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Suzann Nelson, humorist and author, says she has several
in her brain. These are roughly divided into Norwegian, Nerd-dom, and
Nonsense and each section holds predominance for 10 to 12 years.
After graduating from high school in Evansville
MN, she attended and graduated from Augsburg College. She
also studied at the University of Oslo and did considerable graduate
work at the University of Minnesota.
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directed Skogfjorden, Concordia College's
Norwegian Language Village in the '70's, and the Northern Minnesota
Citizens League in the '80's and early '90's. She says that part way
through 1994, the Nerd-dom part of her brain was overtaken by the
Norwegian and Nonsense sections. Naturally, she called one of her
old college friends, Janet Letnes Martin, for guidance. (At
that time, Janet had authored five books, including Lutheran Church Basement Women). That
guidance led Suzann straight to the kitchen table where she and Janet
began drinking coffee and laughing right out loud! One of them
happened to have a pencil handy and in the next six months Suzann and
Janet wrote, published and distributed three books.
laughs and gallons of coffee later, they
formed their own publishing company, 'Caragana Press.' It was
named after the Caragana hedges found at farms throughout the
Midwest. (Both Suzann and Janet had picked the "pea pods" from
the hedges as little girls and fed them to their dolls). Since
then they have co-authored and published six more books, and they have
a laundry tub full of ideas for more. Suzann says, "I write for money
and therapy, and I need plenty of both!"
of their books, Growing Up Lutheran, won the Minnesota Book Award for
Humor and has been made into a wonderful musical, Church Basement Ladies.
It opened at the Plymouth Playhouse in September, 2005 and will run
through December, 2006.
with writing and publishing books, these two 100 percent
Norwegian-Lutheran farm girls design and market humorous products
(hotdish trivets, dishtowels and t-shirts) which complement their
stories and trigger fond memories...and they are working on a new book,
Growing Up Rural, and a sequel to the musical.
also presents lots of programs for organizations
and conventions. She calls her favorite presentation
"Hotpads, Hotdishes and Hotflashes: How we got the way we
are." She figures it's her job to jog people's memories, and
their job to laugh. So far this arrangement has worked out
well. When she and Janet perform together they are known as Those Lutheran Ladies.
Suzann has lived in Grand
Rapids, MN since 1980.
She hopes that she will never become as famous as Grand Rapids-born
Judy Garland because Suzann doesn't want her house moved to the
south end of town to become part of a museum. She says if she had to
keep her house open to tourists six days a week, she'd have to spend
all her time dusting and starching doilies and she'd have to trade in
her flannel nightgown for some real clothes!
almost every other practical person, Suzann's goals have changed. Her
goal used to be "to sit by a pool and endorse checks." But at
this point in her life Suzann says, "All I want is to sell enough books
and hotflash hankies to keep my utility and mortgage bills paid and
to remember where I tossed my checkbook so I can pay them."
and Janet give programs individually and together. When
together they are known as 'Those Lutheran Ladies'. To book
Suzann or 'Those Lutheran Ladies' for a program, call Suzann at
800-494-9124 or email her at: email@example.com
Order by using the 'Place
an Order' form or you may order by phone (800 494-9124). For
and shipping charges, see 'Place