Author-Illustrator, SuZY McGregor, always a kid at heart, writes stories of adventure, dreams and values of personal character. SuZY has lived a magical life from delivering newspapers by horseback as a kid to cartooning a syndicate series, "Gertie’s Gig," to entertaining celebrities and Statesmen as official hostess at Five Star Resorts. She has dedicated her life to the cultural arts for kids.
SuZY is the creator of Lollipop Media Productions. Lollipop Media’s mission is to create books that are adventurous, fun-loving, knowledge and character-building especially for the ages 6-11 (and can be enjoyed by people of all ages).
Her books include themes of respect of other cultures through more understanding, generosity and supportive kindness, trust and faith in the present that there are creative solutions to our most difficult problems. The importance of music, art and dance, respect for Nature’s beauty and wonderment, appreciation of health, family and home, as well as fun curiosity are all a part of SuZY's books.
One of the distinct differences and values of SuZY's "Lollipop" book publishing company is that she engages students who are bright, enthusiastic and excel in their school work to read each book, and give her feedback on what they liked about the book, and what they thought could be stronger. Thus, she gets current, fresh youthful feedback from those who are her target market for the stories she loves to write. Her student editors call her books "real fantasy” adventures because though these are fictional stories, the characters seem so real.
SuZY's goals are to create books that are contemporary in interests, and yet classic in warmth of heart and style. She calls her books "Contemporary Classic Real Fantasy." One of her children's book heroes is Beatrix Potter, and so she strives to warm the readers' heart and stimulate their minds while leaving readers with a "feel good" sensation and memory that are especially valuable when read aloud and/or at bedtime. A lifelong student of "Life" and "philosophy" herself, SuZY strives to enliven the reader's inner spirit, heighten awareness of his or her self and surroundings, and respect for the gift of our body, mind and Spirit.
SuZY: dreaming of more fun stories to share with the help of her beloved Cocker's
SuZY McGregor (nom de plume of Suzanne J. Farrow) grew up on Hollywood Beach at Channel Islands Harbor in So. California where she had miles of oceanfront sandy beaches to ride her horse, "sing to the waves and talk with God," camp out on the sand dunes and deliver the local newspaper on horseback. The delightful sense of happy adventure that filled her young life was born in those freedom rich years growing up with a loving, entrepreneurial "can do!" spirit in her family.
SuZY writes and illustrates children's storybooks her student editors call "Contemporary Classic Real Fancy™." Many of her stories are creative adaptations of actual things that happened to her in her active, eventful, adventurous life. The Adventures of Izzy & Dizzy in New York, Great Britain, Paris, China and Hawaii, a five book series, creates awareness of family heritage and cultural values that come from her own love of family and heritage while experiencing the fun of meeting new people, full of anticipation of seeing new places while traveling. Friendships are made, and the joy of surprise happenings along the way bring great delights for readers.
All through her life, SuZY has been blessed to spend time with unique and very special mentor-friends. One highlight, early in her career, was spending five days with Walt Disney and his family when her husband was managing a guest ranch in the Colorado Rockies. He shared his philosophy of life with SuZY, and what he believed to be his greatest successes. He also shared some of his toughest decisions that he had to make to hold to his visions. Walt said, "Always remember, failures are stepping stones to success. Never give up on your dreams and visions!"
At that time, SuZY had no idea she could cartoon, yet ten years later, she became a syndicated cartoonist with a contract offer by the L.A. Times/N.Y. Times. Her panel, "Gertie's Gig" was carried in the Ventura Star for two and half years. During that time, Bill Keane of "Family Circus" mentored SuZY's cartooning.
SUZY's lifelong love of the Spirit of Christmas has birthed two delightful children's Christmas books. The Christmas Cat - Hark The Herald Angel Sings! is a delightful tale about Herald's first Christmas, and his feisty antics as a kitten that got him into trouble. Her second Christmas book, The Mouse House – In The Spirit of Christmas, is a book about a dream that becomes a reality involving a village of friends. This story is based upon a real existing Mouse House that is 16 ft. long and 3 ft. high that goes on display over the Holidays in Kamuela, Hawaii (on the Big Island) to raise scholarship funds for school children.
What inspires SuZY started during her college years with her "Papa Pierre." He taught her that you may either be "a skimmer bug" living on the surface of life wanting to be spoon-fed "sugar" all the time or you can dive down into understanding life and yourself! SuZY chose the latter, and thus she writes with depth of appreciation of the cultural arts, the love of adventure in life to understand it more fully, hinting at deeper meanings of life based on love, compassion and understanding.
She reveals, "My stories come through me in the quiet of night or just watching nature and people. I love being a part of life's serendipities that happen in travels, friendships and fun surprises! For example, last Thanksgiving morning while sipping champagne, I watched Walt Disney's original ‘Fantasia’ movie. It lifted me into such laughter and joy. I'm not sure if Walt produced his animation films for children OR for the child within each of us that loves to laugh and have fun! To have spent five days with the wonderful, creative soul of Walt Disney was such a privilege, beyond my wildest dreams, and it reminds me of the saying, 'When God wants you to listen, he sends the very best!'"
SuZY continues: "When adults read my stories and say, 'I feel like I've been to Paris!' or 'It was like a free trip to Hawaii!' or 'I've never been to China, but your book made me feel like I've been there!' it makes my efforts of writing and editing, and drawing and re-drawing all worthwhile!"
When asked what the themes of her life are, she quickly responds, "To always be available to life! Get involved. Test your timbre. Be willing to reach out and try things you might not know how to do. Yes, you make mistakes, but if you learn from them, you're wiser and more confident. In other words, figuratively, be willing to get on the horse, learn to ride, knowing you might be tossed off. But if you are, dust the dirt off, get back on your horse and ride again with greater wisdom and confidence!
I've been blessed with some wonderful life mentors who believed in me and helped me grow in life understanding. In college, at Arizona State University, Kay Gammage (wife of ASU's President), was one of my mentors. From her I learned the importance of being available to life - your surroundings! You may meet someone, see or hear something you need to be aware of that might help you find the answer to a question-or something you're trying to figure out or learn."
A prime example of putting this wisdom into action was how she met Bill Keane of "Family Circus" cartoon strip fame. "The day I met Bill," SuZY remembers, "I was frustrated as heck with some things that weren't working out for me in my cartooning efforts. I was standing in a checkout line at a store. The night before in my great frustration I asked God for professional help. Now, there he was, Bill Keane, just standing there eating an O' Henry candy bar. So I said to myself, 'Okay, God, if he's my professional help, then have him follow me next door to Long's Drug Store.' I was checking out, and in walked Bill standing three feet from me! 'Okay, God, you win!' I checked out, and turned to Bill saying, 'You don't know who I am, but I know who you are-.and you're the answer to my prayers!' He smiled and we talked, and before I knew it, he was asking me to show him my drawings the next morning in his studio. Soon we became fast friends, and he helped me see how to better my cartooning style.
Thinking back on how that magical meeting 'just happened,' if I had not acted when that opportunity presented itself, I would have gone on frustrated, continuing to wish I could find a cartoon mentor. But instead, because I was available to life, recognized the opportunity and acted with kindness and friendliness, Bill Keane happily responded to help me. I still remember his words, 'Suzanne, you have a God-given talent, don't let anyone change it!' Soon after, I met Fred Rhodes of 'Beetle Bailey' & 'Sad Sack,' and he said, 'I came to meet you, to tell you, your style is a real natural-you deserve to be syndicated.' And then there was dear Xenia de Mattia, Academy Award Winner for Charlotte's Web who said to me, 'Suzy, promise me, I'll have the privilege of animating these wonderful characters, Izzy, Dizzy & Uncle Whizzy.'
Another valuable life mentor 'appeared' during my college days at ASU. A friend told me I 'had to' meet a local jeweler, Pierre Touraine. I didn't know anything about jewelry, but one Saturday, when I was in cut-offs and tennis shoes, I walked by his store. The jewelry in his window dazzled my eyes! This precious little French-American came to the door and said, 'You like what you see?' And I said, 'Oh yes!' And he said, 'Come in!' And I said, 'Oh no, I'm not dressed properly. I will come back when I'm better dressed.' I'll never forget his answer: 'Mademoiselle, your appreciation is your clothes!' What an amazing answer! Soon he and his wife became dear friends, sharing many of their pearls of life wisdom with me. In time, I became Co-Trustee of their Estate, and to this day, I think of Velma as my Arizona Mom, long after Pierre has left this world. Velma, now ninety-four years 'young,' still shares her wisdom with me. I think the most valuable pearl of wisdom Pierre gave me was: 'Suzanne, remember, we are diamonds in the rough, and the more you cut the facets of your life by developing your talents and abilities to empower your goodness, the more you reflect the Light of your life.'
I had an entrepreneurial spirited mother with a generous heart who mentored me in getting involved with volunteering in the community. So early in my life I became involved with the YMCA and Camp Fire Girls. One of the high points in my life came from volunteering. Thinking back on how that "luck" happened, I went to a pre-Olympics luncheon to hear Patty S. Wyatt speak about the upcoming Rowing Venue. I learned she was the first woman to become a Director of an Olympic Event! Her talk was dynamic, and afterwards, I went up to thank her for her outstanding presentation. We talked a bit, and before I knew it, she asked me if I would like to be a key member of the team for the Rowing Event at Lake Casitas for the 1984 Olympics! Wow! Talk about being available to life, responding to my environment and taking kind and friendly action! What a validation! That led to us CoFounding O.A.R. to train the staff for the Venue with 14 University rowing crews competing for the Wyatt Cup, an amazing experience in my life that started with me just walking up to thank her for such a great speech!
By being available to life and connecting to the right people to help me at the time (and vice versa) magical, serendipitous experiences have continued throughout my life. I recognize that my true creative passion, inspiration and happiness comes from creating meaningful, fun children's stories with complimentary art that might play a small part in helping youngsters learn and discover their own natural talents, abilities and interests so they can see how best to cut and polish the facets of their own lives so their Light may shine brightly.
SuZY's enchanting books may be purchased online (www.amazon.com) with more books coming!
Lollipop Media Productions, LP