About Suzanne

Nine years ago, between juggling work and motherhood, I began writing my story – unintentionally.

In 2008 I was initially on a mission to write/document my mother’s story. It was an incredible labyrinth of a how a 1960’s east coast domestic housewife uprooted her family to become a Las Vegas showgirl. She survived mobsters, thieves, celebrities, drugs, sex and more. I thought this was a made-for-television drama that must be told.

As I wrote, the story began to segue into my sister’s and my story. My writing took a quick turn from deep to dark, but I continued to write in an effort to help others. I knew by sharing my story of childhood trauma, how I survived/persevered, readers would find hope.

I am a writer at heart. I graduated college with a journalism degree and moved to New York City. I began my career as a film publicist, reading scripts and developing marketing strategies for upcoming films. I then moved into magazine publishing, reaching the pinnacle of my career at Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was during this time, my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family. We moved to Connecticut and currently live there with our two children. We are surrounded by family, friends and lots of love.

I work as a marketing consultant and am writing a follow up book to my memoir To Vegas and Back.

You can learn more or contact me at my website, facebook, and Instagram: @suzanne_author.

My Story

Once my mother became a Las Vegas showgirl, her next goal was to find a house for her and her children. I was three, my brother was seven and my sister was eight. We were happily living in an apartment complex for young families.

Ironically, the realtor my mother was working with fell in love with her under 24 hours. He asked her to marry him and she accepted. Her rationale was that he was nice, would be a father figure and most importantly he had a beautiful home with a pool.

In under a week, our new father began visiting my sister and my room. He encouraged my sister to engage in oral sex. It was to be their secret. This went on for years, before my sister started sleeping out. She no longer wanted to be in the house.

I then became his prey. For six years, we watched this man brutally beat our mother, rape her and then initiate in oral sex with us girls.

When my sister turned fifteen, she took me by the hand and confronted our mother. She told her we were leaving with or without her. It was a moment of clarity for my mother. Seconds later, she shoved garbage bags in our hands and told us to pack. The next day we were on a flight back east.

There is so much more to the story and it is all documented in 300+ pages of sweat and tears in my published memoir, To Vegas and Back.

My Healing Journey

Like many victims, I packaged up all the baggage and thought my past was behind me. I thought it was normal to be scared of my own shadow, fear being alone in a room with someone’s father, check under my bed and in my closets for the boogie man and for Smokey Robinson’s voice to run through my head at social functions:
People say I’m the life of the party
‘Cause I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

I was sad inside, but living a happy life on the outside: I had a dream job, I was happily engaged and living the life in New York City surrounded by kind, wonderful friends. I didn’t think about my childhood and no one knew about my past, because I never shared it with anyone . . . but my past was about to find me.

My past came back to haunt me after a family trip to Las Vegas. I was 26 years old (sixteen years after we had escaped). My sister, mother and I drove by our former home and like a tidal wave, I was sucked in. All the memories I had compartmentalized came rushing out.

My memoir begins with this trip to Vegas and takes you on trough the details of my year-long time in therapy. Therapy that led me to face-to-face with my childhood demons and eventually, my healing.

The story I published was supported my entire family. My mother provided me very personal stories that she would have rather not been told, but did for the sake of my personal writing journey. My sister was my biggest cheerleader. She shared stories that broke my heart. She was the oldest and had the most vivid memories of what went on inside our home.

The day I got married in 1997, I remember the feeling of release . . . I was going to have a happy future with someone who was kind, respected and loved me. When I had children, I was overwhelmed with how lucky and blissful I was in life.

When I began writing To Vegas and Back, I was at a point in my life where I was able to write about my past. The timing was right. I was not ashamed or scared anymore, I was proud. I must have called my sister and mother over 100 times telling her how proud I was of “us”.

The most common statement I hear at speaking engagements is: “It must have been cathartic to write your story”. I always answer the same way, “No, it was not cathartic. I was hard, even though I overcame my past long ago, I did not like reliving it, but I knew I wanted to get our story out there in an effort to help others. Survivors of abuse should know they do not have to let what robbed them of their past, rob them of thier future.”

The most common question is: “How did you ever forgive your mother?” What I wanted people to understand is that I never blamed my mother. She thought she was doing the best she could. She was unaware of the abuse thrust upon her daughters (until the very end). She was a victim also. Even though I did not blame anyone for what happened to me, I tell people that I believe “the one that does not forgive is the one that ends up suffering the most”.

“It was not your fault. It was NEVER your fault.”


To My Younger Self

Even though you were too young to understand what that man was doing to you, it made you feel uncomfortable each time. You may not have known better then, but you do now. That is what is important. You healed because you now understand. It was not your fault. It was never your fault. You are stronger, you are wiser and you will persevere. You are not alone, you were never alone. You are loved, you are smart, and you are resilient. You are going to do amazing things with your life.