Happy Wednesday, lovelies! I have a very special author visiting my blog today. She is a fellow Crooked Cat and an incredible writer. Be sure to give her plenty of love around SM and the web.
Let’s find out more, shall we?
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
A lot of people probably have skeletons in their cupboards – but I wonder how many people know how it feels to BE one of those skeletons? That was me, for more than forty years.
What made you want to become a writer?
It happened almost by accident, when I came across one of those lists of Things You Must Do Before You Die. Most of them were fairly unappealing, but the one which leapt out was Write The Book You Want To Read. I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but found the ending frustrating, and the book I’ve always wanted to read is the alternative version of the tale: the one in which the young lovers don’t fall victim to a maddeningly-preventable catastrophe.
Why, I asked myself, should there not be such a book? And the answer came straight back: Why not indeed? And if it doesn’t exist, then go ahead and write it.
The eventual result was my debut novel The Ghostly Father, which is part-prequel, part-sequel to the original Romeo & Juliet story, told from the point of view of the Friar. It was first published in 2014 by Crooked Cat Books.
What was the first book that made you cry?
I can’t remember crying over books as a child, but I read A Tale of Two Cities as an adult. I shed quite a few tears over Sydney Carton.
Where did you get your inspiration for your latest book?
Finding Nina is a companion to my second novel, Nice Girls Don’t. A loose end was unintentionally left dangling at the end of that book. Thankfully it didn’t affect the outcome of that story, but I realised afterwards that it had left open the possibility of another one, concentrating on some of the characters who barely step out of the shadows in the original.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Oddly enough, I don’t have much difficulty with that. The main characters of two of my books (The Ghostly Father and Heathcliff) are both male, and it was surprisingly easy to get into their heads. I’ve no idea why!
Music or silence?
Both. When I’m writing I need silence; I find music too distracting (because I’d want to listen to it, and that would disturb my writing concentration). But music has helped me in other ways; I’ve had some wonderful ideas – including finding the answers to some of my biggest writing dilemmas – when I’ve been listening to music whilst away from my computer.
Are your characters based on real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
There’s quite a lot of myself in some of my characters, and some of the episodes in my books are inspired by real events. But I wouldn’t dare to base any of my characters on anyone else. I’d have no friends left!
Thank you so much, Sue, for stopping by today. We wish you all the best for your upcoming release!
FINDING NINA is already available for pre-order. The book is officially released on 3 June 2019, when there will be an online launch party on Facebook, with guests, competitions and giveaways. To add yourself to the guest list, click here then select “Going”. See you there!
MORE ABOUT FINDING NINA:
1943: A broken-hearted teenager gives birth in secret. Her soldier sweetheart has disappeared, and she reluctantly gives up her daughter for adoption.
1960: A girl discovers a dark family secret, but it is swiftly brushed back under the carpet. Conventions must be adhered to.
1982: A young woman learns of the existence of a secret cousin. She yearns to find her long-lost relative, but is held back by legal constraints. Life goes on.
2004: Everything changes…
MORE ABOUT SUE:
Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet who was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad. She now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.
Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.
Sue’s own family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Finding Nina, which is her sixth novel, is not that book.
Don’t forget to follow her!
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ALSO BY SUE BARNARD: The Ghostly Father Nice Girls Don’t The Unkindest Cut of All Never on Saturday Heathcliff