Susannah's professional writing and editing career began in 1998 when she enrolled in RMIT’s Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing. She was passionate about words and determined to ‘make it’ as a writer. During her three years as a part-time student, she co-founded a student-run publishing collaborative called RANT. The project was a great success and ultimately published two collections of student work, RANThology and RANTevision.
Before she graduated from RMIT, she began freelancing as an editor and book designer for writers who wanted to self-publish. She worked with many first-time authors fine tuning and polishing their manuscripts. She also I wrote a K2 level children’s education title called Sea Jellies.
The book was originally published by Barrie Publishing in 2002. After several publisher takeovers, the book is still in print and is currently being distributed to schools throughout the USA under the new title Jellyfish.
While she was at RMIT, she took an elective unit in screenwriting. She loved it so much, she wanted to explore it further. So, after graduating the Professional Writing & Editing course, she enrolled in RMIT’s Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting.
In 2002, her first short film called The Spider and the Fly... A Fable was produced by a local independent production company. She was fortunate to be involved in some of the day-to-day production aspects from pre-production to post production (editing with Ken Sallows). The Spider and the Fly… A Fable went on to screen at Australian festivals including the St Kilda Film Festival.
Around this time, Susannah began work on two feature-length screenplays. The first was a comedy called baggage, which went on to become a Top 50 finalist in the Australian version of Project Greenlight. She didn't win the grand prize, which was a production deal to make the film; however, in 2009, she was invited to Plume & Pellicule in Switzerland to workshop baggage with filmmakers from Cuba, the USA, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.
The second project was a biopic about Jean Lee, the last woman hanged in Australia. The unproduced screenplay was performed as a rehearsed reading at The Loft at Chapel off Chapel and at the Kelvin Club, a private members club in the heart of Melbourne's CBD. Jean Lee and baggage were both optioned by local producers.
Later in 2009, she was invited to be one of several writers on a micro-budget feature-length horror film called Don’t Fall Asleep. Needless to say, the project required a lot of give and take; however, after only three drafts the script was declared ready. The film went into production in Los Angeles, California and shooting was completed on schedule. It was ultimately distributed in the USA via digital download.
This experience gave her the insight and courage to write and produce her own micro-budget feature-length project. Working with a writing and producing partner, Killervision, a psychological horror/thriller, went into production in Melbourne in early 2010. Killervision was distributed on DVD and digital download in the USA and Canada by Maxim Media 2019. It's now available to stream on Ozflix and YouTube (on the Kings of Horror YouTube channel).
In 2011, Susannah began a collaborative partnership with Voyage Media, a film packaging company based in Los Angeles. Voyage optioned two of her feature film scripts, a tentpole action sci-fi and a psychological thriller. Shortly after, she pitched the psychological thriller to the Senior Vice President of Production & Development at Constantin Film (Resident Evil series, The Mortal Instruments, Fantastic Four).
She also began freelancing with Voyage Media assessing manuscripts for adaptation into screen projects (film, TV, web) as well as writing treatments and feature-length script adaptations. The range of projects that she worked on was broad, from children's animation to erotic gore. Most screen projects were aimed at the low to mid-range market in the USA and all project development opportunities were team-based, which gave her the opportunity to work with some experienced producers such as Michelle Sy (Finding Neverland), and Elizabeth Kushman (Scream 4, One Missed Call).
In 2014, Susannah decided to try something different and co-founded a boutique digital publishing business based in Melbourne. The business developed and published several children’s story book apps that were available on all major platforms. Regrettably, one of the partners was unexpectedly forced to pull out of the enterprise while it was still in its infancy. Their contribution to the business was pivotal and attempts to find a new partner were unsuccessful. The remaining partners reassessed the business’s viability and ultimately decided to close up shop and move on.
When a door closes a window opens - or so the saying goes. In the wake of the business's closure, Susannah returned to university where she studied for a Master of Arts degree. Her research project was a literary novel set in St Kilda in the early 1980s. This is Not a Lie (published by Dixi Books) is an ethnographic/autoethnographic story about a rock band in which the twenty-two-year-old main character is a heroin addict and a closet homosexual.
Open Wounds, a small collection of Susannah's literary short stories, was also published by Dixi Books in 2019.