Susan Titus Osborn has authored thirty books. She is also the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service, where she heads a staff of eighteen editors.
A member of the CLASSeminars staff and a CLASS speaker, Susan has taught Christian writing at over 140 Christian conferences in the U.S. and in eight foreign countries. As an adjunct professor, she has taught Christian writing courses at four Christian universities.
She lives in Fullerton, California with her husband, Dick. They have five grown children, twelve grandkids, and two great-grandsons.
What sparked your personal writing journey?
When my children were young I said, “Someday I will write,” but unfortunately someday never comes. A friend told me, “If you are going to write you need to start now.” And she introduced me to an author friend of hers, Karen Wojahn. Karen said, “I will help you get started if you promise to teach others in return.” This I have done for the past thirty-plus years. I began writing stories for children’s take-home papers for church school curriculums in 1978.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Yes, in 1987 I went through a terrible divorce. It was the most difficult time in my life. I hadn’t worked in twenty years, and I had no idea how I was going to support myself, but the Lord knew.
How does your faith play into your work?
I got down on my knees and prayed, “Lord, can I make a living with my writing?” I felt at peace, and over the years, God turned an avocation into a vocation. I went from writing Sunday school take-home papers to publishing over thirty books. I got a job at Biola University, where I directed the Writers Institute and put on writers’ conferences. That led to my speaking at over 150 conferences in the U.S. and in eight foreign countries. I also taught adjunct at four Christian colleges and was editor of two Christian magazines. God truly provided.
Let’s talk about your new book, Breaking Invisible Chains (New Hope Publishing, August 2013), coauthored with Jeenie Gordon and Karen Kosman. Please tell us about it.
Back cover copy:
With an appendix vast in resources, Breaking Invisible Chains: The Way to Freedom from Domestic Abuse is written specifically for women by women who are survivors of abuse. Through honest, personal and encouraging stories, these women help readers identify if they are in an abusive relationship. A professional therapist includes insight into specific abuse situations and offers realistic advice on how to handle ongoing dynamics after a relationship ends.
What is the significance of the title? What was the catalyst for the project?
For more than one million women in the United States, abuse is a way of life. Our desire is that they break those “invisible chains” and find their way to freedom from emotional, verbal, and physical abuse.
We had written a book on verbal abuse, Wounded by Words. New Hope Publishers wanted to take it a step further. They asked us to write a book that would become a manual for shelters, police departments, and counseling centers for women to find their way safely out of abusive situations.
What process did you and your co-writers use for working together?
Karen and I gathered stories and wrote our own. We found information on abuse and relevant Scripture. Jeenie, as a marriage and family therapist, made comments after each of the stories and offered advice for those who might be in similar situations. I interviewed a detective and added “Detective Tom’s Tips” throughout the book. A woman who is in charge of a large domestic violence program created a very useful appendix for those seeking to remove themselves safely from abusive situations. It is our prayer that women will be encouraged and empowered by the stories and advice in this book.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Chocolate Candy! I guess I’m a chocoholic, and I allow myself one Dove chocolate or any other brand after lunch and dinner. Of course if I’m discouraged or celebrating, it may call for two pieces of candy.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
My husband has a wonderful voice, and my oldest son plays the cello, but alas, this is not one of my gifts.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A praise hymn.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I would say I have become the strong, female lead. If I wouldn’t have walked the difficult path I was given, I would never have developed the writing and speaking ministry that I have. God took a difficult divorce, strengthened me through adversity, taught me how to make a living, and gifted me with a wonderful second chance at happiness with my special husband, Dick.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
My favorite pet was a dog named Kavic that Dick and I were blessed with for fourteen years. We thought he was a mutt, but he was 90-pound Tibetan mastiff. He thought he was a person. He sat by my feet as if to encourage me while I wrote. But at six o’clock every day, he put his head on the keyboard and looked at me with big brown eyes, which said, “Feed me.” I learned that he was very persistent, so no matter how engrossed I was in my writing, I would lay down my laptop and feed Kavic. He passed away several years ago, and we still miss him, but we are traveling so much a new dog is not practical, so we are content with our memories.
Thank you, Susan! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you! This has been fun1
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For more information about Susan, visit her website.
To purchase Breaking Invisible Chains, logon to:
Enjoyed this interview so much. Thank you.
Thanks for your note, Davalynn.