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Susan Scotto began studying Russian in college, so that she could read Dostoyevsky in the original. The Russian bug bit, and she earned her Ph.D from the University of California Berkeley and began teaching in Mount Holyoke College's Russian and Eurasian Studies Department in 1987. In 2004, she began interviewing Russia's top female pop and rock singers. She is currently writing a book based on her conversations with these singers, who include Zemfira, Julia Chicherina, Vika Voronina, Alsou, Gliukoza, Katya Lel, Julis Savicheva and The Shining Ones.