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  • Writer's pictureEllie Royce

What's Your Story? Susi Schaefer

Most months ( I try for every month!) I've been lucky enough to come across a creator who has a beautiful new book and an interesting story to share. I know WE ARE ALL MADE OF STORIES, so I love to share them with you too. As I write, we are in April 2020 in the middle ( hopefully in the middle, more towards the end than the beginning anyway!) of the global Covid-19 Pandemic. I don't want to make this post about that, but I do want to time stamp it and say that if I've learned anything it's this- that stories are even more important now. people #stayinghome need books and art and music and stories more than ever before, and when one feels as though perhaps there's no point continuing with something as 'frivolous' or 'non essential' as creating, remember that in order to thrive humans need more than physical nourishment ( and even toilet paper!) we need soul food too. We find this in the arts, in connection through any means possible and through sharing our stories.

Now let me introduce you to a gorgeous butterfly of a book that's sure to uplift you and make you smile, "CAT LADIES" , written and illustrated by an equally gorgeous creator, Susi Schaefer ! (

Susi Schaefer, what's your story?

The Beginning -

I was born and raised in the Austrian alps, which is an awesome place to grow up. Aside from spending most of my time sitting in our big birch tree, drawing and making up stories was one of my favorite things to do.

My career as an artist started as a teen when I completed an apprenticeship as a glass painter in the medieval town of Rattenberg.

Kidlit speaks to me now just as it did to eight-year-old-me sitting on a branch. It has a way of distilling experiences down to their essence, and something about that is very calming to me.

The Middle-

Three things that I had hoped for and worked towards came true.

1) I signed with an agent.

2) I illustrated a book.

3) I wrote and illustrated a book.

I was thrilled to illustrate the picture book ”Zoo Zen, A Yoga Story For Kids”, written by Kristen Fischer (Sounds True, 2017) and my author/illustrator debut ”Cat Ladies” (Abrams, April 2020).

The latter was inspired by my Oma and during the making of this book, I felt especially connected to her even though she has been gone for a long time.

Also, being involved with a cat rescue has allowed me to meet countless cat personalities, and that experience has definitely shaped my character in ”Cat Ladies.”

The End, (which is always actually a new beginning!)

I am working on a story that I am quite excited about. Hopefully, others will be too.

The kidlit community has been amazing and even though my journey wasn't always smooth sailing, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Susi.

Talk to you soon, stay well and #stayathome

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