Susan Doherty Hannaford is a Montreal-based writer.


Susan published a commemorative history book in 2010 for a U.S. corporation, and published her first novel, A Secret Music, with Cormorant Books in 2015. Her third book, The Ghost Garden, Inside the Lives of Schizophrenia’s Feared and Forgotten is a biography about an Ottawa woman who committed a crime for which she went to jail and before her diagnosis of schizophrenia. Threaded through the book are vignettes that show the various pathways to breakdown.

Susan’s passions include: education, music and de-stigmatizing mental health issues, and has done 25 years of community service in those areas.


A Secret music

Lawrence Nolan, a gifted pianist, grows up in the shadow of his mother’s mental illness. A Secret Music is a rite of passage debut novel that brings prolific music, family neglect and numbing guilt to life in 1936 Montreal. Hindered by unwarranted responsibility and shameful secrets, Lawrence yearns to pursue his passion on the world stage.

Learn More →


The Montreal Gazette Review by Ian McGillis

The Toronto Star review by Linda Diebel

Montreal Review of Books by Ami Sands Brodoff

Ottawa Review of Books by Menaka Ramen-Wilms


Accolades for a secret music

Fiction Award in the Young Adult Category presented by  The Word Guild
June 2016

$5000 Grace Irwin Award presented by  The Word Guild
June 2016

Best Young Adult General Fiction presented by Literary Classics, Silver Award
July 2016


Susan is working on a new project focused on de-stigmatizing schizophrenia.

Learn More →


Anne Collins, Random House of Canada
320 Front Street West, #1400
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3B6
Tel: 416 364 4449

Contact SUSAN

Phone: 514-653-4609