Friday, 20 November 2015
Sue Barnard - Guest
By Barbara Scott-Emmett
I recently read Sue Barnard's novel The Ghostly Father, which I reviewed for BookMuse.
Sue says that the book she always wanted to read was an "alternative version of Romeo & Juliet - the version in which the star-cross'd lovers don't fall victim to a maddeningly preventable double-suicide."
"Why," she asked herself, "should there not be such a book?" And since there wasn't one already, she decided to go ahead and write it.
I was so impressed by The Ghostly Father, and the determination Sue showed in writing the book she wanted to read, that I decided to ask her a few questions to find out more about her.
Which work most influenced you when growing up?
I think this would have to be the Blue Door Theatre stories (The Swish of the Curtain, Maddy Alone, Golden Pavements and Blue Door Venture) by Pamela Brown. They were what triggered my love of the theatre.
Where do you write?
My desk (if you can call it that) is a table in the corner of my conservatory. It has a lovely view of the garden.
Who or what had the biggest impact on your creative life?
Shakespeare. Two of my three novels are based on his works!
How far are you influenced by other media, such as music or fine art?
I enjoy both, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they've influenced me to write anything new. I prefer to appreciate them for their own sake.
Do you have a phrase that you most overuse?
I probably have loads, but I try to edit them out!
Which writers do you enjoy?
Terry Pratchett (I'm devastated that there will be no more from him), Lindsey Davis (I love her portrayals of ancient Rome), Sally Quilford (my friend and mentor, who taught me everything I know about writing romance), and those lovely girls at Triskele Books. Plus all my fellow-authors at Crooked Cat Publishing!
Why do you write?
Because I love it.
What makes you laugh?
Monty Python, Blackadder, The Two Ronnies, One Foot in the Grave, Round The Horne, Flanders & Swann, good stand-up comedy such as Live At The Apollo, and satirical news programmes such as The News Quiz, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You?
Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?
Yes. I read on the loo!
Which book do you wish you’d written?
That's a tricky one, as there are so many. But one of my all-time favourites is That Devil Called Love, by Lynda Chater (first published in 1999). It's a modern reworking of the Faust story, told with great perception and humour, in which the heroine finds out the hard way that youth, beauty, wealth and fame don't necessarily hold the key to lasting happiness.
Which book has impressed you most this year?
A book which I had the pleasure of editing: Pride and Regicide, by my dear friend Cathy Bryant. It's beautifully thought out, and is written so cleverly that it's almost impossible to tell that it wasn't written by Austen herself.
Would you share what you’re working on next?
I'm working on a time-slip story based on an old French legend. I can't say which one, because that would give too much away!
What’s the best way of spending a Sunday morning?
As lazily as possible.
What's your favourite punctuation fail? (Suggested by JJ Marsh!)
AAAGGGHH - don't get me started on that, or we'll be here all day and probably most of tomorrow!
Sue Barnard is the author of the award-nominated historical fantasy The Ghostly Father and the romantic intrigues Nice Girls Don't and The Unkindest Cut of All. She is Editor at Crooked Cat Publishing.
Find out more about Sue from her Blog or Facebook page.
Follow her on Twitter @SusanB2011
Her books are available from Amazon.
Sue was interviewed by Barbara Scott Emmett, author of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion.