35 CROPPED  Wide Smile


Susan’s writing career began in the 1970s as a newspaper reporter in Northern California. She later served as editor of employee publications for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and McKesson Corp. in San Francisco. She has since worked as a freelance writer for more than 100 corporations and nonprofit agencies across the country.


In 1994, Susan became a firefighter and emergency medical technician in rural Sonoma County, California, where half the members of her firehouse were women. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, she and her colleagues were acutely aware of the absence of women in media portrayals of rescue workers at Ground Zero.


Susan combined her knowledge of the fire service with her experience as a writer to conceive of the idea for the book, Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion, with co-author, Mary Carouba.  She and Mary traveled to New York City to find and interview female first responders for their award-winning book, which was published by Penguin Putnam in 2002.  MORE


Following the book’s release, the authors were in such demand as keynote speakers that Susan retired from the fire service. Today, she and Mary continue to inspire audiences throughout the country and beyond with the Women at Ground Zero story.  MORE

Teacher and Writing Guide

Since the publication of Women at Ground Zero, Susan has seen firsthand the power of sharing one’s story. Many of the women featured in her book believe that telling their stories was the first step in healing from the tragedy of 9/11. Susan draws on these experiences, along with those from her own life-changing journey, to help others give voice to the stories of their lives.  MORE


Over the last ten years, Susan’s work has been dedicated primarily to the Women at Ground Zero Project. Her work in progress includes both fiction and nonfiction.  MORE