Peggy Sullivan, licensed mental health counselor (retired), relationship and children's expert, mother, and lover of cats. She retired from Okanogan County Juvenile Department after serving as the staff guardian ad litem, court services manager and CASA program director. She retired for the second time in 2019 from her private mental health counseling practice in Bellingham, Washington. She makes her home in a cozy cottage amidst old growth cedar trees with her two Russian Blue cat sisters.
Love Prescription was written after helping people get divorced for 16 years. Peggy saw what the problems were after advocating for over 200 children in custody cases and reviewing piles of parenting plans. At the same time, she was taking workshops on successful relationships and observing what worked with successful couples. After retiring from Okanogan County Juvenile Court, she started a private practice with a focus on relationships.
Blissfully Single was written for single people who want to live just as happily ever after as do couples. It was a two year process to interview 100 single people about how they find happiness. Their input was then combined with counseling techniques from positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy to provide an interactive experience. Readers were given ample opportunity for self-exploration and to plan for new ways of doing things. Adaptations for living a joyful single life during a pandemic are also given.
Midnight and Moonight was written originally in 1987 for Peggy's children as a story about her children's cats. She tested it at a reading for her daughter's kindergarten class and was pleased to see the children spellbound by the story. The original was written on a typewriter with drawings done in black ink. Peggy wanted to share this story with more children because of the important universal message it demonstrates, that diversity disappears within friendships.
Peggy discovered that writing for children was fun. It's a challenge to tell a story in a few words with rhythm and humor and keep to a simple message. With The Moon and Star, her cat stories became a series. Star was also a beloved family cat. She weighed a bare five pounds but was full of energy and a trooper as she accompanied Peggy's daughter Ann to the University of Oregon, where Ann ran hurdles and participated in the PAC 10 heptathalon. While there, Star's best friend, Willie, disappeared. We think he found another home because he was a super friendly cat and he did come back once only to leave again. Star lived in several homes in Eugene and went back and forth with Ann whenever she returned home. Eventually they moved to Bellingham where they lived in three different homes, including Peggy's cottage in the woods. Star insisted in going outside at night even though it was dangerous for a tiny white cat in the woods at night. When Peggy learned that Star's favorite thing outdoor thing to do was to watch the Moon, she knew what this book would be about. With all her good days and bad days, Star had discovered the power of finding something beautiful to focus on. Mindfulness is not just for cats.
Tevye the Magical Theater Cat, Peggy's third cat book, is based on the story of her son and daughter-in-law's cat. Tevye appeared during a performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the Bellingham Theatre Guild. The story tells how theater transforms people and creates family. It literally created a family for Tevye, when Rachel took her home. Peggy hopes this book will be an introduction to children about community theater and a celebration of community theater for those who love it as much as she does. Donations from the proceeds are given to community theaters.
Shadow Walkers is the nickname given to Peggy's current cats. They are very shy and hide when people come so noone else sees them They seem to walk in shadows, behind the scenes. Shyness is a trait that many people share as well. The theme became that quietness has depth to it. Many discoveries are to be made with quiet people, places, and cats.
Finishing up the series of lessons from cats, Peggy wrote her fifth cat book in tribute to her Montana family. Her daughter and family, including cats Jayki and Numi, originally lived in a yurt on five acres outside Kalispell, Montana. They have since moved into their straw bale house but this book honors that special time of life in the yurt, so close to nature. Montana calls people to visit such places as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. These cats live in Flathead County and the animals and birds were chosen with the help of the local state park ranger to be accurate as to which animals might be seen in winter and in the region. It's a sweet story meant to entertain even the youngest of readers.