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101 Borden Street
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 Finally a ghost story to rival Oscar Wilde’s Canterville Ghost.

Title: 101 Borden Street

Author: Susan Walker

Publisher: Publish America (October 2002)

Genre: Adult Mystery

ISBN: 1591295386

Paperback: 152 pages



Rating: Highly Recommended


July 28, 2004


101 Borden Street is a bittersweet love story with a surprise twist at the end.  The story of a young girl’s search for understanding why she was abandon by her mother, her journey begins when her social worker presents her with a beautiful necklace in an old box that is the only link not only to her past but a mystery as well.


Susan Eileen Walker has woven an endearing tale of ghosts, unending love and finally hopes of a future. I highly recommend this book to all who like to believe that love can rise above all problems even death.


   Reviewed by Deven Vasko





An Interview with Susan Eileen Walker




To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


101 Borden Street is the story of Ariel who is following a lead in an antique jewelry box (the only link to her family) to find some ties to her past.  Instead of easy answers, she finds more questions… and danger!  When her ex-boyfriend turns up intent on renewing their relationship, Ariel must confront not only her past, but her present as well.  With the help of some new friends, both of this world and the next, Ariel struggles to overcome her past and create a new future as she races to solve a 160-year old murder!


Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?

I was born in Cumberland, Maryland, a state in which I never actually lived.  The first 5 years of my life were spent bopping around with my parents, living in Little Rock, Arkansas, Atlanta, Georgia and Arlington, Virgina.  My brother and sister were both born in Arlington.  Then we moved to State College, Pennsylvania where I lived until I joined the Air Force and moved to North Carolina in 1983.

Reading, writing and daydreaming were major parts of my life growing up.  I could leave the peaceful existence of my life and have grand adventures.  My grandmother and mother both encouraged my reading.  The summer I turned 14 I read the entire Nancy Drew collection which my grandmother bought me at a used book store.


Who were your earliest influences and why?

My mother was one of the greatest influences on my life.  In writing, Dr. Seuss, Carolyn Keen, the Bronte sisters and my 8th grade English teacher, Ms. Painter.  She was the first to encourage my writing and actually took the time to read some of my stories as a mentor, not as a critic.


What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I’m not sure about other writers, but my creative spells last about 20 minutes.  If I am able to get two writing sessions a day in I feel very lucky.  But in those few minutes my hand flies across the page and I am usually able to squeeze out about a  thousand words.  When my son was younger I had to fit my writing time in around him and my husband which meant I was writing at 5 a.m. before anyone else was up. I also learned to divide my attention and write during the evening hours when my husband and I were watching television.  Nowadays I try to write an hour or two in the morning and another hour in the evening.  Usually out of that hour I get a good 20 minutes of story with my fingers flying across the keyboard or pen flying across the page.



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I’ve been writing with the goal of being published for about 20 years now.  Of course, the first 15 years worth of writing it sitting in boxes in my office closet, waiting to be rewritten now that I finally figure out how to write. 


Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?

I don’t write a lot of nonfiction, so I really can’t answer that.  The short articles I’ve written for writers’ magazines seemed as easy as writing fiction.  I just sat down and started talking to myself.


Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Many times.  In fact, I had reached the point where I was threatening to have a huge bonfire in the backyard if something didn’t happen.  Two days later I was offered my first writing job, working freelance on the children’s page on a website.  It seems like everything I threaten to give up something comes along and keeps me writing.  I think God has determined that I will be a write, but only in his time.



What is the hardest part about being a writer?


     Waiting for the mail every morning and opening the rejection letters.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

I knit/crochet, read and daydream.  The knitting allows my hands to stay busy while my mind is free to wander.  Reading and daydreaming keep the ideas percolating on the back burner.


Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


Time, energy, sleep. 


What question do you get asked more than any other?

Because I live in New Bern, North Carolina, everyone asks me if I’ve met Nicholas Sparks, who also lives here.  The answer is no.


What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?

I was doing a book signing in the house which is the backdrop for 101 Borden Street and a woman came into the room I was in shaking and grinning from ear to ear.  She told me that she’d read my book four times and was so excited to be in the house and actually meeting me she couldn’t stand herself.   She bought a second book that day so she could loan it to friends because she didn’t want to loan out her copy, she was getting ready to read it again!


What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?

Everyone has been very complimentary of the book and loved the way I kept them turning pages.  The only complaint was from a friend of my mother-in-law’s who said she couldn’t put the book down to go to sleep and ended up falling asleep with it across her chest.  She then complained that she had to finish reading the rest of the book before she could get out of bed and make her morning coffee.

Most everyone who’s read it has told me 101 Borden Street should be a movie, so I’m trying to figure out how to get that done.


Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?

Yes, I’m always watching people interact and eavesdropping on interesting conversations.


Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?

Janet Evanovich, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jan Karon, Frank McCourt.


If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Read, read, read and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.  You can do anything you set your mind to.   If you can, find a mentor, someone who knows how to write and learn everything you can from them. 


What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Romantic comedies, thought provoking dramas.   Calendar Girls, King Arthur, Big Fish, and of course the LOTR trilogy and the Harry Potter movies.


What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?

Washington DC.  My family lives in the suburbs and I love to visit them and the city, but when I get their I park my car, unload and lock the doors and let my father or brother chauffer me around.  The traffic is insane.


What’s the best part of being a writer?

Getting to share my stories with other people, hopefully touching their hearts..


What's next?

My next book, Maura’s Trunk, will be out this fall from Publish America.

Maura Kincannon knew her time was short.  She did not want her grandchildren to have her antique trunk and its contents, so she gave them to Quinn Foster.  At almost 18, Quinn finally had her chaotic life straightened out.  She had a home and a friend who loved her and cared what she was doing with her life. Then Maura dies.  Quinn finds herself homeless and without her mentor to guide her.  Upon opening Maura’s last gift, an antique trunk filled with money, Quinn finds that her future is secure.  So what do the two men following her want?  

Betsie's Literary Page thanks Ms. Walker for her time and we wish her all the best.