally offered for sale. As a new author, she is taxed with doing her own editing, proofing and marketing and says “making your mark is the hardest thing.”
Christine Harkness, manager at Fincher’s in Kincardine, which will offer both of Jaksula’s novels for sale, agrees and says “if they want their books to sell, they have to do the legwork.”
But even with the hard work, Jaksula says it is incredibly gratifying to see your name on a book in print or open that first box of books and getting a positive email review from a stranger can bring a tear to her eye.
“It took a lot of years to get to it, but I am lucky to have had the opportunity to take early retirement and pursue a career in writing, a pursuit I have entered with energy and enthusiasm,” she said. “The opportunity to promote myself as a published Canadian author is humbling and certainly a dream I never expected to realize. There are many bestselling Canadian authors, some of whom I have come to know through memberships with Toronto Romance Writers and Crime Writers of Canada. Having shopped at so many independent bookstores, and particularly Fincher’s since I was a child, it has been a long-time goal to see my published books sitting on their "Canadian Author" shelf.
Both All Fired Up and Unexpected Connection (July 28 release) will be available at Fincher’s, as well as on Amazon, ChaptersIndigo, Kobo and AppleBooks. She invites readers to contact her via Instagram at @suejaskulaauthor or on Facebook at sue.jaskula. Her website suejaskula.wordpress.com will provide updated information on her work in progress.
Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent