10/06/2010 06:50 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Spotlight on Humorist Susan Reinhardt

Laughter is a wonderful human reaction. Studies say that laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, makes you feel good and at peace with the world, and triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals.

Humorist Susan Reinhardt provides her readers with enough material to release those wonderful endorphins and make your day a happier one. She is funny and someone you'd love to have as a friend.

We don't automatically think the words funny and pretty go together; the funny girl in school was not necessarily always the pretty one. But in the case of writer and novelist Susan Reinhardt the two words aptly describe her; she is both funny, hilariously so, and very pretty. What she writes makes us laugh and laughter spreads happiness. Read one of her books and you'll see why.

She writes from the heart and from real-life. As a syndicated Gannett newspaper columnist and a full-time writer for the Asheville Citizen-Times in Asheville, NC, many of her essays and stories revolve around her family members, but she is on alert about what she writes; after all it is family she's writing about. But never fear, her Mama, she says, is a proper lady who will tell her when she's not being classy.

Susan began her path to becoming an author after finding out that her original choice of a profession was definitely not for her. Her dad, a Southern minister, told her to go into nursing because that profession would always have jobs. To sweeten the deal he also added this proviso:
"If you get fat and can't get a husband, you'll have a good job to fall back on."

It was practical advice that Susan did indeed try to take. Even trying to take a blood pressure reading on a woman for thirty minutes only to be told that the woman was dead did not deter her. What did end her budding nursing career was the day she was sponge-bathing a comatose male patient and saw, as she hilariously relates, "something rise to the occasion." Since sex ed. classes were not taught in the 1970's, Susan had no idea the male anatomy was capable of this interesting function and bolted from the room. That story alone is worth reading her work. The lady is funny!

She is the author of such books as "Not Tonight Honey, Wait 'Til I'm a Size 6," a collection of essays that ranges from hysterically funny to heart-touchingly real, "Never Sleep With A Bubba Unless Your Eggs Are in Wheelchairs," and "Dishing With The Kitchen Virgin." Reinhardt's writing gift is that we can all relate to what she is saying whether we are laughing over a humorous recounting of a story or feeling a tug of the heart at some particularly poignant one.

Being funny doesn't mean that Susan shies away from painful personal issues in her books. Like many people who are comedic, she has seen the dark side of life. She has suffered from, and been hospitalized for, alcoholism and depression. In her book, "Never Sleep With A Bubba Unless Your Eggs Are in Wheelchairs," she shares her struggles with depression and becomes more real and more like one of us in that revelation. Besides making you laugh, she can break your heart.

Besides writing Reinhardt has made herself available as a public speaker. Delving into her own battles with depression and illness, her topics, "Healing Through Humor," and "Out of the Darkness," are designed to remove the stigma of depression, and let others know it is possible to find a life of joy. In her own life, she will tell you, her sense of humor has always pulled her through.

Susan Reinhardt says that "I try to write books that give people great belly laughs or tears of joy and inspiration." In each case she succeeds admirably.

A funny lady who is pretty and inspiring; that's a great and winning combination.

To read more from Kristen Houghton, peruse her articles at Kristen and visit her Keys to Happiness blog.
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Copyright 2010 Kristen Houghton