I was raised in Upstate New York in the small town of Napanoch. When some people hear you are from New York they immediately have visions of sky scrapers or the Statue of Liberty, but Napanoch is a small town a few hours north of New York City with spectacular views of the Shawangunk Ridge. This landscape inspired most of the terrain found in my writing, where the forests are thick with winding trails.
We had a rather large family with me being somewhere in the middle of seven children, mostly daughters. Thus, when I was born my parents had unfortunately ran out of girl names. In what turned out to be a misunderstanding between my parents I was ultimately given the same name as my mother. For this reason, back home I am still often lovingly referred to as “Sue Jr” or “No, the other one”.
While attending Wawarsing Christian Academy and Ellenville Central Schools I would often lie that I was “from Ellenville” because Napanoch was virtually unknown. As it turns out Ellenville is equally obscure (a point lost on me in my youth), but it was here that I first became interested in writing as I had several remarkable and enthusiastic teachers.
The first great story teller in my life, however, was my father. He could command a room with humorous and disgusting tales of his life. I lament the fact that so many good memories were lost with his death as no one could retell the tales quite the same way he could. He showed me that the best stories are personal.
I considered writing my passion but took the advice that a degree in something else would afford me the luxury to write in my free time. So next I attended Ulster County Community College for my Associates Degree, followed by a bachelor’s in chemistry from the State University at New York at New Paltz, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Michigan State University. Along the way I met my husband and we started our family. The concept of not writing in order to be able to write more might sound counter intuitive, because it is! It turns out graduate school affords you little free time and motherhood, miraculously, even less.
However, after having shelved my writing aspirations for a couple of decades I suffered a terrible loss in the form if a miscarriage. It was a pain unmatched by any other loss I had endured up to that point, and in all the sorrow I made a promise to the little one I would never know that I would finish the work I had started years earlier. I channeled my grief into creating something new, hoping that in some small way something good might come from the unfathomable despair. I hope to continue in this promise with many more stories to come!
My writing has also been influenced by my hobbies, which include crochet and endlessly picking up my children’s toys off the floor. When I am not busy with the kids or writing I enjoy watching mysteries like Columbo and studying up on Calvinistic Apologetics.