Sue Theisen always liked writing, but it wasn’t until she became a school bus driver that she found her calling as a children’s author.
After taking a job as a school bus driver for Forsyth County Schools in 2008, Theisen said something clicked.
“I started seeing these kids on the bus and they started triggering the books and triggering the writing,” she said.
“All of a sudden, these stories came to mind and they would just flow out on the paper for me.”
Like her first book, “I’m Happy to be Me,” Theisen’s third children’s book, “I Used to be Mean,” also deals with morals.
It addresses bullying and follows a former bully whose son is being picked on.
“I had a tough childhood, and if I can help make it easier for one student reading my books … I’ve done a good thing,” she said.
The books are available online. Though the concepts for pages and words are all Theisen’s, illustrator Daniel Dorman creates the final draft.
The two met through a game of World of Warcraft and have since been partners in children’s books.
Despite having never met in person, Dorman, who lives in England, and Theisen communicate online and over the phone to talk through a book.
“I have the illustrations in my head and ... I set everything up on publisher and I break down the pages and the words I want on the page,” she said. “He’s a very, very talented young man.”
Theisen said the two have several other titles in the works, including one inspired by her middle school bus route.
“It’s already written,” she said. “It’s called ‘The Turtle Watchers,’ because we would drive past twin lakes in Forsyth County and it had a fallen tree and I would slow the bus down a little bit and we’d look out the window and count the turtles that were sunning themselves on the tree.”
Other future projects include a book on self-confidence and one about name calling.