Meet Susan J. McLeod

Why I Wrote My Book

When I was ten years old my parents took us to the Corning Museum of Glass, about 90 minutes from our house. There are three things I remember vividly from that trip: how my brother wouldn’t stay on his side of the seat, getting a large lollipop to keep me quiet, and seeing ancient Egyptian artifacts for the first time.
I was instantly hooked on the colorful figurines and vases. They were the prettiest objects in the whole museum. I thought about them all the way home. At school the next day, I borrowed a book from the library and began to learn more. I haven’t stopped since.

I suppose my greatest achievement in the field of Egyptology was my performance of Cleopatra Dying. I had to memorize the poem by Thomas Stephens Collier and recite it when I was fourteen. “Hark! I hear the legions coming/ Hear the cries of triumph swell/ But, proud Caesar, dead I scorn you/ Egypt, Anthony, farewell.”

I still get letters from people today telling me how much I touched their lives with my moving death scene. Okay, that’s a lie. But I do get letters from people telling me how much they enjoyed Soul and Shadow. Every one means so much to me. There’s nothing I love more than sharing stories. I want others to feel the pleasure I get when a book transports me. And I like to share knowledge as well. Are you aware that eating a fried mouse was a cure for toothache in ancient Egyptian times? No? Well, now you are. And you may win Jeopardy one day because of it.

Should you choose to read Soul and Shadow, you may notice that I got in a reference to the glassblower. If you find it, tell me, and I’ll send you a lollipop.