This is the first in a series featuring fellow authors of Crooked Cat Books. I wanted to give them a bit of promotion on my website while getting to know them better. I will let each occupy the top spot on this site for several days. Sue Barnard is the first.
Here are Sue’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)
Who is author Sue Barnard?
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet who believes that an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life. Hence, her house is chaotic but her life is very fulfilled.
Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in the Manchester area. After studying French and Italian at Durham University, she got married and had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.
Sue’s mind is very warped – so much so that she has been asked to compile questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird”. That was nearly twenty years ago, but the label has stuck.
She is also very interested in family history, and her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue now lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.
What does she write?
Sue writes novels, short stories, poems, articles, and the occasional stroppy letter to the BBC. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter, producing pieces on such widely diverse subjects as business taxes, dangerous sports, the London Olympics, and the symbolism of teeth in dreams.
When did she begin writing?
If you include those compulsory “Composition” exercises at school, Sue has been writing for almost her entire life. Her first writing success was at primary school when she won a prize for writing an essay about chocolate. But she began to take her writing more seriously following a life-changing event in 2004. At that point she did a series of on-line writing courses, and a few years later she set herself the challenge of writing her first full-length novel. The eventual result was The Ghostly Father – a retelling of the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet, but with a few new twists and a whole new outcome – which was first published by Crooked Cat Books in 2014.
How does she write?
She wishes she knew the answer to that. Somehow, it just happens. But inspiration strikes when she’s least expecting it. She gets a lot of her ideas when she’s digging the garden or mowing the lawn, and on one occasion a complete stanza of a poem arrived, fully-formed, when she was stuck in a traffic jam. She had to keep repeating it over and over until she got home and could write it down.
Where does she write?
Anywhere and everywhere. She has her laptop set up in a table overlooking the garden, but she has been known to scribble ideas on the backs of envelopes or in the margins of newspapers. Some of these scribbles make some kind of sense when she looks back at them later. Most of them do not.
Why does she write?
She started writing just for herself, but she’s immensely grateful to all those people who buy her books, read them, and are kind enough to say they enjoy them. Now she can’t imagine a life without writing.
More about Sue Barnard:
Sue’s most recent book is Never on Saturday: a time-slip romance novella with a hint of mystery and a touch of the paranormal, based on an old French legend. It is published by Crooked Cat Books and is available on Amazon.
Never on Saturday: Amazon
Sue Barnard on Social Media