Author Sue Hardesty dies aged 89 following cancer battle

Author Sue Hardesty who wrote a series of novels focused on themes of lesbianism and feminism has passed away aged 89.

Hardesty hailed from Arizona where she grew up alongside her twin brother and two elder brothers. She earned an undergraduate degree in English from Arizona University before completing a Mester’s Degree in Communication. In 1969 while at university she met her partner Dr Nel Ward.

Hardesty was a High School English and Media teacher for 27 years. In 1992 the couple left the Southern West area of the United States in 1992 and moved to thew Oregon Coast where they ran a bookstore, several Bed and Breakfast establishments, while also renovating houses.

In 2008 Hardest and Ward collaborated with author Lee Lynch to create The Butch Cookbook. It has been recognised as one of the most unusual cookbooks ever, and even appears in a scene in the Kathleen Turner movie The Perfect Family.

In 2010 at the age of 77 Hardesty published her first novel The Truck Comes on Thursday: Book 1 in the Loni Wagner Series. It introduced readers to the character of Loni Wagner a L.A cop who returns to the quieter life in Arizona as a member of the Highway Patrol. She encoutners a series of crimes while also adjusting to small town life where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Following the success of her debut novel she went on to publish two more books in the series.

Hardesty also wrote a novel called Panic, a lesbian young adult book about three teens who get lost in the Arizona desert.

Alongside writing several short stories for anthologies, Hardesty’s most recent work Nine Muses: Open the Door to Let Your Muses In was released in 2020.  It is described as a is a full-color, inspiring volume of encouragement for writers and other creative souls. 

Alongside her writing work Hardesty was also an active member of PFLAG, and many other community organisations.

Hardesty passed away on December 16th following a battle with cancer.

OIP Staff, Image: headshot of Sue Hardesty from Wikipedia, created by DMThompson and shred under a Creative Commons SA-4.0 license

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