Sissy book cover

“Unfiltered: The Revelations of Sissy McStuffins: Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid” is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.

PAOLI — A pair of retired English teachers and Paoli High School alumni have collaborated on a new novel exploring the humorous stories of their friend Sissy McStuffins.

Rebecca Haley and Susan Terrell Adams’ 40-year friendship has kept them together through Susan’s 23 years of teaching English and journalism in Corydon and Salem, while Rebecca spent 20 teaching local students at Paoli Jr.-Sr. High School.

“She and I are both retired English teachers who have similar and sometimes distorted senses of humor. Susan and I regularly asked, “Do you remember the time that Sissy...” did or said whatever the memory entailed. A lot of times, the story was exclusive to one of us, but there are many that we share also,” Rebecca explained. “Susan and I were talking over dinner in November, and she said she had been thinking about writing some of the “Sissy” stories into a novel, potentially, a book series. I agreed to be her editor again. She sent me the first chapter and told me to feel free to add to it, and I did. It began by my interjecting humorous moments that Susan had not quite captured or small but necessary details she may have left out in the rough draft stage. Eventually, because there were tales that I knew that Susan was not familiar with, she said, “You have to write that chapter!” We are already working on the second book in the series.”

The novel Unfiltered: The Revelations of Sissy McStuffins : Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid stemmed from sharing stories of Sissy’s life.

“Anyone who has ever met Sissy knows that she is one of those “living-in-the-moment” kinds of people,” Rebecca said. “She has always been undaunted by challenges and has devoted her life to personal improvement through education and travel. She prefers dogs over cats and would also very matter-of-factly declare “Cats drool, and dogs rule,” which pertains a discussion Susan and I had last weekend about the time Sissy contacted Stephen King about his having wasted time burying and resurrecting a cat (or as she would say un gato) in his novel and subsequent movie Pet Sematary. Although the book is mostly fiction, much is true about the locations she visited, as well as some of her acts of kindness. Sissy has never been one to invite publicity, but some stories simply must be shared.”

The book began as a project 12 years ago, but the pair recently decided to revisit the topic with some major rework. The book is currently in the re-write stage, along with another of Susan’s books. While Rebecca has edited multiple publications in the past, the 12 book of Susan’s will be Rebecca’s first published work.

“There is a plot twist in the novel which may surprise some readers,” Rebecca added. “It is a quick read of mostly standalone chapters and should elicit at least some chuckles, if not the occasional LOL. Our plan is to introduce the amazing character, Sissy, to readers in our first book. We intend to create a collection of stories, eventually incorporating some of the non-celebrity friends she met along the way.”

Unfiltered: The Revelations of Sissy McStuffins: Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.