Susan VanHecke


I write award-winning books for young readers and adults. I adore history, music, memoir, and biography. From the contraband slaves of the Civil War who launched the beginning of slavery's end, to musical trailblazers, brave teen soldiers, and an extraordinary rock 'n' roll photographer, the people I've written about—and with—have intrigued, amazed, and inspired me. I hope you'll explore their remarkable stories too.

What They're Saying About...

Roadwork: Rock & Roll Turned Inside Out

Probably the best book on rock & roll ever published.—Steve Riggio, Barnes & Noble CEO

Rock 'n' Roll Soldier: A Memoir

A remarkable story about the transcendent power of music. —Graham Nash 

Three Steps to Heaven: The Eddie Cochran Story

Buy this now... a biography that benefits from memory and family lore as well as interviews and research.  —Rolling Stone

Under the Freedom Tree

[An] immersive true story of courage and grit. —Publishers Weekly

Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin': A History of American Musical Instrument Makers

Remarkable and exciting. —Chicago Tribune

An Apple Pie for Dinner

This scrumptious tale is perfect for reading aloud. —School Library Journal

Race with the Devil: Gene Vincent's Life in the Fast Lane

The best thing I've ever read on Gene Vincent. —Ron Weiser, Rollin' Rock magazine and Rollin' Rock Records