A Secret Music is Susan’s first novel.
Susan has a Bachelor of Science from Concordia University and studied journalism at Ryerson University where she was recommended for a job at Macleans Magazine. After Macleans, she worked in Paris, France for a digital publishing company, Atex France, freelancing for The International Herald Tribune, La Tribune de Genève, La Suisse, and the Independent in London UK.
Back in Canada, she started her own company, On Location Productions, and for 18 years worked in advertising.
During that time, she studied creative writing at the University of Toronto, Concordia University, and was mentored by Sandra Birdsell through the Humber School for Writers. She has taken courses with several award-winning Canadian authors including Ray Robertson, Giles Blunt and Claire Holden Rothman, and was selected to attend the Sage Hill writing program in Saskatchewan.
Susan has numerous volunteer affiliations: the YMCA, the Douglas Institute and was a long-serving board member of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She is currently of the board of the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) in Montreal. As a committed volunteer, she works with patients suffering from psychosis through Montreal’s Douglas Hospital, and is currently researching bi-polar illness and paranoid schizophrenia. Also as a volunteer, she created an annual event for the Royal Conservatory of Music, in a sustained effort to raise their endowment to allow all Canadian would-be professional musicians to study on full bursary.
Susan was a presenter in Philadelphia at the 2013 NAIS conference, the National Association of Independent Schools, attended by head’s of schools across North America. She is an active member of the QWF and has done improv speaking for Montreal’s Confabulation. She teaches spinning classes at the Westmount YMCA.
Susan is currently writing and researching another book, a non-fiction biography about an Ottawa woman and her lifelong struggle with schizophrenia- her journey through motherhood, anti-depressant medication, shock therapy, jail, first and second generation anti-psychotics, interspersed between bouts of hospitalization. Susan’s first-hand experience at the Douglas Hospital has been instrumental in navigating the complex and complicated world of psychotic behaviour. As of yet, brain imaging has not been able to reveal a single reliable biological marker for schizophrenia, or for any mental illness. It’s an observed condition.
Susan loves music, live theatre, exercise, the Westmount Public Library, Mount Royal, cardinals, angels, the Atlantic Ocean, Snow White’s Path and New York City. Above all she loves her family and friends. “We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”