#RealLifeWonderWoman – Meet Suzi Retzlaff

This week’s #RealLifeWonderWoman is a wife and mother of two with a background in civil engineering–and a passion for writing. Suzi grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and went to school at the University of North Dakota. (GO Fighting Hawks! 💚 Can you guess where I met her?)

Suzi started writing seriously in 2010 and in 2015 was invited to be a part of an editing business. She uses her superpowers in editing other people’s fiction and writing her own.

Please join me and get to know Suzi Retzlaff!

Here’s my dog. He follows me everywhere, which can be annoying. But he’s soft and fluffy and he takes better pictures than me.

KR: Welcome, Suzi! Will you please tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment?

SR: I love writing. I have so many ideas and will never get them all out on the page, and it’s hard to figure out what to work on. If I could just write write write and pass it off to others for editing, I’d be happy. I’ve learned that it’s a long learning process, and that really, you don’t stop learning. And when you kinda get the writing down, then you need to work on editing, and then after that you need to learn about the publishing side of it all. I’ve written in a bunch of genres, including contemporary young adult and adult suspense and horror. I’m concentrating on the suspense and horror now.

The writing led to the freelance editing, and I love doing that too. Helping other writers shape their work and make it better. I was lucky to fall into the editing job–some writer friends invited me to be a part of their new editing company–because it had helped me be a better writer too. Editing other people’s work helps me recognize issues in my own writing. And I get to read books for my job, which is pretty cool. I’ve worked with a bunch of terrific authors over the past 7ish years.

KR: Here are some examples of the different genres (fairy tale retelling, thriller, horror, and contemporary young adult) of Suzi’s books:

In the Queen’s Dark Light

Black Diamond Dogs

Shallow Depths

Varying Degrees of Blame

KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?

SR: I don’t know. I hate these types of questions because I’m so bad at them😀. Maybe that I’m not an over-reactor. I tend to think about stuff first because I know that my first thought/reaction is not always the best.

KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?

SR: The biggest would probably be my mom. She has always been there in my life and has always been a support. She lost a lot at a young age, her mom when she was a teen and her father not long after. But she’s always been loving and generous to not only her friends and loved ones but others too. Just as it makes me happy when adults tell me something good about my children, it makes me happy too when someone says, Oh, I just love your mom. She was the best. (Or dad too, because they’re both great.)

My mom is an terrific painter and I’ve got a lot of her art in my house. She was very talented and spent many years taking classes to make herself better. Last summer I made a scrapbook of all her paintings, that I knew about. Might’ve missed a few but we had pictures from decades ago, ones she’s given away or sold too. I think there were maybe 90 of them. And I don’t love them just because they’re hers. So many of them are scenes I love. Outdoors with trees, barns, light houses, sunsets and so much more. I wish I had her talent but I don’t have the patience to learn. And I don’t have enough wall space to put up everything I’d like. Lol.

KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?

SR: Teleportation. That would be cool and would save so much time. You could skip right over to so many places across the world and if you didn’t like it, you could leave immediately. I’d travel the world. First stop would probably be Greece or Italy and then so many other places in Europe: Norway, Switzerland. Then on to Australia. And South America. Probably Brazil, because one of my stories takes place there in the Amazon and it’d be cool to visit the city. I’d go everywhere though, hit up every continent. (I’d skip Antarctica because I spend enough time being cold and I don’t need to see more snow. But then again, just to say you went there would be cool.)

KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?

SR: Reading, writing. Walking my dog. Watching pretty sunsets.

KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?

SR: Talk to more people. Don’t always sit in the corner or just follow your friend around. Try not to care what others think.

KR: If you want to learn more about Suzi, here are links to her websites:


Want to be inspired by more Real Life Wonder Women?

Want to feel empowered and celebrate YOUR superpowers?

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