The Official Website for Author Sue Hardesty
About Me

Sue with Coco

Nel and Sue

Fast Facts

Born: Buckeye, Arizona, July 11, 1933
Siblings: Twin brother and two older bros
Parents: Mom was a prospector, Dad was a rancher/farmer
High School: Buckeye Union
College: Arizona State U
Degrees: BA in English, Masters in Communication
Met Nel: 1969
Moved: To Oregon from the SW in 1992
Jobs: High school teacher, media specialist, bookstore owner, B&B owner, house flipper, photographer, curriculum writer, novelist, reviewer, and editor
Organizations: NOW, PFLAG, Rainbow Round Table, Golden Crown Literary Society, Lambda Literary
Hobbies: Beachcombing, saving sea stars, photography, reading, cooking, technology, rehabbing houses
Favorite color: All of them!

Death: December 16, 2022

Please Note: After a brave battle with cancer, Sue died on the morning of December 16, 2022. She was 89 years young. She never stopped being creative and leaves behind a legacy of photography, art, love for her friends and family, and 53 years of love, passion, and dedication to her spouse, Nel Ward. Sue is sorely missed by everyone who knew her and by those who enjoyed her writing and photography. Read what the local newspaper had to say about her HERE.

Because I was born in southern Arizona, desert dwelling was my childhood way of life. My mother had followed her father into prospecting, and I followed them from one claim to the next while my father reluctantly blasted for minerals for her when he wasn't farming and ranching. She loved the desert plants, especially the flowers, and taught me about their uses. Medicinal plants were especially handy when I got wounded from the hard lessons the desert was famous for. I also loved to trail my father from one water-hole to the next as we worked half-Brahma steers.

My favorite sound is the windmill squawking in the distance, each turn bringing water to the surface. My beloved horse, a wise, white desert-sure broom-tail always managed to get me home. Summers sometimes took me north where I guided horseback riders through the northern Arizona mountains. Everything there from the green of the valleys and forests to the beautiful refreshing streams was wonderful except for the fierce afternoon lightening storms which scared the crap out of both the horse and me.

I lost this life when I was sent off for book learning and made a new life as a school teacher. I met Nel, the love of my life, at Arizona State University. During our first years together we wrote curriculum, including a media textbook that sold around the world, and we eventually directed school media centers until we retired.

Once we retired, the desert heat lost its appeal, so we moved to a Pacific Northwest coastal town as close to water as we could get. Once again, we found a whole new way of living. Over the years we opened a bookstore and two bed and breakfasts, worked on renovating and building houses, started a publishing company, and edited The Butch Cook Book. I also wrote four novels, three about Loni Wagner, and another about three teens stranded in the desert. I got very involved in photography.

The future? Maybe I'll write another Loni Wagner novel. Or take more photos. What I do know is that I'm looking forward to whatever's behind the next door I open.

Sue Hardesty

The View from my Window

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