Many of the adventures described in the Gus books were based on Susan's actual childhood experiences. She and her brothers and cousins would often embark on long explorations. 

Her writing reflects her vast knowledge about the history and natural environment of the Central Texas area. When she is not working in the insurance industry and reading to children, she is writing, playing, and exploring with her grandchildren.

Earlier additional inspiration for the Gus books:

"When Ethan, our oldest grandson, was 5 years old, I started writing the stories with him. Ethan had a wonderful imagination and started contributing ideas for the stories as he became older. Now our other 4 grandchildren are also characters in the stories."

The books are dedicated to Ethan's memory:

When Ethan was 6 years old, he was diagnosed with Leukemia and died before he reached the age of 9. A portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated to the First Baptist Church Christian Youth Ministry Fund in Ethan's memory.