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Susan Pamela Brooke on Hurry, Wife Sleeping – Page 2

Susan Pamela Brooke on some of her reading...

READERSVOICE.COM: I liked the story about the Irish lads, the one about the visiting showbiz performer from Twin Towns, and the one about the millionaire who wanted to haggle. There were also some interesting sad stories there, too, like the one about the woman ringing looking for her husband near the end of the book. Do you have any personal favorite stories?

SUSAN PAMELA BROOKE: Yes, the Irish boys were so funny. Poor little souls – I still cringe to this day when I think of the lad sitting patiently for 45 minutes, too scared to come out and inquire where the girl he’d booked was.

I’m not sure if I have any single favorite story. They all hold special memories for me in one way or another. The big burly miners from Mt Isa really did have me in hysterics when confronted with the cross-dresser and the sight of the bully cowering behind the palm from George the Huntsman was funny too.

Of course some clients I think of with a quiet fondness, probably because there was an element of personal involvement for me; like David with his contract; Jared, the supposed S.A.S. photographer; Benny the accident victim, he was such a delightful young man and I so hope he’s happy somewhere; when I’m wearing Jock’s kaftan, a grumpy yet highly amusing old man, or when I look at Vince’s pressed rose; the man who admired my feet and wanted to be my foot stool for the night (how different was that?); Smiling Jack’s simple explanation; and especially young Luke’s tale at the end. But like you, the woman who rang in the dead of night looking for her man will forever stir me. I can so relate to her – I felt her pain and I often wonder what happened to her.

RV: Can you talk about some of the romance and other books that you have enjoyed?

SPB: The books I listed on my website were the type of books that interested me as a young girl. In my twenties and thirties I devoured a heap of Mills and Boon and I think that’s probably where my original idea of writing romance came from.

For many years I wrote short romance stories but I’ve never did anything with them. I found these stories took on a life of their own in that they became unrequited and unfortunately didn’t fit the required criteria for publishing in those days. As for what would appeal to young girls these days I’m afraid I’m not up on that market. But for me, The Diary of Anne Frank, Little Women, Jo’s Boys, My Friend Flicka and the like, and of course anything by Enid Blyton got my attention.

But in recent years I fell in love with ‘The Bridges of Maddison County’. Something to do with that unrequited love thing.

RV: What were the benefits of attending the Kara School of Creative Writing?

SPB: The Kara School of Creating Writing helped me enormously, especially with the concept of writing romance and I personally think anyone considering writing romance or penning anything for that matter would be well served to attend one of these courses. Just being with professional writers that had been penning for many years was inspiring and while I haven’t followed the romance writing trail, the course definitely showed me how to structure my writing. But I suppose the two main things I got from the course was to once having decided what I wanted to write, be it fiction or non-fiction research what the public and publishers are looking for and head down that road, and to keep on keeping on with my writing; finding my own style and sticking with it.

RV: Do you read many writing magazines?

SPB: I don’t read much at all in the way of writing magazines. I do buy magazines though, i.e: Woman’s Day, New Idea. I say it’s for the crosswords etc, but in truth I also soak up the gossip.

RV: How did you learn about Zeus publishing?

SPB: I heard about Zeus through a friend and they were the only publisher I contacted. Their program for self-subsidized authors is a really good way for non-published writers to get a foot in the door. Becoming published is a very hard market to break into, and unless you have some claim to fame in another field and then write your life story it’s really difficult to crack.

RV: What sort of books do you read these days, and have any autobiographies or memoirs inspired the writing of Hurry, Wife Sleeping?

SPB: Nowadays I find my reading interests mainly lie with autobiographies, and memoirs. I’ve just finished the Two Ronnies And It’s Goodnight From Him, so good, and last year I read Jane Fonda’s My Life So Far. Excellent. The woman is clearly highly intelligent and very inspirational. Learning about her life, especially during her campaigning throughout the Vietnam War was most interesting and well worth the read.

Also last year while embarking on a long overseas flight I finally succumbed to the temptation of reading Paul Burrell’s A Royal Duty. Now I wish I hadn’t. Although well written, the account successfully destroyed my image of the Princess. I can’t say anything I’ve read inspired the writing of H.W.S. I wrote it primarily for women – I have a feeling most women are rather ‘asleep’ when it comes to their men.

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