On Christmas Eve 1969, a letter from Australia House, London, brings welcome news for newly-weds Anna and Joseph Fletcher.
Young and idealistic, Anna falls passionately in love with their adopted land. Seven months later, an unexpected event causes their life to take a tragic turn.
Years pass, and Anna retreats to a fictional world she has created. But when a different challenge presents itself, does she have the courage to take the risk … or will she take refuge in fantasy?
Have the courage to become who you want to be, instead of adopting the roles family, friends and society in general expect of you.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I tend to focus on the failures in my life instead of successes. Self-love is a difficult concept.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
I wanted to explore – in a fictional context – the ambivalent relationship I still have with my adopted land after living in Australia for almost fifty years.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
I abandoned my first draft after 100 pages, believing the concept wouldn’t work. Several years later, following publication of my novels Re-Navigation and Feed Thy Enemy, I felt confident enough to risk a second attempt.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
I write in different genres: contemporary fiction, historical fiction, speculative fiction. Variety is the spice of a writer’s life!
What are your writing habits or idiosyncrasies?
Creating novels is my retirement career, so I try to write for at least four hours each weekday. Once my domestic chores have been completed, usually by ten am, I retreat to my beautiful garden studio, built by my husband, only emerging to prepare meals!
With hindsight, what would you say to yourself as a fledgling writer?
Try not to become disconsolate when your manuscript is rejected. If you have faith in your writing, someday a publisher will believe in your work and offer a contract.
What’s next for your writing?
Completing the first draft of my WIP Twenty-eight Days (currently 83,000 words). I’m planning a speculative fiction trilogy again, series title: The Doorkeeper. My protagonist, Emma, age 70, will feature in each book. A graphic dream that bordered on nightmare, inspired me to write this eighth novel.
Originally from England, Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written seven novels, including a climate-fiction trilogy of a future dystopian Australia and Feed Thy Enemy, based on a true WWII story.
Sue’s WIP, Twenty-eight Days, is set on the Mornington Peninsula in 2100. It deals with overpopulation and extended life expectancy in an increasingly climate-challenged world and the inhumane solutions adopted by a government determined to rid Australia of unproductive citizens.
Passionate about peace and social justice, Sue’s goal is to continue writing novels that address these issues as she believes the extensive life experience of older writers can engage readers of all ages.