Susan Dormady Eisenberg

Novelist & Arts Journalist

Photo taken by my husband.




John Douglas Woodward's 1872 woodcut of the Cohoes Falls in my hometown, Cohoes, which I depict in my first novel. Can you find this young couple on the cover of my book?

Another Writer's Beginnings

I'm a Maryland independent writer who contributes to "Classical Singer" and "Huffington Post" where I've profiled some of America’s best opera and Broadway singers. I have also written for "Opera News" and the "Hartford Courant," and in 2009 I penned an op-ed piece for the "Albany Times Union" about the closing of historic churches in Cohoes, New York, my hometown.

I launched a writing business when I moved to D.C. in 1980 and as a freelancer I've created promotional materials for schools, banks, hospitals, and other companies. I also coauthored a writing course for McGraw-Hill. Prior to earning a living through words alone, I did public affairs and/​or marketing for Goodspeed Opera House, Syracuse Stage, and New York's Joffrey Ballet.

I hold a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State where I studied playwriting with Arthur Athanason. Later, I studied fiction writing with authors Doris Grumbach and Patricia Browning Griffith. Having now completed my first novel, I'm drafting my second and researching my third. In my personal life, I'm married to a health-care executive and we're the parents of a college junior.

A FEW MORE INSIGHTS

My writing career began as a teenager in Cohoes when my friend Barbara Morris and I cowrote a column for the "Cohoes Newsweekly." After we interviewed Tab Hunter, a movie star appearing at the Colonie Summer Theater in nearby Latham, I decided arts journalism had its rewards. My ultimate goal from childhood, though, was to follow in the footsteps of my idols, Louisa May Alcott and Carson McCullers, and write a novel.

While freelancing for the "Dunkirk Evening Observer" in high school and the "Michigan State News" in college, I continued to hone my skills. Later, as a publicist for the Colonie Musical Theater (the summer stock tent that I write about in THE VOICE I JUST HEARD), I learned the value of promotional writing: it paid my bills. In this general period I also studied voice and played Guenevere in a 1978 Syracuse production of "Camelot," my first and last time to sing a leading lady role. (I was Susan Kindlund then.)

These days I write both fiction and non-fiction at my home "inside the Beltway." My husband is always my first generous reader. Our daughter says that being a writer is "the worst job in the world." She's witnessed my weeping and gnashing of teeth over work that wasn't going well. But writing is my vocation, and as one who is called to its mysteries, I know "the writing life" is the only one I'd find fulflling. And quite honestly, it's fun!