Writing professor a published author
Susan Serafin-Jess is a writing professor at Lansing Community College. Courtesy photo
By Juanita Kelly-Hill
LCC Writing Professor Susan Serafin-Jess said she always knew her passion was in writing
As a child, she wrote a poem about her puppy, which she shared with her mother and
teacher. She said they both gushed over the poem, and ever since she has deemed herself
Serafin-Jess grew up in Battle Creek and relocated to East Lansing to attend college at Michigan State University. There, she received her bachelor’s degree in English, and has resided in the area since.
She also received her Masters of Fine Arts Degree from Northern Michigan University.
Outside of teaching writing at LCC, Serafin-Jess is a published author of a true-crime
novel, “Wild Horse: A Crime Revisited,” as well as four books of poetry.
Serafin-Jess explained how she got into writing a true-crime novel.
“One Christmas I was talking with my sisters, and somehow the subject of what happened
to Sara Barkley came up,” she said. “We could not remember what happened to her, but
we knew she was in a lovers’ triangle and someone had been shot.
“I went to the library that following week and did research on the case. So, that
kind of aroused my curiosity about how she died at age 26 of a cerebral hemorrhage,
but it was rumored she was beaten. She was a butch lesbian, an outlier of a small-town
Serafin-Jess said she plans on writing another true-crime novel because she enjoys the research it requires.
She sends words of encouragement to those who want to become writers.
“The most important thing is to find your voice,” Serafin-Jess said. “You have a unique voice; we all imitate and we all steal a little bit. It’s good to find examples that you like and learn from them, but it’s still important to find your own voice.”