Hi! I’m Susan J Bruce.

I’m a veterinarian turned writer and artist – and self-confessed animal addict.

I live in Adelaide, South Australia. A city cradled by hills in the east and bordered by beautiful beaches in the west and south.

Why do I write?

I love story and its ability to uplift the reader. Life can be tough and we face many metaphorical dragons in the real world. Circumstances, sometimes even people, come against us and make life hard. My desire is to write authentic, beautiful, stories where love wins and dragons are beaten.

Unless of course they are good dragons. Good dragons are allowed to live and find hope.


Port Willunga: One of the Adelaide region’s beautiful southern beaches.

What do I write?

A few years ago I completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Tabor in Adelaide. During that time I discovered I have genre-butterfly tendencies (or genre-rebel, depending on my mood) and my imaginary places have at times been as diverse as Middle-Earth is from down-town Sydney.

I especially love mystery, suspense and adventure with a touch of romance thrown in. The latter is the genre of my first YA novel. This novel won the Unpublished Manuscript section of the 2018 Caleb Prize and is still looking for a good publishing home.

As for animals…

My stories aren’t necessarily about about animals but they claw their way into the pages, demanding cameos, refusing to be evicted. I’ve become known (notorious) at my writing group for including animals in almost every story – even when I try not to!

Animal art

I’m also an animal artist. A few years ago I told my husband that I could draw but I couldn’t paint. His response was to buy me a set of good quality acrylic paints for Christmas.

It took me six months to join a local art group and start using them. I found to my surprise that I could paint – but mainly animals. Hmm. I sense a repeating theme here…

Jackson. Acrylic on canvas.

Random things

Speaking of animals, we currently own a cranky cockatiel who whistles the Adelaide Crows Football Club theme song, out of tune. We also have a fat tortoiseshell cat (who charms us with her chocolate liqueur purr) and a very-cute-but-infinitely-naughty, cat-wrestling, stone-crunching, sofa-chewing, irrepressible Shi-Chi (Shih Tzu x Chihuahua) who does her best to distract me from doing any creative work.

On a very different note, I was born in Scotland and so I’m genetically programmed to enjoy bagpipes, Irn-Bru, oatcakes, a wee dram of single malt scotch whisky and men in kilts (note to self: buy my husband a kilt!) however I’m not so fond of haggis, tripe, deep-fried Mars Bars or freezing cold winters. I do love the beauty of the landscape and the warm hearts of the people of my homeland. And highland cows. I love highland cows.

Highland cow image by Michael Drummond from Pixabay