Who talks all things Writing… and of course, Cake!
Welcome, Sue Barnard! Please tell us a little about your latest book.
My most recent release is a time-slip romance novella called Never on Saturday, and it’s based on an old French legend.
What inspired you to write it?
I first came across the legend when I visited the area of Western France where the original story is set. The inspiration for the book came to me a few months later when I was gardening (I tend to get a lot of my ideas when I’m mowing the lawn). A single line of dialogue popped into my head: “My name isn’t [X], it’s [Y]”. Unfortunately I can’t say any more than that here, as it would give too much away!
One of the first things we notice on your blog’s website – http://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.com/ – is that you believe ‘an immaculate house is a sign of a wasted life’. Well, on that note you are welcome to come to my place any time! But I am curious… do you get most of your writing done at home, or do you have an office in a completely different setting?
I mainly write at home, where I sit with my back to the domestic chaos. My desk has a great view of the aforementioned lawn, so I can always see when it needs mowing. This may be a good thing.
Kindle or physical book?
Both. I love my Kindle, which is an absolute boon when I’m travelling, but it will never fully replace “proper” books.
Can you give us any clues as to what you are working on next?
I’m working on a Wuthering Heights spin-off, speculating what might have happened to Heathcliff during the three years when he disappeared.
To be honest I don’t eat cake very often, so when I do it’s very much a treat. It’s hard to beat Pastel Nata (Portuguese custard tart), carrot cake, or a delicious light lemon drizzle cake.
Favourite place you have ever visited anywhere in the world?
I’ve visited dozens of places, but I don’t think I can name a single favourite. Sorry!
You’ve written a number of books now (and you are also a poet), but which work of art are you most proud of having created?
In terms of novels, I think it has to be The Ghostly Father. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a retelling of the Romeo & Juliet story, but with a few new twists and a whole new outcome. I wrote it mainly for myself (in response to the prompt Write The Book You Want To Read), so the fact that other people have also enjoyed it is an added bonus.
In terms of poetry, I’m particularly proud of Cartloads (the poem which won a major award). But poor John Masefield is probably spinning in his grave even as I type…
(with profuse apologies to John Masefield)
Elegant young lady dressed in black Versace
gliding around Waitrose with a leisured ease,
with a cartload of oysters, mussels, truffles,
fillet steak, Bollinger, and Stilton cheese.
Smartish young accountant still in office outfit
trudging around Sainsbury’s on her homeward way,
with a cartload of pasta, chicken, houmous,
pitta bread, Camembert and Chardonnay.
Shabby hungry student rushing back from lectures,
dashing around Tesco in her faded jeans,
with a cartload of cider, Cheddar, pizza,
sliced bread, sausages and cheap baked beans.
Your one piece of advice for anybody writing in your genre?
Not just in my genre, but in every genre: Write something every day, even if it’s only a few sentences. You can always go back afterwards and revise what you’ve written, but you can never edit a blank page.