Readers ask me all the time if Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen is autobiographical.  I’ve always said “no.”  And even though I’ve come to believe it is more so than I once thought, I was surprised the other day when my 22-year-old daughter gave me her opinion of the book.  And I quote . . .

Seems like Catherine Grace Cline and her longing for the bigger world is a reflection of your own personal aspirations.  In writing this book, you were finally able to break free, like Catherine Grace, and make something big of yourself.  Up until that point, you kept chugging along — writing articles, raising children, etc. But all these things led to your big break just like Catherine Grace found hers.  She kept her eye on the prize, saving money every summer, etc. etc., and so did you.

You rock, Mama!

Hmm, I thought, she may be on to something.

But whether it’s autobiographical or not is not really the point.  I just love that a thousand different people can read the same thing and find a thousand different messages.  Intended or not, these deeper meanings are embedded in a writer’s story like treasures waiting to be found on a scavenger hunt.

I used to get so irritated with English teachers wanting to endlessly dissect a novel that I had enjoyed reading. Funny, now as an author, I’m finding that the hunt for the hidden treasures is one of the wonderful, unexpected pleasures of sharing your story.

My and My Baby Girl

My and My Baby Girl

Posted September 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm · 2 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. Leisa Hammett, September 29th, 2009, 10:48 am

    This got me all misty eyed, Susan! Way cool! Way true. And so where I'm at in life right now moving forward. My book went to press Monday. Whew! Look forward to our 10/28 gathering!
  2. Kathy R (Bermudaonion), November 17th, 2009, 2:39 pm

    It sounds like your baby girl is as smart as her mother is! I love this!

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Susan Gregg Gilmore