Photos | Recipes

Susan on Susan

I call myself a Pittsburgher, because that’s where I grew up, but I was born in Akron, Ohio, and lived in Sharon, Pennsylvania, for a short time as a child before moving to Pittsburgh when I was 10.

My six sisters and two brothers and I grew up in Mt
Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
I graduated from St. Bernard’s Grade School,
Elizabeth Seton High School (now Seton-LaSalle High School), and St. Francis School of Nursing. It was while working as a nurse in the emergency room that I met my husband, Edgardo, who was a medical resident at the time.

We spent two years in
New Orleans. While Edgardo was doing a cardiology fellowship at Oschner Foundation Hospital, I worked in the emergency room at West Jefferson Hospital until our first child was born.

New Orleans, we moved to Syracuse, New York, and became reacquainted
with snow – and more snow. But it was beautiful there.

Then back to Pittsburgh. Three children later, we moved to Augusta, welcomed baby number four, and have been in Augusta ever since. The children are grown, and we now have a grandbaby, a beautiful girl.

I started writing news releases about events at my children’s school for our Catholic diocesan newspaper, The Southern Cross, in 1984. Seeing my byline lit a spark that is
still burning. Later, I wrote many articles and columns for the Southern Cross, and many feature stories for the Augusta Chronicle, Augusta Magazine and other publications. In addition, I was editor of the magazine HealthScope and wrote many articles for that publication.

Over the years, I felt something was missing – a college degree. Fortunately for me,
Augusta State University is five minutes from our home. So one day, with a brand new backpack, “with it” jeans and 1950s-style penny loafers, I dropped my children off at their school and entered my own. I was on the seven-year plan – a plan that was NEVER an option for my children, but hey! I’m the mom -- and graduated in 1996 with high honors
and a double major in English and Spanish. (Okay, I admit it. In seven years, it’s not that difficult to get good grades. The secret: Just take one or two classes at a time.)

Graduate school was the fun part.
Seton Hill University (then Seton Hill College) began
a Writing Popular Fiction master’s program, and I was a member of the third class. To graduate, we had to have a publishable popular fiction novel completed. It had to be
judged ready for publication by three instructors in the program who were published authors themselves.

I have continued writing (there’s always another story), and I keep in touch with other writers. In this vein, I belong to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Authors Club of Augusta. 

I believe it’s good to share talent. I teach English composition at
Augusta State and have tutored in the writing center there, but my heart belongs to Immaculate Conception School, an inner-city school in Augusta, where I run a mentoring program, which I developed seven years ago. Also, I’ve taught writing and speech there on a volunteer basis.

I’m an active member of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church in
Augusta, Georgia, and attend Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Johns Island, South Carolina, when I’m on Kiawah Island.

It’s quiet on the home front these days. The children are out on their own in cities far and wide, and we are down to two dogs. This is the perfect time to write. Life is good.



Book Signings

Sunset in Lima, Peru

Merry Christmas from Susan Claus and Alyssa, her helper, at Waldenbooks
in Charleston.

Susan in Statesboro with Bulloch Academy students.

Susan and Matt  -- a student at Bulloch Academy in Statesboro.

Susan in Memphis signing books at the Humanities Tennessee Southern Festival of Books.

Indigo Books on Kiawah Island, SC

Downers Grove Barnes&Noble, Chicago, IL

Susan giving her talk in Lima, Peru, to members of the American
and Canadian Association of Peru.

Friends of Susan's at the American and Canadian Association of
Peru in Lima, Peru

Susan seems to be enjoying her own workshop presentation
on fiction writing at Augusta State University.

Susan in Lima, Peru, with fun-lovin' students from Colegio Roosevelt following her fiction-writing workshop. 

Susan talking to students during career day at River Ridge Elementary
School in Evans, Georgia.


Susan's Recipes ( Served in Deadly Deception )


Peruvian Flan

350 degree oven; 8 servings

3 eggs
2 cans (14 oz) sweetened Borden's milk
1 small can ( 5 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup sugar

1. Blend eggs and milks with wire whisk or fork
2. In a small heavy sauce pan, cook the sugar over low heat. Stir often until sugar melts and turns amber.
3. Pour into 1 quart mold, coat sides and bottom.
4. Pour egg mixture into mold and set in bowl or pan of hot water (water should come halfway up mold) and bake on rack in middle of oven.
5. Bake for 55 minutes (do not over bake)
6. Remove from oven, loosen sides with knife, invert mold onto dish with sides (glass pie plate).
7. Let sit for 30 minutes to let liquefied sugar drain onto dish.
8. Refrigerate at least an hour.

* The creamier the better. Don't overbake; the longer it stays in the oven, the firmer it gets.


12 servings

2 ½ pounds of fresh raw white fish
20 limes (juice of limes) approx 2 ½ cups lime juice
3 garlic cloves
1 stalk celery
salt to taste
3 red onions, chopped
1 tsp. Accent
1 T. Tabasco
2 tsp. ground red hot pepper

1. Wash fish and sprinkle with salt. Cut into ½ inch pieces, drain, and set aside.
2. In blender: Combine all other ingredients, except onions.
3. Pour lime mixture over fish.
4. Add onions
5. Cover and let sit in refrigerator 5 to 6 hours, tuning occasionally.
6. Taste. Add more salt if needed.
7. May be made up to 8 hours in advance, but serve within 12 hours. Serve chilled.

Nice served with cooked, sliced sweet potatoes.


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1\24\2008, 7:30 p.m.
Winter Gathering of Writers
University Hall
Augusta State University
Augusta, Georgia

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