Speaker and Author

Susan Mattern is a Southern California-based speaker and the author of Out of the Lion’s Den, her memoir about a mountain lion attack on her 5-year-old daughter, Laura Small, in an Orange County park in 1986.

After Laura’s attack, Susan’s faith was tested. As a former nun, she struggled to answer the question “How could a loving God allow such suffering?” In due course she decided there couldn’t be a God if this kind of tragedy could happen. Ultimately she became an atheist.

Her upcoming book, Kicking the Habit, is full of mostly light-hearted stories about her six years as a Catholic nun.

Sue is a natural storyteller, infusing her talks with humor, sincerity and respect. Her audiences connect immediately.

See below for information on booking Sue to speak to your organization.

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Sue is available to speak at events and to organizations, clubs, groups, and classes of all sizes.

Speaking topics include:

  • surviving traumatic experiences
  • losing faith but finding meaning
  • inspiration and finding the good in bad experiences

For more information—or to invite Sue to speak at your event—please contact Diane Cain at

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