Hot off the press: 2018 will see the launch of two of Susan's newest endeavors. Look for them on Amazon in print and as ebooks.
1. "Tiny Tales: 5 Minute or Less Reads for Busy People" short-shorts for people who don't have time to read longer works. Five volumes: Sci-fi/Fantasy; Mystery/Suspense; Flash Fiction; Skylark, PI Characters; and Romancing the Muse, which gives a peek into the creative workings of a writer's mind.
2. "Tough Blood", the first of the Skylark PI series, is scheduled to debut in late Spring or early Summer. Skylark is a tough, sassy, independent PI who keeps her quirky paranormal abilities under tight wraps, since they only seem to get her into more trouble. Can they help her find and rescue the missing women—including her best friend—or will they only spell disaster for everyone?
Susan, a "slightly twisted" author, professional book editor, writing mentor and teacher, was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and began writing at the age of 10. In 2003 she picked up and drove across the country to California's Central Coast, where she joined San Luis Obispo NightWriters (SLO NW), a prestigious writing organization in San Luis Obispo County. Susan was elected president of NightWriters in June of 2007, and has served as Treasurer. She has also served as vice president and president of the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), and is now newsletter editor of both organizations as well as treasurer of SinCCC.
Susan's first suspense novel, "Tangled Webs," was published in 2005 to great acclaim from readers. The novel combines Susan's love of mystery and quilting, as the female protagonist is a professional quilter (Susan only wishes she could quilt the way her protagonist does!). Her quilting readers are "surprised how much quilting is in the book, and how well it fits into the story." More than one reader has said: "I'm suffering from sleep deprivation. I couldn't put it down!" The best comment so far? "Tangled Webs...perfection!"
In 2014 Susan launched her next novel, the paranormal suspense story titled "Proof of Identity," to rave reviews. Readers seem to like it as much as, if not more than, "Tangled Webs." And in May of 2014 her suspense novel, "Sins of the Past," became available in both print and e-book format through Amazon. The next year, 2015, saw the release of "Piece By Piece", a suspense novel about a woman with total amnesia, who begins to see disturbing flashes of a terrifying past.
May of 2016 saw two books released: The first, "A Matter of Identity" is an historical suspense tale of a young woman stranded in London, England in 1866 where she runs afoul of some very powerful men. With both her life and her sanity at stake, can she hold onto enough of herself to prevail? The second, "Death in the Valley", is a compilation of three award-winning short mystery stories. From a ringing phone to a cooking competition to mummified bodies in the desert, these eerie stories are sure to keep you awake at night. Both with amazing covers designed by Aaron Kondziela.
You can also read two of her flash fiction pieces in the newly released "The Best of SLO NightWriters in Tolosa Press," (available in print from Amazon) and the first of her time-travel mysteries in the Central Coast Chapter of SinC's anthology, "Somewhere in Crime" (available on Kindle). There are three of Susan's stories in each of the two volumes of "Deadlines: Murder and Mayhem on the Central Coast." Her work is also one-quarter of a newly released anthology, "Tales From A Rocky Coast", where she partnered with three other writers to offer a little of everything for all readers: memoir, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, mystery, suspense and fantasy.
In 2017, Susan also put out a small book of her poetry, collected over her lifetime. "Mirror Eyes" has been garnering praise from readers and other poets alike: "Her poems look deep within, capturing the heartfelt,delicate and vulnerable side of life...These are timeless poems that can be read over and over again." (Shirley Radcliff Bruton)
Writers, take note: Also available on Amazon in Kindle format are the first 6 units of her 12-unit writing program, "Write It Right: Exercises to Unlock the Writer in Everyone," on which her weekly classes are based. The first print workbook was released in July and includes the first three units of the program: Character, Setting and Story. Susan plans to release the next three print workbooks in the fall of 2014, with the last two volumes coming early in 2015.
Her work has won many awards. Among them:
*2005 - 2nd place for short story in CCWC Lillian Dean Competition
*2006 - 1st place in the Mind Prints Literary Journal competition
*2007 - 1st place for short story, 3rd place for short story and 3rd place for poetry in CCWC Lillian Dean Competition; 3rd place flash fiction in Golden Quill Contest of SLO NightWriters
*2008 - 1st place for Creative Nonfiction/Memoir in Lillian Dean Competition; 1st place in Dead Bird short story contest, SinC Fresno Chapter; 1st place flash fiction, Golden Quill Contest
*2009 - 3rd place and Best Use of Setting award, Dead Bird Contest, Fresno SinC
*2010 - 1st place for YA Fiction in Lillian Dean Competition
*2011 - Double 1st place in the 2009 CVWW Short Story Contest (she entered 2 stories and tied herself for first place! One judge said Edgar Allen Poe would be jealous of her story, "The Telltale Death"); 1st place for novel in Lillian Dean Competition; 2nd place faith fiction, Golden Quill contest; 1st place for poetry in Arroyo Grande Centennial Celebration Writing Competition
*2012 - 1st place for query letter, Lillian Dean Competition;
*2013 - 2nd police Dead Bird short story competition, SinC Fresno
*2014 - 2nd place short story, Golden Quill contest
*2016 - awarded the indieB.R.A.G Medallion for "Proof of Identity"
In September 2014, she joined the faculty of the Central Coast Writers Conference (CCWW) as an editor and panelist, and began speaking at local writers groups, giving presentations on such topics as Point of View, How to Begin and End a Story, Creating Memorable Characters, Crafting Enticing Settings, and The Art of Self-Editing, which she will present at the PSWA Writers Conference in July 2018. Susan also offers professional-level critiques at a Round Table before each of the SLO NightWriters monthly meetings.
In 2017, she launched WriterWithin Publications which aims to help indie authors produce the most quality work. She offers mentoring, editing, layout and design work, cover design work, and help in opening an Amazon account for writers everywhere.
Susan has fallen in love with the paranormal and is now working on the first three volumes of a paranormal suspense series set in the Central Coast Community where she lives, the first of which is slated to debut in late Spring/early Summer of 2018, as well as two stand-alone suspense books and two sci-fi novels (one of her CCWW winning stories takes place on the world created for one of the sci-fi novels, Destany's Daughter, volume #1 of a YA/Adult crossover epic quest of 4 volumes, the Unification series).
Susan is active her her local church, serving on the pastoral council, the liturgy committee and as head of the music ministry. As a result, under the name Susan Grace O'Neill (chosen to honor her grandmother) she also writes spiritual meditations and is finalizing the format for her 3-year spiritual program, "Lord Let Me Walk," and has just finished the first volume of a series of Bible Studies based on the Parables, "Lord Let Me Grow." If you're into spiritual things, look for the "Journey" series, coming soon. And she's in the process of recording an album of spiritual songs she's written. Exciting times!
Susan lives on California's Central Coast with her very whiney imaginary cat and her (mostly unfinished) handmade quilts and her (mostly finished) hand knitted scarves. She adores lobster, single malt Scotch, and chocolate (though not at the same time!) and watches way too much television. She justifies it by claiming it gives her ideas for her stories.
More information on her work, her blog, and her professional critiquing and editing services, can be found at her websites: www.SusanTuttleWrites.com and www.WriterWithinPubs.com.