It's time for my Monday Meet Up again, and the fab blogger I'm interviewing this week is Sue Featherstone. Sue runs the blog https://bookloversbooklist.wordpress.com/ with Susan Pape.
Welcome, Sue. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on my blog. You're obviously an avid reader and have read hundreds of books. What is your favourite book of all time?
Hard to choose just one because I’m a compulsive re-reader of books I’ve loved and enjoyed. However, if I have to pick one book it would be Dear Daddy by Philippe Dupasquier, which I enjoyed reading with both my daughters when they were small.
How many books, on average, do you read a month?
I try to be quite disciplined about reading because I could spend my whole life with my nose stuck in a book. So, unless I’m on holiday or on a train I don’t read during the day, which means my monthly average is probably only four or five books a month.
I know what you mean, Sue. I could sit and read books all day long.
Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?
I can only remember doing this once: a colleague at Sheffield Hallam University asked me to read a draft copy of her first novel. The colleague was Marina Lewcyka and the novel was A Short History of Tractors in Ukraine, which was later short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005. It was an absolute page-turner and I couldn’t bear to put it down, only putting the light out at about 3am because I was teaching in the morning and I needed to sleep in order to function in front of my students.
Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?
Goodness me, yes. Used to do it all the time when I read proper books because I couldn’t bear the suspense. Now that most of my reading is on a kindle, it’s much harder to flick through the pages so I do it less often.
What sort of plots do you dislike reading?
Ones were the outcome is so predictable you can see the ending coming a mile off. Heroine meets bloke, they’re initially mutually antagonistic, then find common ground, misunderstanding occurs, gets resolved and all ends happily ever after. Ugh! Sadly an awful lot of popular fiction falls into this category.
What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?
I don’t think I can really pin it down. I was going to say ‘good writing’ but then I’d have to define good writing and I don’t think I can provide an adequate definition except to say I like a novel that I can enjoy reading as much the eleventy millionth time as I did the first.
What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?
I’d love to have a really unique answer to this one but I don’t because on the rare occasions I’ve done anything in the least bit unusual – night trekking with the Territorial Army, flying in a helicopter, driving an old-fashioned double-decker bus – I haven’t really been in a position to read.
What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?
It’s some time since I last spoke to Marina so I’d love to have a catch-up with her. We’d be drinking tea though – and sharing a single teabag. We shared an office at Sheffield Hallam for many years and because I like my tea weak and black Marina always insisted on re-using my teabag to make her cuppa.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I’m lucky enough to live about four miles from the fabulous Yorkshire Sculpture Park so like to go up there for a walk most weekends. I also have a beautiful pink bicycle that doesn’t get as many outings as it should. I’ve always enjoyed swimming and recently discovered the joys of aqua fit at my local gym. It’s great fun – and really good exercise. I love meeting up with my book club friends to discuss our latest read. We probably don’t spend as much time as we should talking about the novel of the month but we have a great laugh together. Best bit of the week though is Saturday morning when I knit and natter with another group of friends.
Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?
I’m a former journalist-cum-PR practitioner-cum-journalism lecturer so I’ve spent my whole career writing or teaching other people how to write. About ten years-or-so ago I co-authored two journalism textbooks with my friend and former PR job-share partner Susan Pape and we’ve now written two novels together. The first, A Falling Friend, was published spring 2016 and the next, still untitled, will hopefully come out spring 2017. One reviewer described A Falling Friend as chick-lit with attitude. I rather like that.
That's great, Sue. Congratulations. I'm posting a pic of the cover, blurb and buy link here so my readers can check it out.
This "witty and pacy" character-driven masterpiece is "reminiscent of Bridget Jones" and proves that there really are two sides to every story.
After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire – and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.
Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.
Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? You can buy the book here:
Lovely to interview you, Sue. :)
Bring a little sunshine into your life!
Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press