For more about Susan, visit her website.
All of this "About" stuff is to help establish credentials for writing my robot stories.
My dad was an Electrical Engineer and began my formal education at bedtime by reading me Pogo comic books. He sparked my fascination with history by explaining the political satire in Walt Kelly’s work.
During a summer job, I learned to weld. (And to love that, too.) One of my projects was a curing furnace for electric motors. During another summer job, I loved prepping Hawk missile launcher cases and stuffing the wiring harnesses into them. My boss invented a testing machine to ensure that I hadn't grounded a wire or broken a circuit.
In college, engineering was my next love. I knew the material, but couldn't finish the tests fast enough, so I graduated from the University of Akron with a BA in Education plus an Ohio High School teaching certificate in my dual major of history and math.
Although math teachers got jobs instantly, for some reason no school would guarantee me a history course. Loving history as much as I did ever since Pop read me Pogo, I would have lost my mind if I couldn’t escape math for a while each week by sharing fascinating stories of the past. I saw those “old” people and events as real because they are. The U.S. culture in those days usually portrayed history as something hard and tedious. I wanted to teach it as a reporter or storyteller sharing yesterday’s news with young people who didn’t know the half of it even if they had read the textbook.
I took over my uncle's small (one-man) used machinery business, and for ten years I chased smokestacks, buying and selling used electrical equipment and other industrial machinery. I didn't love it.
So after that, I programmed computers for four decades, mostly as a hired gun (contract programmer) for companies like American Greetings, Sherwin Williams, Office Max, Goodyear, plus others you never heard of. I learned many languages such as Fortran, Cobol, German, Basic, Forth, C, Python, Java, and so on and on.
Now I’m an author programming in English. But even though I pack my code full of history, Diary of a Robot with its prequel and sequels are not about the past. They are about fantastic future history which looks so much like the past that it is scary.
There is a tiny bit of math in some of the stories, too. Sorry.