Guest Post — Susie Finkbeiner, Author of All Manner of Things

22 Nov

My first encounter with Susie Finkbeiner was through A Cup of Dust, the first book in her Pearl Spence series. That book set in the midst of the Dust Bowl touched my heart. I continued to think and talk about it long after I closed the covers. I was delighted that two more books in the series were promised, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Then Susie reached out to me through social media. What fun to have an author actually connect with me! That’s when our friendship started. Sure she lives up in the frozen North 😉 and I dwell in the land of gnats and humidity and we haven’t actually met face-to-face, but we are friends nevertheless. Her photo bombs are a hoot, her ukulele playing is great, and her heart for her craft and her God are encouraging. I am so thankful that she shares her stories with a reader like me — and you, and I am thankful that there are many more in that creative brain of hers. By the way, her latest novel, All Manner of Things set in the Vietnam-era, is excellent too!


Susie is helping me celebrate my 10 Year Blogiversary (find the giveaway post HERE) with a guest post on finding joy in the work God gives you. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.


The Work of Your Hands by Susie Finkbeiner

It doesn’t get old, cutting the strip of tape on the box and pulling up the flaps, scrunching up the layer of packing paper off the top to reveal stacks of your book.

Your book.

The one you cried over, stressed over, almost gave up on but didn’t. Careful as can be, you wrap your fingers around the spine of one and lift it up. The cover is even more beautiful than it looked in the email the publisher sent, the texture is more pleasing. Without thinking, you hold the book against your heart, embracing the story that came from such a depth in you.

There’s nothing like it, holding your story. The work of your hands.

One of my favorite things on Facebook is to see pictures of authors holding their book for the very first time. When I see these photos, I got all misty eyed, thinking of how the author must be feeling. The absolute and dizzying joy, the relief, the excitement.

You know the pictures I’m talking about! Can’t you feel the absolute delight? 

I know I can.

I don’t know what your “thing” is. Maybe it’s running marathons or knitting baby blankets. Perhaps you’re a musician or an accountant or a web designer or a poet. Whatever it is you do, I hope there are moments of joy in the doing.

Sure, there are moments which find you with head on desk and a heart full of doubts. There are times when you feel the exact opposite of joy. You probably feel worn down to the core some days.

But I hope there are other days when you look at the work of your hands and marvel. Not so much at what you have created. More at what a pleasure it is to have that work to do. Because it was work given to you by the One who crafted you in His hand.

And when you sit in awe, holding the work of your hands, remember this:

When the Creator, the Father God formed you, I have no doubt that He held you and felt the joy of having you as His own.

He delighted in the work of His hands.

Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it’s a congenital condition, one she’s quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother’s Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (2015), Finkbeiner’s bestselling historical set in 1930s Oklahoma, has been compared to the work of John Steinbeck and Harper Lee (which flatters Susie’s socks off). Pearl’s story continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (2017) and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (2018).

What does she have planned after that? More stories, of course. She’s a junkie. She couldn’t quit if she wanted to.


One Response to “Guest Post — Susie Finkbeiner, Author of All Manner of Things”

  1. Paula Shreckhise November 22, 2019 at 9:30 am #

    I absolutely loved this book!

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