Q & A


I get questions. Lots of questions. I’m devoting an entire post to the most frequently asked questions. Ready? Here goes.

Q: When are you getting a llama?

A: Never. Unless I get one. Llamas are expensive. If you have a free llama, let me know.

Q: What size round cake pans are you talking about in your recipes?

A: Every time someone asks me this, I have to search until I find a measuring tape. It is so hard to find a measuring tape around here. Have pity.

Q: Why didn’t you answer my email?

A: I’m sorry. I do try to answer every email. I’m almost to the point where I will have to let go and let God. Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed and just don’t have time. Other times, I mean to and just forget because something happens and I’m pulled away from the computer because there’s a pig in the goat yard or something. It’s hard to be me. (Email me again.)

Q: Why didn’t you answer my Facebook message?

A: I have a lot of trouble with Facebook. I don’t have great internet here. (I live in the country.) I’m 9,582 times more likely to write you back if you email me.

Q: Can I come visit you and bring my friends?

A: Last year, we had a party on the farm in the fall. We’re hoping to have another party this fall. You’ll all be invited.

Q: Is Clover pregnant?

A: Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t think so, but if she doesn’t surprise me with a baby in six weeks, we’ll know she’s NOT.

Q: How did you get your farm? Did you win the lottery or get a big inheritance?

A: Yes, that’s why I collect free stuff and build pens out of pallets. Real answer: No. I got my farm the old-fashioned way—by borrowing money from the bank.

Q: Can I come live with you?

A: Did you win the lottery and will you share? Do you do chores?

Q: How do you have time to do all of the things that you do?

A: I work hard. I don’t sit around unless I’m working at the computer. I love what I do and I like to be busy.

Q: How can you cook the way you do and not be overweight?

A: I don’t eat entire pies or whole cakes by myself. I have three children and I also give away some of the things I bake because I love to bake and sometimes bake way too much. However, the recipes I feature on my blog are what we eat here. We just don’t consume them in one sitting in their entirety. And we work hard. I believe in real food—and real work.

Q: When are you going to eat Mean Rooster?

A: Probably never. I like him. He’s a worthy adversary and an interesting character. He intrigues me. I think I’m going to teach him to knit, try to bring out his softer side. (P.S. I’ve never eaten ANY of my chickens.)

Q: Why don’t you write children’s books?

A: This is the most difficult question that I’m asked with great frequency as the answer is complicated. I’ve been involved in the publishing industry almost half of my life. I could set my mind to it, research children’s book publishing, and have a pretty good chance of selling children’s books. I know how to write and sell books. But I also know how much time that would consume and how little money I could hope to gain for my effort. Writing books is not as lucrative as most people think. So far, I don’t think the time/effort would pay off. When I think it will, I’ll do it. Until then, I benefit more by writing them on my blog and giving them away for free.

Q: Do you have a recipe for X, Y, or Z?

A: I’ll try. I get a lot of recipe requests. Sometimes it takes me a long time, but eventually I fulfill as many requests as I can. Don’t forget to check the Community Cookbook—there are a lot of great recipes there!

Q: Do you have a one-legged chicken?

A: No! No, I don’t! I don’t know why people think I have a one-legged chicken. All of my chickens have two legs.

Got more questions? Post your questions in the comments today and I’ll answer them. (Which is so much more effective than emailing me, I promise!)

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 22, 2009  

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49 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-22

    My question is how did you come to be a romance fiction writer? I’ve read several of your books by the way & love them!
    Have you always wanted to be a writer? Have you written anything other than romance fiction? How did you get started?

  2. 6-22

    Would you ever consider adding a Scottish Highlander cow to your collection of furry farm children?!

  3. 6-22

    I don’t have a question, but just wanted to add that your response to the one legged chicken question just cracked me up. haha

    Why would someone think you have a chicken(s) with just one leg?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I’m sure I’ll be back with a question of my own.

  4. 6-22

    Do you ever get tired of answering questions?

    Love your work and you are right…..country life is hard work. When people tell me,”When I retire I’m going to move to the country and farm,” I always role my eyes and tell them farming will be harder than the job they have now!

  5. 6-22

    Love your blog! What are you currently working on for your next publication?

  6. 6-22

    If you REALLY want to have a llama -or two- why not try the One Red Paperclip guys way and get one by trading? Of course you wouldn’t nessesarily have to start out with a paperclip:

  7. 6-22

    Loved the answers! Love your website. My 11 year old daughter and I check it every day together. She loves the videos the best, but we really enjoy every picture and every word. If we ever get any money or a llama, we’ll send it your way. We live in the suburbs near DC, grow our tomatoes in a pot, and love the glimpse into life on a farm.
    Thank you!

  8. 6-22

    As a kid, I had a one legged chicken. Mom chopped the other off trying to kill a snake!LOL Love your writings!

  9. 6-22

    Who’s talking about a one-legged chicken? How about a four legged-chicken? Or more! (LOL!) We had fried chicken last night… a whole chicken cut apart, not a package of pre-cut pieces and my kids were not happy to only have two legs. “Aren’t there any more?” “Uh, no. Not unless we are eating mutant chicken.” I guess we need to eat pre-cut a bit less. I didn’t realize my kids thought a whole chicken came with endless legs.

  10. 6-22

    a one legged chicken? where’d that come from?

  11. 6-22

    I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was five and I picked up my first romance novel, a Harlequin Romance, when I was 12. I decided right then that what I wanted to write was romance novels. And I did! Other than romance, I’ve written for a newspaper–a long time ago as the Lifestyles Editor of a small county paper in Texas (The Hood County News), and now as the country living columnist for the Charleston Daily Mail. I got started writing books by just sitting down and writing out complete manuscripts and sending them out cold to publishing houses until somebody finally gave in and started buying them!

    Here are a few posts I’ve done about my life as a romance writer:

  12. 6-22

    I’d love to have a Scottish Highlander cow!

  13. 6-22

    I’m not sure how that rumor got started, but I think it might have been because of a photo where a chicken looked like it only had one leg. I’m not sure about that, though!

  14. 6-22

    No, I never get tired of answering questions, but sometimes I run out of time!

    You’re right–farming is not exactly relaxing retirement! But it’s a good kind of tired and a good kind of work. I’d rather do this than anything else in the world.

  15. 6-22

    I’m really not (actively) working on anything for publication right now, though I was working on a cookbook. It’s gotten set aside for months because I’ve been so busy! Need to get back to that…. (Feeling guilty now.)

  16. 6-22

    I’m not sure I really want a llama, though they are really cute! I think I’m just not ready yet.

  17. 6-22

    :wave: I think you have opened a can of worms again, Suzanne!

    Well, now that you are in the Q&A mode: Did your cousin tear the wash house down? :no: :no: :no: Don’t let him do it!

  18. 6-22

    Thanks so much for writing this blog Suzanne, I love starting my day reading about what is going on with your farm.

  19. 6-22

    He hasn’t taken it down yet, but he’s going to!

  20. 6-22

    Thank you!

  21. 6-22

    Thank you! I truly appreciate all the kind comments. You all make my day.

  22. 6-22

    I can’t imagine how you find time to do everything at the farm AND manage to keep this blog going, but I’m so glad that you do! I love your farm. Someday I WILL have a few animals too!

  23. 6-22

    You amaze me too. I sometimes wish that I have half the energy that you have to exert to keep things running at your farm. I don’t know that I could accomplish all you do in a day!

  24. 6-22

    *Yesterday, was the trees (two different occasions!)
    *Today the wash house (well may tomorrow)
    *Next: the old farmhouse!

    Put you foot down now and say NO! You could make a very interesting bed and breakfast from the old farmhouse! :shimmy: Oh please don’t let him tear it down!! :hissyfit: :devil2:

  25. 6-22

    Every thing you do is entertaining Thank You so much. Reading the comments is a great way to find the answers to many of the questions I have. Again thank you for taking the time for this blog.

  26. 6-22

    My take on the one legged chicken thing is that you have been mistaken for one of those chicken farmers out there selling one leg at a time off of the chickens they own. I know this is happening because at my supermarket I can purchase a pack of 6 chicken legs with no chicken attached. Huh?

  27. 6-22

    When is your favorite time of day?

    Do you ever get writers block? If so. What do you do to get over it?

  28. 6-22

    Thanks for taking time to respond to reader questions, Suzanne. I have shared the joys of “Chickens in the Road” with such an eclectic assortment of folks in the past months–30-year old daughters, best friend from childhood, 5-year old neighbor, former colleague, book group–the list goes on and on.
    We do need an update on Spraddle (unless the news is not so good). Thanks again.
    PS: Are you serious about that party in the fall?

  29. 6-22

    I loved today’s post…Now we all have the answers to those questions !

  30. 6-22

    Can I have Clover? I love her. I’m sure she would enjoy living in my townhome.

  31. 6-22

    You are living my dream, glad I can live vicariously through your blog. I even thought of your farm when I drove past a field full of alpaca yesterday.

    How are Jack and Pocahontas getting along?

  32. 6-22

    I don’t have a question, but a wish :)
    Please work on the cookbook, I’ll be the first to buy it, I promise. So far, all your recipes turned out to be wonderful! Thank you for a great read and super pictures!

  33. 6-22

    I love to drop by your blog and visit :happyflower:

  34. 6-22

    Jack and Pocahontas have yet to meet! Jack is in the bottom pasture with the sheep and Pocahontas is in the goat yard by the house.

  35. 6-22

    Clover would probably adore your townhome, but you might not like her poop!

  36. 6-22

    Yes, we had a party on the farm last fall for my blog readers and are planning to have another party this fall!

    I have sad news about Spraddle. She was a plucky little thing, bless her heart, but she didn’t make it. Even as her legs seemed to be straightening out and growing stronger, she remained very small and one day I found her facefirst in the chick waterer. She had drowned. How she could drown in a waterer designed specifically for baby chicks, I don’t know. It was terrible!

  37. 6-22

    Some days I have a hard time thinking of something to write for my blog. Most of the time, there is so much going on that it’s not a problem, but on days when it is, I usually go outside and spend time with the animals and let them tell me a story. They always have something to say, even if I don’t!

  38. 6-22

    Oh, and my favorite time of day is first thing in the morning, on the porch, watching the sun come up, and then in the evening after all the chores are done and I can sit on the porch! (That’s two favorite times a day….)

  39. 6-22

    I think you do have a one legged chicken. You should write a cookbook with lots of your great pictures in it. Everybody who’s anybody has a great cookbook published!

  40. 6-22

    Hi Suzanne! Just wanted to say that I love reading your blog and the forum. You were a huge inspiration to me when I started my blog and still are. Thank you!

  41. 6-22

    How do you get your kids to help? I have a hard enough time getting my 12 yo to keep her flip-flops in her room and empty soda cans in the trash.

    Is 52 off the market? I think my dear husband needs a good scare.

  42. 6-22

    My sons aren’t exactly cheerful helpers, so I don’t think I can help you there! They are big whiners when it comes to any work around the farm (or the house), one more so than the other. My daughter, though, is an excellent helper. Even a cheerful helper most of the time! She says, “Helping is the polite thing to do.” I don’t know what planet she came from, but I’m keeping her!

    Re 52, he better be off the market! If you see him on the market, smack him.

  43. 6-22

    :wave: Hi Suzanne! So sorry to hear about poor little Spraddle. I was thinking she may have been the reason for the one-legged chicken rumor, even though she had two.

    I can’t help but wonder how many people will show up for your party in the fall – you may end up overwhelmed with guests! How many showed up last year? Did you write about it in your blog? If so, I missed it. I just started reading it about 6 or 7 months ago after I read one of your articles in the Charleston Daily Mail.

    You are a great writer and photographer, and also very funny. 52 is a lucky man, and your kids are lucky to have you as their mom! Keep up the good work, you make my day!

  44. 6-22

    I just found your website yesterday when I was searching for a really good homemade bread recipe. Needless to say, your Grandmother Bread is FANTASTIC! Our family ate the whole loaf last night and this morning I made your Cinnamon Swirl Bread — WONDERFUL!! My family comes from Waverly in West Virginia and I love visiting. I’m so glad I found your blog — I can live on the farm through all your adventures and pictures. Thanks so much!


  45. 6-22

    I’m sorry about Spraddle. Poor little thing. That is the reality of the farm, though, isn’t it? You’re just a little closer to the cycle of life than those of us in more urban environs, including the reality that some creatures just aren’t able to make it. At least you tried to help.

  46. 6-22

    The very first time I saw a Highland cow was in the Lake District of England. I was being shown the “old” world by a couple of locals. As the car zipped by and I saw that fella out in the pasture, I’d said “Whut the HELL is THAT?” before I could contain my North Carolina ignorance. It looked like a Texas longhorn crossed with a woolly mammoth! Why is it that the Hereford and the Angus have roots in Great Brittain, and they’re here, but nobody imported Scottish cows to the USA? Maybe there are some. I’ve found Bison in NC pastures…but alas, no Scottish cows yet!

  47. 6-22

    Hi, Yvonne! I don’t remember how many people showed up. Not that many, really! I wrote about it here:

  48. 6-22

    Thanks for the link to last year’s party – looks like you all had a very, very good time! I’d love to be one of your guests this year, but have to get hubby to agree to it. (well heck, if he doesn’t want to come, I can bring my tiny little mom and my tiny little sister with me – also bringing along some good food of course!) Wonderful thought. I’m only a few counties away, in Kanawha county, near the Lincoln county line in Tornado. I really hope to make it!

  49. 9-18


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