Susan Diodati is a native of San Francisco, California. Born of Italian parents, she grew up across the Golden Gate Bridge in what was then the peaceful locale of Marin County.
Music was her first love, and as a young woman she sang at nightclubs in San Francisco´s North Beach, Chinatown, and Pacific Heights. Soon enough dreams of Hollywood won out and she moved to Beverly Hills, where she worked as a private secretary to recording star Patti Page and was a close friend and personal assistant to jazz great Carmen McRae. Her own show business aspirations faded, but not the love of music. She found her way into the service industry and worked as a bartender at Marriott and Westin Hotels in Los Angeles. She returned to The Bay Area after her father died.
During her twelfth year behind the bar the desire to serve in another way arose, and she volunteered at Marin Suicide Prevention. "Why suicide?" friends asked. "I´ve got a flair for life on the edge," she said. After taking every intensive training course the agency offered, she became not only a Hotline Counselor and Grief Counselor but also the agency´s top teacher in crisis intervention. Within a year she was named Director of Community Education and went on to train thousands of Marin County residents.
Having discovered and developed her teaching talents, she turned to a different arena -
the language classroom, where, as a Certified Teacher of English as a Foreign/Second Language, she taught students from all over the world at Aspect International Language Academy in San Francisco. Fortified with new skills and experience she left California for Italy, where she taught Italian students through Istituto Americano in the cradle of the Renaissance - Florence. Susan says, "I couldn´t write this book, I Knew It Then, without including some pieces from Italy." She has always enjoyed varieties in vernacular and speaks Italian and Spanish, but it was while teaching English that she became entranced with her mother tongue.
Susan was compelled, after her mother died, to write a novel based on their family. Compulsion led to passion - for the writing itself - and in 2006 she published a collection of poetry, Lifelines by Diodati. What happened to the novel? It metamorphosed, over several years, into the true story of Susan´s journey: I Knew It Then. She says, "A decade of teaching my own language to foreign students gave me the foundation to express myself so clearly and intimately."
Susan lives with her beloved companion of more than 20 years, Kathryn, and their beloved dog-child, Ricki. She has changed residence 14 times and swears, "I´ll never do it again!"