Susan Kinnane is a mother, farmer, and children’s author from Rhode Island. I have enjoyed every minute of working with Susan to publish Peter the Little Sunflower, a heartwarming book about divine love. To celebrate, we sat down to chat about her experience as a first-time author.
MIRIAM LAUNDRY: Hi, Susan! Congratulations on publishing your first children’s book. Can you tell us who it’s for?
SUSAN KINNANE: Peter the Little Sunflower is for children four to eight years old.
ML: And how did you start writing it?
SK: Nine years ago our son Peter would show his love for the Blessed Mother and always called her Mamma Mary. One of our children had taken a picture of Peter wearing a sunflower headband, and that’s where the idea came from for the character.
ML: Where did the inspiration come from to write this book? What inspired you to become an author?
SK: I guess growing up on the farm, waking when Dad would head out to milk cows every morning, memories of running next to him, holding his finger with my hand, trying to keep up with his stride. Walking the fields with my Dad. That's when he would talk and share his joy.
And my oldest brother. When my children were young, he would always leave the field and come find them to show them something exciting he had found while ploughing or planting, and they all worked with him picking sunflowers.
I never had the thought that I wanted to be an author, but I have been told for years that I should write. This felt right.
ML: Why was it important to share this message in your book?
SK: I think we really don't know how much we are truly loved.
ML: What was the biggest challenge you faced when publishing?
SK: Fear. I couldn't imagine anyone would really be interested in reading anything I wrote.
ML: After getting to know you through Publishing Mastermind, I’ve learned that family is extremely important to you. Do you have any fond memories of a time when you shared your book with your family?
SK: When I read my story to the family for the first time, it wasn't even the final draft. We were all outside sitting in the yard. I was scared to death to share it. They were all so sweet, encouraging and were visibly touched by it.
ML: And what made you decide to join Publishing Mastermind when you heard about it?
SK: In 2020 I came across and watched a video, “The Making of Children’s Books" with you and Jack Canfield. The timing was right. I had recently taken my rough draft out and was working on it. Your video fired me up, and you really spoke to my heart. I received info about Publishing Mastermind and joined! I knew in my heart that you would take care of my story and help me develop it.
ML: I’m so glad you found that video, Susan, and that you can now call yourself a published author. Now that you’re officially published, what advice would you give to an aspiring author?
SK: Don’t be afraid to share what’s on your heart.
ML: Lastly, what do you hope parents and children take away from this book?
SK: We belong to God, the Blessed Mother is our Mama, and we are all loved unconditionally.
ML: Well said, Susan. Thank you for bringing myself and the team into your publishing journey, and congratulations again on publishing Peter the Little Sunflower.
Watch the Full Interview:
Susan Kinnane is chief cook and bottle washer, baker & entrepreneur from Little Compton, RI. Peter the Little Sunflower is her first published book and she is proud to publish it alongside her daughter and illustrator, Janie Kinnane.
Susan began writing Peter the Little Sunflower 19 years ago after being inspired by her son, Peter. Susan is currently studying to be a Functional Nutritionist and is enjoying life on her family farm alongside her husband, Chuck, 10 children, children's spouses and grandchildren. She wants everyone to know that the Blessed Virgin Mary is their Mother and that they are loved, unconditionally.