More About the Author
Susan Stevens Crummel, in collaboration with her sister, Janet Stevens (Caldecott Honor Medalist for Tops and Bottoms), has written several children's books including New York Times Best Seller "Help Me, Mr. Mutt!" (winner of the 2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award and named one of Time Magazine's Best Children's Books for 2008), "Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!" (2001 Texas Bluebonnet Award), "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon" (2002 ALA Notable Book, 2003 Colorado Book Award, 2004 California Young Reader Medal), "Jackalope" ( 2004 Storytelling World Award, 2004 IRA Children's Choice Award), New York Times Best Seller,"The Great Fuzz Frenzy" (NCTE Notable Book and winner of ten 2007-2008 state book awards.
She has also written picture books illustrated by cut-paper artist, Dorothy Donohue, including "City Dog, Country Dog", featured at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC., and the "Ten-Gallon Bart" series. Susan had some firsthand experience before writing "Ten-Gallon Bart". As a high school teacher in Texas, one of her extra-curricular duties was sponsoring the rodeo club. Little did she know she'd have to ride a steer in the sponsor's rodeo. "As I clung to the beast's gigantic horns, I decided that the following year, I'd go back to coaching the math team!" she said. Susan also likes to tell stories about her great-great uncle Harvey Doyle, an expert rider and trick roper in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in the early 1900s. Susan and Dorothy have a new book coming out in the fall of 2012--"Sherlock Bones and the Missing Cheese".
Susan travels over 50,000 miles a year speaking at schools, conventions, and workshops throughout the United States. She shares her love of writing with over 100,000 students from coast to coast. In 2005 and 2006 she was invited by Laura Bush to read at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
Susan grew up in a Navy family, living throughout the United States before coming to Texas Christian University where she earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees. Her Texas heritage reaches back to the 1800's when her great-great grandparents settled near Kerrville. Her parents, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins still live in the Hill Country on various family ranches. The setting of Tumbleweed Stew is a Texas ranch called the "Two-Circle" Ranch--a take-off on the Double Circle Ranch owned by her grandfather.
After college, Susan remained in Fort Worth where she began a teaching career that spanned 30 years. During this time, Susan taught 19 different subjects in math/science/computer fields at 5 different schools--both public and private. Her last twenty years of teaching were at Fort Worth Country Day School.
So with this technology background, how did Susan begin writing children's books?
Fifteen years ago, Janet asked her to help write a story involving shoes and a mouse. "Shoe Town" was the beginning of a collaboration that has bridged the many miles between Fort Worth and Boulder, Colorado, Janet's home. As sisters, they share the same sense of humor and enjoy the many hours they spend creating stories to make children and adults laugh.
Susan is married to Richard Crummel, Superintendent of Schools in Burleson, Texas. She has three grown children--Christie, Jason, and Courtney; three grandchildren--Sophia, Matthew, and McKinley; and one feisty cat-- Tweeter, supreme ruler of the universe.