ask the author

Sue J. Daniels Ask The Author

A ‘SueJDaniels Ask the Author’ interview session allowed for some interesting questions and answers. Sue J. Daniels is a fiction author and international book awards finalist in the fiction, novella category; as well as writing eight non-fiction self-help pocket booklets and two practitioner guides for those affected by and working with trauma. Born in northwest London, Sue was a latch key, streetwise kid, always observing all around her. She excelled in English and creative writing throughout school and has always harboured a deep love of the written word.


1. What made you decide to become an author? Zoe – Milton Keynes

In my head I suppose I’ve always been an author. I’ve always written stories from a very young age. Creative writing was the only subject I enjoyed or was any good at, at school. I have countless unfinished manuscripts in boxes, marked ‘to be finished’ or ‘ready to submit’. Only last month I found a complete fifty thousand word manuscript about a miniature Irish family, living in the undergrowth of a farm in County Galway. A favourite pastime from when I used to live there. 

2. What or who inspires you? Marilyn – Abingdon

What; Over the years I have set up businesses and written all my own content for websites and non-fiction books. It always amazes and vexes me as to how quickly, people can be to copy other people’s work. When writing fiction, it flows from your own mind, a place no one can go, not even in their dreams. People cannot copy your imagination, and that, I love.

Who; It has to be James Patterson, I love how he breaks all the rules with his writing. Some of his chapters are only a few paragraphs long. I am heavily influenced by him. If I have to make a decision when writing fiction and/or am faced with a problem – I always think to myself ‘What would James Patterson do’? And then I work it out from there

3. Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction? Phillip – Didcot

I love writing fiction because it kind of writes itself, I do start out with a plan of beginning, middle and ending, but it almost never works out like that. It is often as much of a surprise and an adventure to me writing it, as it (hopefully) is to the reader?

4. Where do you get your ideas from? Gemma – Norwich

They come from anywhere, it could be a situation I’m in or just a random idea, mostly they come from dreams. Sometimes my mind is focused on work and other times I get an idea and it just grows into a full outline of a story. Sonny and especially Louis Llewellyn for example; came right out of a dream. When I’m in the zone of writing a book, I sleep, eat and breathe that story, so, one thought or idea simply manifests another.

5. What information do you think makes for a good character? Marcus – Lincoln

Depending on how I want the reader to feel about the character, I need to make him/her believable and either lovable or completely hated. I like to describe the character and include all of their quirks where possible. We all have idiosyncrasies and oddities at some level and characters are loved or hated because of them.

6. Does your work as a trauma specialist, influence your writing? Johnathan – Norfolk

Not really, I suppose that my knowledge is wider because of the twenty years of experience, and I know a lot about the finer details of what a person goes through to reach recovery after trauma. All of this though, could be researched by anyone wishing to write a story of fiction. I would never write about anyone I’ve ever worked with or their experiences (unless I had complete written permission).  I would base a fiction on a true story though and this is in the pipeline with a new book called ‘A Pink Velvet Ribbon for Georgia’ due out in September 2020. It is a work of fiction based on the true life story of a woman in her sixties, who, from the day she was born, was abused, physically, sexually and psychologically by all of those around her. Believing that she was owned by, and that it was normal behaviour to be passed on to other family members, Georgia lived her life according to their rules and soon learned what was allowed and what was forbidden. The book relates how she learned that she was free to make her own mind up and that freedom was a commodity that she was previously unaware of.

7. When do you find is the best time of day to write? Ashley – Kent

Definitely early morning, once I’ve had a pint of warm water and then a cup of coffee. I am so refreshed and awake, the story can just flow. I’ve tried leaving writing until the afternoon, especially if I have things to do in the morning, but it doesn’t have the same freedom for me. I take lots of ‘cottage by the sea’ holidays which can be in a real cottage or in a caravan. Writing in such relaxed conditions is perfect for me.

8. Do you have a favourite place to write? Martin – Lewisham

I have a writing room and a new desk top computer just for the purpose of writing, however, I tend to do most of my work on my laptop. Having to keep moving a continually updated manuscript from one device to another, can be a pain. So, I have to decide how and when I’m going to write and either stick to the writing room or the laptop.

9. What particular genre are you drawn to? Jackie – Newcastle

Crime and adventure fiction, anything that makes me not want to put the book down but also leaves me feeling empty when it’s over.

10. Do you stick to what you know and use experience for all your writing, or do you like to experiment? Samantha – Benidorm

I do like to experiment and carry out a lot of research which, I believe helps my confidence as someone once told me to write what I know, what I see and what I believe. So I guess, knowledge is a powerful thing. 

11. What was the first book that you ever read on your own? Janette – Leeds

Ah yes! I remember it with deep affection, it was called ‘Adventures of the little Wooden Horse’ by Ursula Moray Williams. I must see if I can get hold of a copy and read it to find out if I can be transported back to that six year old mind set.

12. What is your next project? Sarah – Manchester

I’ve developed a female detective inspector called Rochelle Raven who is going to be the lead character in a series of crime thrillers. I grew up watching Inspector Frost and I would like to try and follow in his footsteps in different areas in the UK.

Sue J.Daniels