Thursday, March 11, 2010
Fascinated by all things Italian, it's no surprise that a particularly intense trip to Italy was the inspiration for her first novel, Blood of Dreams. A murder-mystery set during Carnevale season 18th century Venice, Blood of Dreams is a story of obsession, intrigue and betrayal.
Nominated for fivemajor awards, Blood of Dreams won an Aurealis Award for speculative fictionin January 2008.
Her next book, Mosaic, is a conspiracy-thriller set inRome and Palermo.
"I've got to admit, it was an unconventional upbringing," Susan comments."In a family with complete indifference to mainstream values and opinions you made up your own rules of conduct. It definitely gave me a sense of being an outsider and observer - a perspective not uncommon among writers.
But the odd thing is, I didn’t write . . . I loved reading but was obsessed with painting and sketching from a very early age and wanted to be a book illustrator or portrait artist. The possibility of becoming a writer never even featured . . ." Craving stability after something of a harum-scarum upbringing, Susan went to university, studied psychology (clearly an ironical touch), got an honest job, married and became part of her husband’s large and vibrant Italian-Australian family. But the legacy of delinquent parents ran deep
Most of Susan's working life was spent contemplating the idea that there had to be more to life. In between a variety of jobs, Susan spent her time renovating houses with her husband, pursuing her lifelong love of painting and sketching and nurturing a growing passion for Italy and the Italian culture.
Although an ardent reader and film-goer, the idea of channeling her restless creative energy into writing stories still had not entered her head.