My Story

Well, what can I say about me? Hmmm…learning to operate a camera was on my bucket list. Or maybe it wasn't - maybe I actually thought it wasn't one of those 'possible' dreams. Then one day I found myself without a job.  Apart from the thrill of following my dreams, it isn't recommended to 'find yourself without a job' like I did. Of your own volition, I will add.

However, it happened and that's the past. I stormed out of the office on September 11th, 2006, and almost immediately plowed my small car into two boys carelessly riding a four wheeler. Thank God no one was hurt, although you could see one boy's footprint in my car door for a long time afterwards. To me it was a message (yeah, I'm always seeing 'signs' from the universe. Bit flaky, huh?) that things could indeed be worse. I was so thankful the kids were okay that at the time I forgot to be sorry about leaving my job in a hurry.

That winter I sat in front of the computer and said, "I think I'll try writing a novel." I had written screenplays but, let's face it, they're expensive to produce and hard to sell. Novel writing seemed to make sense. I thought,"hmmm, how about I make this a ghost story?" And A Certain Kind of Freedom was born. An excerpt from the novel reworked as a short story has proven to be a great hit - one of these days I will publish the entire novel. One of these days...

A few months later a kind career counsellor suggested I stop dreaming about film school, and just go. So I did...off I went across Canada, short on money and in a Sunfire packed with a few necessaries which happened to include my seventeen-year-old son, Christopher, who finished Grade twelve in Coquitlam, B.C. Film school was a blast but after graduation I came home - back to little eastern Canada, Prince Edward Island, to be exact. My son? He stayed in Vancouver. Sigh. He's still there and I miss him desperately every day. But he's happy, playing music and working in the upscale coffee biz in Innovation and Quality Control. 

As for me? Lordy. If it wasn't for love...well, my guy is on the east coast. So are my amazing parents and two of my beautiful nieces. What was I going to do? But it's been difficult trying to forge a living in P.E.I., a place with a small population and no film industry to speak of.  But I forged ahead. Got a decent camera on my birthday (took four years to pay for it), learned how to use it, spent hours  Googling editing questions, relied on some very kind locals for help, and started making a few commercials, web videos, and then full length documentaries for clients. All have served as excellent training ground. My last project was a film called The Healing Place (a doc).  My next film dream? To shoot a feature drama. Just gotta believe that the universe will provide the funds to make that happen. I'm working on it. I'll also be writing it as a novel - Atlantic Blue, you're next!

I also take jobs hosting productions who come to my small island. I've done B-cam on a tuna doc for the National Film Board (on board a fishing boat, that was interesting…), hosted a National Geographic film crew, worked on Amazing Race Canada 2014, hosted a New York modelling shoot, and more. Lotsa fun! 

I take museum contracts when I can, too. Museum collections have their own stories to tell…

Despite the financial challenges of ekeing out a living in P.E.I., the Drifters books have found me the happiest I have ever been. I am so in love with my characters that it feels like they are good friends who live in another town.  Having to stop writing to cook dinner? Painful. Being on hiatus now while I fulfill work obligations to bring money into the house? Hurts. I miss my books. But the final book is finished. I got two wrist tattoos to celebrate so Jessie, Josh and Jacob will be with me forever.

Besides writing and film, I LOVE music (Drifters fans, can you tell?). I joined a gym and do Yoga, Zumba, Pilates and, when I can fit it in, a new class I've just discovered called Body Bar. I also love long walks and bicycle rides, and kayaking in the summer. I'd take my striped cat Oliver for walks (he has a cameo in both A Certain Kind of Freedom and in Riptide - he's got a huge ego now), but I doubt he'd co-operate. He would likely run off into the woods and give the local coyotes some attitude. But Steve and I walk a lot, and we're good company for each other. It's that place to nuzzle in his neck that taught me about Jessie and Josh and what it's like to really love someone. After single parenting for much of my life, it's been a blissful reward to enjoy the company of a man as great as my Steve. 

So that's me in a nutshell, drop by my 'say hello' page and tell me about yourself! I spilled the beans! Now it's your turn!

Cheers for now 

Susan :)