As a student I explored photography and film while studying art history and critical studies. I completed doctoral coursework in an interdisciplinary program, Film, Literature, and Culture, at USC, but discovered that teaching and an academic career were not right for me. I looked for other ways to support my creative habit, and after all that meandering through formal studies, I wound up in the film business — again, not the best fit. But it was invaluable as daily practice in writing. As a story analyst, I evaluated written material for production companies (and also joined the Story Department staff at an agency, CAA, for a year). I’ve written several original screenplays, and a number of adaptations for producers. But for me there were too many frustrating collaborative restrictions in professional screenwriting — yet, I did key into extremely visual writing. The experience also gave me the discipline to find workarounds, to find ways to explore very complex ideas but present them with subtlety — cultural and environmental issues, art and awareness — through writing and storytelling. My first novel, The Music from the Lighthouse, is currently available as an ebook, and I’m now at work on my second novel.

Cooking and baking have been life-long hobbies. I make my own pastas and breads, and I frequently create my own recipes with organic, sustainable, and many home-grown ingredients. I’m continually learning about wine — an exciting, endless pursuit. For more than six years now, I have been working in Hospitality — wine tasting rooms — where I also do some food pairings for events.

I live in the Anderson Valley with my husband on a nine acre property with a large vegetable and bee-friendly garden, and we have over 100 fruit trees — persimmon, plum, fig, pear and mostly apple trees. We have three Border Collies who exercise and train us daily. Zoe is the newest addition to the family. She has made it her job to chase wild turkeys off the property.

Susan Robinson

Piper, Jane, and Zoe in order of appearance

This is one of those rare occasions when there really is an elephant in the kitchen.

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