Meeting Sue Watson
There is nothing I enjoy more than talking to other writers. I love hearing about their writing process. And today I am chatting to the lovely Sue Watson. I’ve had to hide all the chocolate mind you and put a lock on the fridge but apart from that it has been an enjoyable experience having her on my blog. Sue is one very funny lady and if you haven’t read her book ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ then I suggest you pop over to Amazon right now and download it onto your Kindle. You won’t regret it.
So with no further ado, let’s crack on shall we and meet the lovely Sue. But be warned hide your Maltesers. She’s already gone through my stash.
First question to ask Sue after plying her with coffee is of course,
What made you first decide to write a novel? And have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’d always wanted to write a novel, from being quite young, but I’m quite lazy and the idea of sitting down and writing 100,00 words plus was too daunting. I’d always been a writer in that I was a journalist before I became a TV Producer. And when it became clear there was a novel bubbling away in my head it was only a matter of time before I had to write it. Working in TV was great fun, I met some amazing people and had some hilarious times – and now I write about it. I still dabble in TV, and particularly enjoy working on ideas for new programmes but the novel writing has won through and that’s my main job now.
And we are thrilled it is too. Now I don’t know about other writers but when I get stuck, which seems to be often lately, the first place to get raided is the fridge. I’d love to say it was the fruit bowl but hey… So is Sue a girl after my own heart?
So Sue, what is your biggest indulgence when writing. We’re all hoping you say chocolate so as to make us all feel less guilty?
While writing, I eat only a few organic salad leaves and a litre of water.
Oh no! I needn’t have locked the fridge and maybe it wasn’t Sue who nabbed my Malteses. I take it all back…
As if! Unfortunately working from home means I’m far too close to the fridge – and as I like my chocolate cold… well, you can probably guess the rest.
What a relief, huh girls?
Now for the question that always interests me. Computer or pen and paper and why?
Oh definitely a computer for ‘proper’ writing. I couldn’t even write a sentence on pen and paper now. I sometimes wonder how I would have coped in the past before computers. I use a pen and paper for notes and if I’m out and about and suddenly have a great idea for a plot or character I stop everything to jot it down, or I’ll forget. I will often pull the car over and delve into the detritus of congealed sweets old tissues and melted chocolate in my handbag to hunt down my note book. Being quite disorganised I can never find it and end up scribbling ‘vital’ stuff on old receipts. Much of this ‘literary gold’ is of course lost forever when I clean out my handbag and forget that the screwed up, chocolate stained receipt contains the best plot I’ve ever written!
So budding writers begin scouring dustbins now and email me for my address. I need that ‘literary gold.’
Talking of literary gold, tell us about your current novel.
Described as ‘a story of love, loss, friendship and cakes,’ Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes is a romantic comedy about Stella Weston, a woman striving to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother and the perfect career girl. She’s also desperate for the perfect body and torn between a desire for slimness and a passion for cake! When Stella’s life is suddenly turned upside down, she turns to the mixing bowl for comfort, in the hope that zesty lemon sponge with frosting will give her the courage to face an uncertain and scary future.
Worth a read I reckon. But I’m curious to know if the main character is based on you.
They say write what you know and there’s a lot of me in Stella Weston (even our initials are the same). Like me she works in the world of TV, is struggling with life and feeling torn between all the roles imposed on her. I think as workers, wives, mothers and daughters all women feel this way at some point and I certainly relate to Stella and the problems she faces. We also share a sense of humour a love of baking and a futile desire to be size ten!
Shall we move on from the size 10? You know, before we find ourselves crying into our chocolate cupcakes. Let’s talk about something less depressing. Finally having a room of one’s own at last and not feeling in the least like Virginia Woolf, I couldn’t help wondering if Sue writes in a room of her own or somewhere completely different.
When I gave up my job at the BBC with a rather naive plan to write a novel I didn’t know if I’d ever get published and it felt a little premature to even buy a desk, so I wrote on the kitchen table. I like being there as I’m not cut off from the rest of the family and can get their input if necessary, however this is a double-edges sword and sometimes hard to concentrate. On days when I’m struggling with a scene or a character and everyone’s asking me stuff and making a racket I think Virginia Woolf was right – a woman does need a room of her own to write fiction! Of course there’s a major advantage to working in the kitchen too – close proximity to the fridge (for chocolate), the oven (for baking), and the kettle (for coffee), a writer’s most important equipment along with a computer!
I’m obviously doing it all wrong and am much too far away from the fridge. So, enough of the writing malarkey how about a little more about Sue Watson and her lovely family and pets.
Originally I’m from Manchester, I moved to London in my twenties and now live in Worcestershire with my journalist husband, Nick daughter Eve and two cats. Harry and Poppy our cats are the same age both 7 and both lovely in their own ways. Harry is a big furry moggy with weight issues and a weakness for cheese while Poppy is a pretty little black cat who chats a lot.
We did have a rather glamorous swishy tailed gold fish called Eddie. However, my daughter decided she was a girl, so we changed her name to Edina. At the age of 3, having been resuscitated several times by my husband (‘the fish whisperer’), Edina passed away peacefully in her sleep last year. We take comfort from the fact she lived a full, fish film star life in a large tank with her own underwater castle and regular supply of fishy nibbles.
Do you have a work in progress, something for us to look forward to? I heard something about Nepal, did you go there?
I have been working on my current novel ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder,’ for almost two years. It’s due out in the Autumn and is the story of Tanya Travis, a daytime talk-show host who enjoys all the designer handbags and high end interiors that go with fame and money… until one day her life spirals out of control. In the novel, Tanya visits Nepal, which is somewhere I haven’t been, but would love to go to. And having done lots of research and spoken to many different people, I feel like I know it very well.
In the novel is a reality show, a gay actor, a sex-tape star, a couple of gorgeous guys and some very expensive shoes. Yep, it’s my usual cocktail of highbrow, intellectual, issue lead writing, but essentially a about love, fame and how what we want is often different from what we need. I hope it’s a novel that makes readers think – but not too much!
I’m thinking another one worth reading…Talking of reading, who are your favourite authors?
I have so many favourites, and though I love chick-lit I also love darker, edgier crime novels too. I loved ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn and have just downloaded Sharp Objects by the same writer. I’ve also recently discovered a great writer called Lynda Renham and having thoroughly enjoyed her latest novel ‘Pink Wellies and Flat caps,’ have started the fabulously titled, ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras.’
Ooh *blushes furiously* While I go off to fan myself can you tell us your all-time favourite book?
Oh that’s sooo difficult! From Jane Austen to Khaled Hosseini I love many, many books, all very different and all great in their own way. Can I cheat this question a bit and tell you about one of my favourite all time writers who’s written several of my favourite books instead? Jen Lancaster is a best-selling American writer who is irreverent, very real and very, funny. She has written several books about her life: ‘Bright Lights, Big Ass,’ ‘Bitter is the New Black’ and ‘Such a Pretty Fat,’ are all favourites of mine and though I don’t always agree with her politics I love her take on life and her humour. I was recently beside myself with joy and extremely flattered when an American reviewer on Amazon compared my writing to hers… what a moment!
How flattering is that? You have us intrigued us now and I for one will be looking up Jen Lancaster. Before you leave us Sue and eat me out of house and home can you answer two fun questions?
Sweet or savoury and why?
Mmmm. The honest answer to that would be just ‘food.’ My current obsession with salted caramels and salty sweet popcorn probably straddles all aspects of taste (and decency?). But if I really had to choose it would probably be sweet. I adore chocolate, fresh cream cakes, biscuits, ice cream, hot chocolate fudge sauce… I will stop there or this may become the longest blog answer in the world ever!
Stop there, yes please else I’ll be dribbling all over this blog posting.
Finally If you were a cheese what kind of cheese would you be?
Full fat cream cheese covered in chocolate – obviously!
Sue, thank you so much for coming onto my blog, I have enjoyed it immensely.
Thank you so much for having me, this was great fun! xxx
To read more about Sue go to her blog here.
Or Twitter https://twitter.com/suewatsonwriter
And if you want to know more about Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes, which of course you will. Then pop over here