Suzette moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986 from the hinterlands of Maine, to work at the first restaurant that her two eldest sisters and brothers-in-law opened, Lalime’s. Before completing her degree, she worked around sous chefs, waiters, librarians, work-study students, booksellers, literary agents, authors and aspiring writers. During that time she attended five different colleges and programs including Flight of the Mind Writing Workshop for Women in Bend, Oregon.
She ended up at Mills College, where she completed an undergraduate thesis/narrative study of her great-grandmother’s diaries of World War II. She is a member of Franco American Women’s Institute, where her thesis resides. She also completed an internship and co-founded Fires of Wisdom: the Mills College Oral History Project, which is now part of the Oakland Living History Project. In 1994, she graduated from Mills College with a handy bachelors degree in American Studies.
Since then, she’s worked with caterers, illustrators, photographers, ceramic artists, graduate students, case workers, customers, print makers, actors, accountants, designers, professors, consumers, building inspectors, pets, “potential donors,” lawyers, college alumnae, university alumni, administrators, engineers, programmers, bankers, scientists, booksellers, volunteers, editors, law students, journalists, historians, gardeners, teachers, public speakers, social workers, visual impairment specialists, fund raisers, historians, filmmakers and musicians. She enjoys introducing people to each other so if you need to find someone in a particular field, just ask her.
She has performed music with folk bands and rock bands in the Bay Area and performed music with classmates at school reunions in Maine. She has written book reviews, interviewed authors, and done research for the editorial staff at Salon.com. She has been an adult literacy volunteer in San Francisco and a literacy coach at an elementary school in Oakland. She currently manages a side business of making costumes; is an active community volunteer for V-Day and an advocate for feral cat rescue programs. She helps design and produce costumes for convention attendees (all sorts: costume, science fiction or comic book conventions) parties or weddings. She can be spotted at events, craft or flea markets and fairs put on by the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild of which she is a member.