Susan Schreyer ’73 is the author of the popular Thea Campbell Mystery Series set in and around Snohomish, WA, not far from where she now lives. The fourth book, BushWhacked, was released early June 2012 and begins with Thea discovering a human skeleton buried under a rhododendron in her backyard. A healthy dose of humor and a dip into the paranormal take the familiar characters (including Thea’s horse Blackie!) in a slightly different direction from their usual suspenseful adventures.
Changes of direction are normal fare for Susan. After graduating from Western with a major in sociology, she has had careers in the business computing side of the healthcare industry, trained horses and taught dressage, and maintained her roles as wife and mother. Several years ago she turned to mystery writing when life took an unexpected turn and she closed her training business to stay home for her then 11-year-old son.
“I dug deep to find an outlet that would keep me productive,” Susan says. “Thanks to Margaret Barrier and Gladys Kuoksa, I learned to love research and appreciate the workings of social groups. I put that major course of study to use in a manner I doubt anyone expected. Death by a Dark Horse was my first publishable work and cemented my love for creating entertaining stories with complex social relationships. Without a doubt, the years I spent at Western College laid a foundation of accepting challenges, afforded opportunities to grow and nurtured the courage to explore new interests — all vital traits for an author of mysteries!”
Susan writes two blogs: “Things I Learned from My Horse” and “Writing Horses.” You can find out more about her books at her website, www.susanschreyer.com
Lilina Cambouris Williams ’65 was one of the featured artists at the Agora Gallery in New York City recently and in the past three years has exhibited her paintings in solo shows at the Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD, as well as at The Arts Club of Washington. She also exhibits in the annual “Small Treasures” show at the American Painting Fine Art Gallery in DC, and her works have been included in the Brookside Gardens botanical art shows.
Born Eleftheria Cambouris, of Greek parents in Cairo, Egypt, she came all the way to Oxford, Ohio, to attend college in 1961, graduated with a B.A. in political science, and went on to earn a master’s in international relations from American University, Washington, DC.
“Lily” (as she was known at Western) took art classes throughout her university years and, while at Western, she had almost enough credits to have a minor in art. In fact, Dr. Leonard Kesl, one of her art professors at Western, tried to convince her to switch majors from poli sci to art. She enjoyed her art classes and remembers his commenting that he always found in her paintings an influence from her Greek and Egyptian cultural experiences. After graduating from American University, Lilina joined the World Bank and continued her interest in art with evening painting classes at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Upon retirement from the World Bank in 1999, she was able to devote full time to painting and studied further at Corcoran, receiving a Certificate in Painting and Drawing in 2001.
Lilina is married to Dennis Williams, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They have two daughters: Christina graduated from Johns Hopkins University and is currently completing her Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Massachusetts; and Elena, who graduated from Barnard College and lives and works in New York City.
Lilina will be one of the featured artists at the Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in Bethesda, MD, from May 29 to June 29, 2014. Those who cannot view her beautiful paintings in person can at least visit her web site: www.lilinacwilliams.com