For years Susie Bennett dreamed about a career as a novelist. Having been born with cerebral palsy and suffering scoliosis, Susie now has two incredible titles under her belt. Susie’s debut, The Sky’s The Limit, wowed readers with its sensitive but unpitying portrayal of a woman who had gone through so much in her lifetime. Her new novel, A Homeless Paradise, sealed her reputation as a talented writer who effectively balances fantasy with reality. Today she’s here with me to talk about her books and to tell us a little more about what makes her tick.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees with Cerebral Palsy, Susan Bennett was constantly told throughout her early life that she wouldn’t be able to walk, talk properly, move properly, swim, hold a job down or live a ‘normal’ life – “Whatever that is,” says Susan. As she grew, Susan needed to prove this was not the case. Not to herself you understand, because she always knew she would be able to do these things, but to those in the medical and educational fraternity and other doubters.
An interview with Susie Bennett
Q. Can you remember the day you said to someone, ‘I’m an author?’
A. Yes, it was at my very first book signing for my autobiography, The Sky’s The Limit. As I was signing it for the lady there was a young boy behind her with his mum, who said ‘did you write this’? I said ‘yes, I’m an author.’
Q. What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story?
A. I was about 8 years of age, when I was at my special needs school. We had to write a story about what we had done in the summer holidays.
Q. What is your least favourite part of the writing process?
A. The editing and the grammar.
Q. How do you work with an editor without the pride thing getting in the way?
A. I have a good relationship with my publisher who helps me with all aspects of writing and it allows me to just write freely. Then when it comes to editing they never criticise if I have gone wrong.
Q. What technology do you use for writing?
A. I use my notebox app on my Ipad
Q. Have you read any of the Harry Potter books or seen the films? If so, who is your favourite character and why?
A. I have read all the books and seen all the films. The films are great, although, I prefer the books because it allows me to create my own image of the characters. My favourite character is Minerva McGonagall – Hogwarts Transfiguration professor, Head of Gryffindor House, member of the Order of the Phoenix, Animagus. I like her because she is always there to help when there is a crisis. I also believe Maggie Smith is the best person to play her because I love her short quips and she brings warmth to the character.
Q. Which aspect of fantasy do you enjoy the most?
A. I enjoy fantasy because it allows me to absorb myself into a world that is free from disability and gives me a chance to see what that world could be like.
Q. When you hear from your readers, does it give you a buzz?
A. Yes I love it, because it allows me to reach out to people from around the world, who have been absorbed into the same world I have been writing about.
Q. What is your favourite way of promote your writing?
A. I find the promoting the hardest part of writing. I promote as much as I can on social networking. I find my favourite way is when someone reviews it and tell me what they think, because this allows other readers to go and purchase a book.
Q. What do you think your books have brought to your reader?
A. Since writing ‘The Sky’s The Limit’ I had an aim of helping people to see that even with cerebral palsy and scoliosis it is possible to live life to the full and succeed. I know that many people have read it around the world and have said it has helped them. Therefore if I have helped just one person then I am happy. With ‘A Homeless Paradise’ I hope I have been able to write a story that allows the reader to escape the chaos of daily life and enter a world that is a wonderful world of peace and tranquility. I also hope that the reader will use there own imagination to read into my mind as the writer.
A Homeless Paradise Falls Under The Genre: Fantasy
A Homeless Paradise Book Blurb:
Jack has the perfect life. A wife and son who love him, a job at the bank, a big house in the city; even a brand-new Jaguar. Then, in a fit of rage, he rolls his car, hitting a tree…
With his memory lost, he spends years on the streets of London, sleeping in parks, walking, forever walking, trying to find his family. Until, one cold night, he discovers a very different world. A world of waterfalls and wonderful flowers. A world of magic, where anything can happen.
A world that might, just might, help him to find his way home.
Link to Homeless Paradise:
The Spotlight Shines on Homeless Paradise:
What’s Next Susie?
I have been working on a new fantasy called In The Land Of Dreams. It’s a story of an author who tells the story to the reader. She comes across a stranger in her house called Tebo who turns out to be a Dream Man and together they enter the world of fantasy dreams and meet some very special people, special with a twist, because some of these amazing people have special needs.
Last Word …
Wow! Susie, how exciting and it sounds as though there is certainly going to be a twist with a difference within your story. I wish you all the best with your novel and look forward to hearing all about it when it’s finished.