Susan Elia MacNeal


Susan Elia MacNeal, ’91, Novelist

New York Times-bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series from Bantam/Random House. The latest in the series, The Prime Minister's Secret Agent, was published in July 2014.  Susan is the winner of the Barry Award, and her books have been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, Dilys, ITW Thriller, Sue Feder, and Bruce Alexander awards.

What’s been your career path?

I love that as a professional novelist, I can express myself, create worlds and characters, support my family, and work at home in my pajamas. I started out as an intern at Random House and continued up the publishing ladder until I sold my first novel in 2009. I’m now writing my fifth novel and under contract for my sixth.

How did your English major prepare you for your career?

I believe that having read novels critically has helped me (and continues to help me) develop my technical skills as a novelist. I also believe that writing a senior thesis (under the supervision of Professor Susan Meyer) helped me when it came to writing a novel in terms of stamina, perseverance, and managing and presenting an enormous amount of information.

The heroine of my New York Times-bestselling series, Maggie Hope, is also a Wellesley graduate (although she’s a math major, alas), Class of 1937.

Were any internships particularly helpful to your job search?

My first job, as an intern at Random House for then-publisher Harold Evans, was very helpful.


For more information about Susan’s career path, visit her web site: