Making Elle


Chickens in the Road made the Books page in Elle Magazine! It’s in the Readers’ Prize section, which means advance copies were given to a number of Elle readers. The selected Elle readers review books and, each month, one book with the highest reviews moves to their annual Book of the Year round. Despite being noted as a “polarizing pick” with the comment “‘Martha Stewart meets West Virginia farm life,’ sneered one dissenter” it’s going to the Book of the Year round, I’ve been told. (Note that I didn’t choose the word “sneered” –that is in the review!)

If you want to see it, it’s in the October issue of Elle Magazine, which is on stands now, on page 292. I picked up a copy in Charleston yesterday. My friend Jerry met me at the bookstore. We read the review together and pondered my “existential equilibrium” (another comment in the review).
“The things I do for you,” he said. “No real man would ever pick up this magazine.” Elle is an inch-thick glossy high fashion magazine, in case you don’t know. (Similar to Vogue.)

You can also find more of the readers’ reviews at the Elle website. (Most of them are good, but not all–one reviewer accuses me of having no writing skills. That’s brutal! Hmmph! Despite my lack of writing skills, I’ve been making a living as a writer all of my adult life and it’s a good thing I have a sense of humor.)


  1. Glenda says:

    A sense of humor is required when you are a writer or write a blog…..or run a farm. It is what keeps us halfway sane.

    Congratulations on the Elle thing. The more publicity the book gets, the better!

  2. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    Oh dear! So many mixed emotions for you right now. Well, for me if I were you.
    So, who do you want to play you in the movie they are going to make of your life? Farm life is hot right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone came knocking within the next 6 months or so to make you a movie deal if it hasn’t already happened. :shimmy:

  3. Diane says:

    Over all its very exciting!! I would think there would be both good and bad reviews. As long as the good ones out number the bad. 🙂

  4. lattelady says:

    Not bad, not bad at all. Right on! I will be getting the book when it comes out.
    Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. The are envious of your freedoms to learn and make mistakes, have successes, etc., on your own.

  5. bonita says:

    Chore boots meet Jimmie Choos. I luv it!

  6. lilys says:

    Well all I can say is….I can’t wait to read it! I’m so excited! Congrats and thank you for writing it!

  7. brenda in tx says:

    Come on October 8. Can’t wait for my copy!

  8. mschrief says:

    The actress who MUST portray you in a movie is Mireille Enos. She looks JUST LIKE YOU and is a fantastic actress with a long resume.

    Last series she was in is “The Killing”…

    She could literally be your twin! COPY PASTE this and see for yourself:

  9. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong they are! We love you AND your writing skills Suzanne!! :snuggle:

  10. hawkswench says:

    mschrief is right she does look like you. I did leave a comment on Elle too.

  11. DeniseS says:

    Hats off to Jerry for not only reading the Elle reviews in public, but being photographed while doing it. That’s a true friend! As far as the comment on having no writing skills – that one has me shaking my head in disbelief. It was your writing skills in “My Grandmother’s Dishes” that drew me into Chickens in the Road, and those skills have kept me reading ever since.

  12. Jan Hodges says:

    I think “Martha Stewart meets West Virginia farm life” is pretty cool really. What’s not to like? The other comment is just stupid. And a picture! And a name! Whoo Hoo!

  13. LisaAJB says:

    “The modern girl’s Little House in the Prairie…” I love it! Can’t wait for my copy to get here.

  14. TracyT says:

    hi Suzanne,
    Well, with scrutiny comes criticism, I guess. But hey, you’ve done quite an impressive thing in writing a personal memoir that a publisher had enough faith in to bankroll– much kudos to you. You’ve never claimed to be writing the Great American Memoir, and never stated that you’re a literary, grammar or stylistic prodigy. It sounds like you’ve written an honest, insightful, candid, amusing light story of a significant period of your life.

    Be prepared for those who take the “living off the land” concept so deeply to heart that they will scoff that they you’re hardly self-sustaining in that way, or “totally self-sufficient” with all the help you are able to muster– but heck with them, you’ve moved your life in a direction that you seem to find very satisfying, seems to make you happy…and if they want to write a book, let ’em!

  15. Augustlace says:

    I have been reading Suzanne’s Writings here at “Chickens in The Road” for the past 2-3 Years or maybe Longer! I love the Writings, Comments,the Animals, the Farm, and All the Recipes and How Everyone Shares! I have ordered 4 books for Gifts! Thank You Suzanne McMinn! Looking Forward to More Reads! I was Born and Raised on a Working Farm! A lot of Hard Work but Thankful for All the Knowledge and Love from Farm Life! :cowsleep: My Mother Canned Everything! 😮

  16. brendaE says:

    EEKs that is truly brutal – no writing skills. Guess that means I have no taste either as I love your writing skills. Each to their own I guess. I guess my 10 is always going to be someone else’s 1 and I can live with that and I’m sure you can also. I think your talents speak for themselves.

  17. Dana says:

    No writing skills?…..ok…I know bad words are not allowed :). So she’s one uptight person! You have given so much joy to so many people because you share and you have inspired us to do what the heck we want!! And who cares what anyone thinks. And now I can really not wait for the book! How many more sleeps?! Congratulations on making Elle!! That is FANTASTIC!! :happyflower:
    Dana Mama

  18. margiesbooboo says:


    Martha met WV farm life at Alderson

    Very proud of you!

  19. Kris73 says:

    You are also on
    Its a great site and many have read advanced copies and put remarks up and many have marked it to be read!! Just wanted you to know about you on that site!! Good luck — also marking it to read although have been on your site for a few years now!!

  20. Old Geezer says:

    Elle is originally a French publication (“elle” = “she/her”). When I commuted daily into NYC I would buy the French version in Grand Central in order to try and keep my French fresh. It’s much more fun to read “French-style Cosmo” than to practice “The pen of my aunt is on the table.”

    That said, I would not pay much attention to reader-critics in such a publication. Some of them are pretentious horse-back-ends who are just preening their own egos. Your writing skills are spot on for the genres you work in. No worries.

  21. pookie22 says:

    :hissyfit: Suzanne, did they READ the book? Meh, they’re fashionistas what do they know of farms and farmlife? I wouldn’t let it worry me what a bunch of idiots think. We love your writing, I personally find your writing enjoyable, funny, uplifting, heartfelt….I could go on, but don’t want to swell your head LOL!!!!
    I haven’t read your book yet, I want to, just can’t afford to buy it just yet (very tiny limited income budget here), but from what you have posted, its a great book.

    I feel sorry for those who don’t understand “normal” people who are down to earth and actually live a real life instead of starving themselves to fit into someone else’s image of pretty/beautiful. What will they have when they are old? Sad…..

    Keep up the wonderful writing you do and share with us!

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