I’ve written and told stories for as long as I can remember. I love books and I always dreamed that one day I’d write one and get it published, but to be honest I didn’t think for one moment that it would actually happen – and even now, nearly twenty years and around thirty books later I still keep thinking a grown up is going to pop round and tell me to get a proper job.
My best moment was coming second in a competition that genuinely changed my life – It was in the Mail on Sunday, Night and Day Magazine, and entrants were asked to write the first 150 words of a novel on a given topic. That year it was Celebration, and my entry was about a girl called Araminta who was standing on a kitchen table while her mum stapled up the hem of a borrowed wedding dress – and managed to staple her leg in the process.
I’d completely forgotten about entering, so weeks later was amazed and really excited when the organisers rang up to tell me I’d made the short list and was invited down to London for the prize giving lunch and to meet the judges, Fay Weldon, Jilly Cooper and John Mortimer.
I was really nervous, and was astonished to come second out of the six writers who had been shortlisted. The prize was a book token for a something like a hundred pounds, which was absolutely fabulous, and let me buy all those books we all have on our, ‘ what- I would-buy-if-I-had-the-money’ list!
Over lunch, Fay Weldon asked me if I had an agent. When I said no she said that I really ought to have one and asked for my details. I hadn’t got any business cards with me so I wrote my name and telephone number on a scrap of paper which she dropped into her handbag.
I thought that maybe that was the end of it, but no. Two or three days later the phone rang and a woman said, ‘Hello my name is Juliet, I run a literary agency and Fay Weldon asked me to ring you – she told me that you can write.’
It was one of those breath stopping, mind-boggling moments in life that I’ve treasured ever since. It was just the beginning, but the feeling of someone believing in me has stayed with me for years and that kindness and support is something I’ve tried to pass on when I can.
Sue is an award winning and Times best selling author. She’s published around thirty novels under various pen names including Gemma Fox and Kate Lawson and written erotic fiction under a couple of others.
Sue was among the winners of the Channel 4 SitCom Fest and was the first ever BBC local radio Story Laureate.
Sue lives in Norfolk with her husband and two dogs. When not writing Sue loves gardening, singing, cooking and making things – her current passion is making mosaics, which involves smashing crockery with a big hammer.
Sue has been published by Harper Collins, Avon, Headline and Virgin and most recently NottingHill Press.