Susan has been a fulltime writer since 1997. With a BA in History from the University of Waikato, many of her works follow the path of that passion.
A previous in-house writer and editor at Shortland Publications, Susan has published over 50 books in the educational market, that span a range of fictional and non-fiction topics, including the natural world, social history, and animals.
Susan is happiest when she is writing novels for older children about subjects close to her own heart, and when she is bringing history alive through fiction.
Living on a “hobby farm” in Tauranga, New Zealand, Susan and husband Lionel are surrounded by goats, horses, the occasional chicken or duck, and their much- loved pets. The laundry is frequently turned over to SPCA foster-kittens that need socialising before they go to a permanent home.
Susan's writing awards include:
- 2020 Storylines Notable Picture Book: Bess the Brave War Horse
- 2015 Finalist in the Children's Choice list of the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: 1914: Riding into War
- 2013 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book: The Drover's Quest
- 2013 Finalist Lianza Esther Glen Award: The Drover's Quest
- 2012 Finalist Lianza Esther Glen Award: The Wolf in the Wardrobe
- 2011 Storylines Notable Non Fiction Book: Brave Bess and the ANZAC Horses
- 2011 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book: Dreams of Warriors
- 2011 Finalist Lianza Esther Glen Award: Dreams of Warriors
- 2010 Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book: Saving Sam
Below are just some of Susan’s earlier publications. For current titles, check out Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction,and Picture Books.
There are many true and remarkable stories about the courage and devotion of animals. In Famous Animals I retell some of these, like the brave Gallipoli donkey who saved thousands of injured solders, and the little dog who guarded his master's grave long after he was gone.
Journey to the New World
In 1848, Hannah escapes the potato famine in Ireland and leaves behind everything she knows to begin a new life in America. But first she must survive a long and torturous sea voyage with only her courage, new friends, and a tattered diary to guide her.
Across the Oregon Trail
This is the story of one boy's gruelling journey across America over 150 years ago during the great westward expansion of the United States. Jem must face a battle with the grizzly bear of his nightmares before he can lead his family safely to their new home.
The heroes of World War One and Two were ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary situations. Read some of their amazing stories, from the daring escapers of Colditz Castle to the fearless woman spy, Odette Churchill.
The White Jaguar
When Pauli finds a beautiful white jaguar lying helpless on the jungle floor, he knows he will do anything to save her – even if it means confronting his worst fear.
Rebels and Revolutions
Over the centuries, many people have fought to bring about changes in our way of life and ways of thinking. Read about some of the great rebels and revolutionary thinkers of our world.
Cats have fascinated us for centuries. We've written about them, told jokes about them, and even worshipped them. Discover not just the cat's whiskers, but a whole cat culture!
Horses have held a special place in our hearts and lives for thousands of years. Learn about horses and their place in our history, from the mighty warhorse of long ago to the dancing, prancing beauties of today.
Earth is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife. But some animals and plants are in danger of becoming extinct. Now we must work together to save our wild planet.
Voices from the Civil War
The Civil War split the new nation of America in two. Learn about the reasons and hear firsthand from the people involved in the terrible battles.