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Susan Jeffers (1938-2012)

The "Official" Bio
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. has helped millions of people throughout the world overcome their fears, heal their relationships, and move forward in life with confidence and love.

Susan Jeffers, author of books on overcoming fear She was the author of many internationally renowned books including Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Feel the Fear. . .and Beyond, Feel the Fear Power Planner, End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Dare to Connect, Opening Our Hearts to Men, Losing a Love...Finding a Life, Thoughts Of Power and Love, The Little Book of Confidence, Embracing Uncertainty, Life is Huge! plus her "Fear-less Series" of affirmation books and tapes (Inner Talk for Peace of Mind, Inner Talk for a Confident Day, and Inner Talk For a Love That Works). Her latest book is The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love, which was published in the UK in May 2005 and in the US and Canada by her own publishing company, Jeffers Press, in October 2005.

As well as being a best-selling author, Susan was a sought-after public speaker and has been a guest on many radio and television shows internationally. She lived with her husband, Mark Shelmerdine, in Los Angeles until her untimely death on October 27th, 2012.

What makes the work of Susan Jeffers stand out? A look at the masses of thank-you letters she receives reveals that her fans - young and old, and from a whole array of life situations - love her humanness, her humor, her willingness to reveal so much of herself, the universality of her message, and the easy-to-understand style of her writing...a winning combination, indeed. They report, "It's as though she is speaking directly to me." The connection is truly felt. And connection is what Susan Jeffers is all about.

"Susan Jeffers is attractive, articulate, artfully commanding..."
Los Angeles Times

The "Unofficial" Bio
This brief autobiography was written by Susan a few years before her death.
I think of myself as someone who seems to be constantly reinventing herself. I started out as a small town girl and became a big city woman. I love big cities! In my early life, I lived by the then-rules, which means I got married early and had two children. It didn't take long for me to realize that the rules really weren't written for me. I was meant to be doing something in addition to raising a family.

I went back to school when my children were young, much to the shock of my mother and others who felt a woman's place was definitely in the home. I felt this was true only for women who wanted to be there...and not true for those who didn't! So I persevered and attained my BA, Master's Degree, and Doctorate in Psychology. Fate stepped in upon graduation and offered me the opportunity to become Executive Director of The Floating Hospital, New York's Ship of Health. At the same time, my husband and I decided to end our marriage of 16 years. Thankfully, we are good friends today.

My ten years at The Floating Hospital and my life as a single woman were intensely gratifying and exciting. What an adventure! I certainly learned a lot about feeling the fear and doing it anyway! It was also during those ten years that I began my journey to self-discovery that was to make me a happier and more loving person, and led me into my present career of writing self-help books.

Just when I felt it was time to leave THE FLOATING HOSPITAL and begin my new writing career, I fell in love with the wonderful Englishman to whom I am now married, Mark Shelmerdine, and gained two step-children.

Mark owned London Films and was a film and television producer. Most importantly, he was loving, kind, giving, and cute...and he dearly loved this woman...even though she only had one breast as a result of a mastectomy. (Truly, women out there, those breasts aren't really that important!) Mark calls me his "titless wonder", which makes me feel very special and tells me I look like a sexy pirate. We are now married over 27 years and it just gets better... and better...and better...and better.

My new career took a while to take hold. It took many, many rejections before my first book, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY, was finally accepted by a publisher. The worst rejection letter I ever got was that "Lady Di could be bicycling nude down the street giving this book away and nobody would read it."

You would have thought the book would end up in the trash bin at this point. But undaunted, I moved forward and with the help of my genius agent, Dominick Abel, my writing career was finally launched. In 1986, a wonderful editor at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich named Martha Lawrence said YES! The valuable lesson I learned was never give up if you believe in something!

Well, that's it in a nutshell. What is the next step of the Journey? Only time will tell. I'll keep you posted.

By the way...Some of you erroneously believe I am the Susan Jeffers who is a master at illustrating children's books. I would love to have her wonderful artistic talent, but such is not the case. (I can knit though!) We are two separate beings each having our own input into the world of books.

Susan's Bookshelf
For interested readers, here are some of the books that inspired Susan.