More About Susan.
Probably Too Much About
I was raised in Smithers, BC, Canada and lived there until I moved to Toronto at age 20. I had a brief and unsuccessful career as a fashion design student and, after I worked at a series of low paying jobs, such as server, record store employee, etc., I began a degree in English Literature at University of Toronto, which I finished at the University of British Columbia. After graduating I became an editor at a self-help/how-to book publishing company based in Vancouver. Later, I did a masterís degree in publishing.
When I was a kid I wrote fiction but gave it up for a life of crime. Okay, thatís not true, but I did get seriously sidetracked. That time in my life is the subject of my memoir, Nice Recovery. When I was twenty, until I got myself together and when I was about 26 I started writing, in the morning before work, first on the bus, then in a coffee shop. This writing became my first novel, Alice, I Think, which was published by Thistledown Press in 2000.
When I first started writing my intention was to write a book about a teenager who doesn't fit in, but doesn't allow that fact to crush her. The Alice MacLeod series is my homage to oddballs. I wanted to create a character who has the courage and integrity to find her own way and define herself independently of other people. I've always admired people who can do that.
After finishing three books about Alice and her family, I decided that my goal is to write every kind of book I love to read. Iíve always loved horse books. I was a lunatic for horses when I was younger. I owned several horses over the years (for a time when I was quite young I was convinced I was a horse, but let's keep that between us) and I became obsessed with an equestrian sport called dressage. I quit riding when I left home to go to college, but part of me always thought I could have been a "contender". (In retrospect, I'm not sure why I would have thought that.) Anyway, I got a nice pay day when Alice, I Think was made into a TV series, and the first thing I did was rush out a buy a horse and start working on a book about two young dressage riders. The story was initially about two girls, but soon I fell in love with a secondary character, a boy named Alex, and the book became mainly about him. That one is called Another Kind of Cowboy.
Iím also a maniac for detective novels, which led to Getting the Girl, a comedy about an inept detective and a high school conspiracy he is determined to stop. Book number six is my memoir. I developed a bit of a substance abuse problem when I was thirteen and I ended up getting clean and sober when I was twenty. Nice Recovery is about that time. The book also includes information about options for people with addiction problems and interviews with amazing young people in recovery.
Home to Woefield, as itís known in the U.S. and The Woefield Poultry Collective as itís known in Canada, is a comedy about a young woman from Brooklyn who inherits a derelict farm on Vancouver Island. Itís the first of my novels published specifically for adults, though Iíd say at least half the readers of my other books have been adults. I hope all my readers will like it. (It does contain quite a bit of swearing. Just be forewarned!) Iíve always wanted to be self-sustaining and able to grow my own food. All I lack is land and skill.
In addition to my writing, I teach creative writing at Vancouver Island University and at the University of British Columbia and I give workshops and talks. You can find more information about upcoming appearances on the Calendar page.
To sum up this rather long-winded biography, I always tell people that if one person who is feeling isolated or left out reads my book and laughs and thinks "I'm not alone" or "at least I'm not as bad as the people she writes about", then I've achieved my goal.
I'm married and my husband James and I live in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island.