Welcome fellow RNA member, author Sue Barnard...

Hi Sue! Great to welcome you to my blog today - hope you enjoy your time here. I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your work - let's start with my questions...

1.)              What is the strangest talent you have?

Having a mind which is so warped that it can compile questions for Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz.  It once caused one of my sons to describe me as “professionally weird”.

2.)              What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never worn one!  A sign of a deprived middle-age, I suppose.

3.)              Are the titles of your books important?

Oh yes – they have to be relevant, and ideally give some clue to what the stories are about.

4.)              If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

I leave my desk do something else for a while.  This gives my brain time to work on the problem subconsciously, and the answer often arrives out of the blue when I’m in the middle of a non-writing-related activity.  I’ve had some of my best ideas when I’ve been mowing the lawn.

5.)              Do you prefer dogs, cats or none of the above?

I’m fond of both, although I don’t have any pets of my own.

6.)              Who’s your favourite author? Why?

It’s difficult to choose, but I think it would have to be Terry Pratchett.  I had the honour of meeting him once, and he was warm, kind and funny.  His writing is in a league of its own, and it breaks my heart to think that there will now be no more from the same pen.

7.)              Do you have a pet peeve?

Yes, lots (don’t get me started!).  But if I have to pick just one, top of my list is the dreadful expression “non-working mother”.  It’s a downright insult to all those women who work an unpaid and unrecognised 168-hour week raising their children.  If I had my way, the phrase would be banned from the English language. 

8.)              Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

Hardly ever, unfortunately – and when I do, they usually aren’t dreams that I’d particularly want to remember.  I know some writers who can dream entire plot-lines and write them down when they wake up.   Sadly, I am not one of them – which could be one reason why my writing output is so much lower than theirs… L

The Ghostly Father:

Romeo & Juliet - was this what really happened?

When Juliet Roberts is asked to make sense of an ancient Italian manuscript, she little suspects that she will find herself propelled into the midst of one of the greatest love stories of all time. But this is only the beginning. As more hidden secrets come to light, Juliet discovers that the tragic tale of her famous namesake might have had a very different outcome...

A favourite classic story with a major new twist.

Nice Girls Don't:

Who knows what secrets lie hidden in your family’s past?

Southern England, 1982.

At 25, single, and under threat of redundancy from her job in a local library, Emily feels as though her life is going nowhere – until the day when Carl comes into the library asking for books about tracing family history.

Carl is baffled by a mystery about his late grandfather: why is the name by which Carl had always known him different from the name on his old passport?

Fascinated as much by Carl himself as by the puzzle he wants to solve, Emily tries to help him find the answers. As their relationship develops, their quest for the truth takes them along a complicated paper-trail which leads, eventually, to the battlefields of the Great War.

In the meantime, Emily discovers that her own family also has its fair share of secrets and lies. And old sins can still cast long shadows…

Can Emily finally lay the ghosts of the past to rest and look forward to a brighter future?

A tale of discovery, love and fate.

The Unkindest Cut of All:

Beware the Ides of March...

Brian Wilmer is God’s gift to amateur dramatics – and he knows it. So when the Castlemarsh Players take the ambitious decision to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, there is only one man who can play the title role – even though Brian’s posturing ‘prima donna’ attitude has, over the years, won him few friends and many foes.

Rehearsals progress apace, and the production draws ever closer. But when another member of the cast has to drop out due to illness, local journalist Sarah Carmichael (a stalwart of the Players’ backstage crew) suddenly finds herself called upon to step into the breach at the eleventh hour.

Not surprisingly, Sarah finds that Brian is in his egotistical element playing the mighty Caesar. The fact that the final performance of the play takes place on the infamous Ides of March – the day when, according to tradition, Caesar was fatally stabbed – only adds to the excitement.

But tragedy is waiting in the wings. And when it strikes, it falls to Sarah – with the help of Brian’s personable, and fascinating, nephew Martin Burns – to uncover the incredible truth about what really happened…

The Ghostly FatherAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks
Nice Girls Don’tAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks
The Unkindest Cut of AllAmazonSmashwordsKoboNookApple iBooks

 About the Author:

Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then 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.
Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she'd write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling 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 joined the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014.  This was followed in July 2014 by her second novel, a romantic mystery entitled Nice Girls Don’t.  Her third novel, The Unkindest Cut of All (a murder mystery set in a theatre), was released in June 2015.
Sue now lives in Cheshire with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.  You can find her on Facebook, Twitter (@SusanB2011), or follow her blog here.

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