She was born in Wellington and spent her early years in India and England, where her family lived in religious communities. Rogernomics propelled her family to the UK in the late 1980s and Susan studied at the University of York. She qualified as a secondary school English teacher and taught in north London for five years.
Susan stopped writing while at secondary school. After returning to New Zealand in 1997 she made some stuttering attempts to write poetry, because what she really wanted to write was fiction. In 2001 she was accepted onto the M.A. in Creative Writing at Victoria University, and had a go at writing short stories. After the M.A., she began to write Acts of Love.
Susan lives in Wellington with her husband and young son. She now teaches Short Fiction at the International Institute of Modern Letters.
Acts of Love, published 8 November 2007, is her first novel. Susan's own background informed the writing of Acts of Love. She was raised in a family who held strong religious beliefs and were part of a long tradition of Protestant activism and idealism. She grew up inside the church but during her university years lost her belief in organised religion.