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  • Amy Q. Barker

The Legacy of Sue Lynne

Updated: Aug 12




That's me and Sue Lynne as I blow out the candles on my birthday dolly cake. Weren't we cute? That's also the back of Bobbi's head, to whom I dedicated my novel, Rue. I love this photo, a snapshot in time from our childhood.


For those of you that don’t know me, you may be wondering why I dedicated Bibliointuitive to “Sue Lynne.”


When I was a girl, Sue Lynne was my best friend.


Sue Lynne (like Kathy in Bibliointuitive), was adopted from Korea as a baby and died in an accident when I was twelve. The accident wasn’t the same as described in Bibliointuitive, but I was there during the accident and her death had a profound effect on my life.


What I have learned as an adult is that when you lose someone at that age, you begin to question everything. When someone is there with you every day and then one day they are not, you wonder why, what is the point, who makes these rules, why am I here and that person is gone, what are we all doing here, and why are some people still here while others are taken away?


Unfortunately, in my twelve-year-old mind, I didn’t process these questions in an open, thoughtful, intentional way. Instead I withdrew from thinking about Sue Lynne all together and went on with my life. I’m not proud of this fact, and quite frankly, the survivor’s guilt manifested in many other horrible unintended consequences that were probably much worse than if I had forced myself to process what had happened back then. Instead, in my early life, I made one bad decision after another, and grappled with self-destructive tendencies and depression. Thankfully, as a mature adult now, my life and my actions (and my processing of Sue Lynne’s death) have afforded me time to reflect and to become a much more integrated, happy, and stable person.


Writing this book was part of that journey—to help me understand the meaning of Sue Lynne's death (and life and death in general) and why I made the choices I did. I’m not saying I have all the answers now—in fact, I'm a complete work-in-progress, always seeking and trying to understand the meaning and complexities of life, but this book was the beginning of my effort to explain (with this fictionalized story) how to process these greater, deeper thoughts and feelings.


At the same time, I had an idea for a love story. In my real life, as a twelve-year-old girl, no one else was injured in the accident that killed Sue Lynne, but there were other individuals present and involved. I’ve always wondered what ever happened to these individuals and if they were negatively impacted by her death as I was. To this day, I’ve never spoken to any of them, so I don’t know the answer. But as I started writing, I wondered if there was a chance for redemption for people involved in accidents, and thus began my journey to explore how to go beyond the hurt and instead to find the LOVE that remains after a tragedy and how that can be captured and embraced.


Another aspect of this story came from my own semi-supernatural powers of intuition when it came to reading and writing. A month after Sue Lynne died, my mom gave me a diary (see video below) and sent me to the library. This triggered something in me, where I not only processed the actions of reading and writing in my physical everyday life, but I began to feel the sensation that I was somehow connected with the book I was reading and eventually (much later) with the book I was writing. I can’t explain it, but I know it to be true.



Finally, this story is a tribute to Sue Lynne and the spunky, funny, spirited, interesting girl that she was and my love story to her and her memory, one that I hope lives on through this book and through my life.


Thank you everyone for supporting me and my journey! I hope you enjoy Bibliointuitive.


Love, Amy


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