In 1995, Susan Meissner was working as a part-time reporter for a county newspaper. In 1998, she was named editor of the Mountain Lake/Butterfield Observer Advocate, the town's weekly paper. The paper was named the Best Weekly Newspaper in Minnesota by the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 2002. She retired later that year to write her first book, Why the Sky is Blue, which was published in 2004. Her other books include The Girl in the Glass, The Shape of Mercy, In All Deep Places, and A Fall of Marigolds.