Prolific writer Sue Barnard tells us about herself and shares some advice.
Could you tell us about yourself?
I was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium, but for most of my life (apart from when I was away at university) I’ve lived in or near Manchester. I’m married and have two grown-up sons, and live in Cheshire, UK, with my extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings. I speak French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.
How long have you been writing?
If you include those compulsory “composition” exercises at school, I suppose I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember (mainly articles, short stories, poems, and the occasional stroppy letter to The Times). But it was following a life-changing event twelve years ago that I started taking my writing more seriously. I took several writing courses (including some with the Open University in the UK), did some work as a freelance copywriter, and then set myself the challenge of writing a full-length novel.
Tell us about one of your books.
My debut novel, The Ghostly Father, was first published in 2014. It is a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, but with a few new twists and a whole new outcome. If, like me, you love the original story but hate the tragic ending, this is the book for you!
How do you get inspired?
I find that inspiration strikes when I least expect it. I’ve had some of my best writing ideas when I’ve been mowing the lawn or digging the flowerbeds, and at one point a whole stanza of a poem arrived, fully-formed, when I was waiting in a traffic jam. I had to keep repeating it to myself over and over until I got home and could write it down.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just write. The most important thing is to get the words down. Don’t expect it to be perfect the first time round. You can always go back later and edit what you’ve written, but you can’t edit a blank page.
What are you currently working on? How long before release?
I’m currently working on a Wuthering Heights spin-off story about Heathcliff. It’s still in progress so doesn’t have a release date at this stage.
What are you currently reading?
Research material for my WIP
Any fun facts about you that you would like to share?
I’ve worked as a question-setter for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of my sons to describe me as “professionally weird”.
Find out more about Sue at her BLOG, on and and check out her range of books on