The oldest of eight children, Susan was raised in New Jersey and spent barefoot summers on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. She has lived in Vermont, Manhattan and Northern California. She has a degree in Botany and Environmental Science from the University of Vermont and an MBA and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University. She spent years masquerading as a high-tech marketer before giving in to the pull of writing.

Susan has studied writing at Stanford, the Squaw Valley Writing Workshop, the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and with authors including Adam Johnson, Nancy Packer, Julie Orringer, Ellen Sussman, Lewis Robinson and Joyce Maynard. Borderlands is her first novel.

Having launched two children, Susan lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband and golden retriever. Her emotional home is on an island in the midst of thousands of islands on the St. Lawrence.