Marissa Bell Toffoli

Interview With Writer Sue Johnson

In books, fiction, poetry, writing on September 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Sue Johnson

Sue Johnson. Photo by Bob Woodroofe.

An introduction to writer Sue Johnson, author of the new novel Fable’s Fortune (Indigo Dreams, UK). A Home Study Tutor for Writers’ News Magazine, Johnson also organizes her own brand of writing workshops. She publishes Writer’s Toolkit booklets designed to help new writers. Johnson’s book on writing novels, Creative Alchemy: 12 Steps From Inspiration to Finished Novel, will be published by HotHive Books in October 2011.

Quick Facts on Sue Johnson

  • Sue Johnson’s website
  • Home: Pershore, Worcestershire in the UK
  • Comfort food: fruit and nut chocolate
  • Top authors: Joanne Harris, Clare Jay, Helen Dunmore, Michèle Roberts, H E Bates
  • Current reads: I’m re-reading Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

What are you working on at the moment?

A collection of poems, and revisions to novel number three. I just wish there were more hours in the day!

What do you hope readers will take away from Fable’s Fortune?

The memory of an intriguing story that they will go on thinking about long after they’ve read “The end.”

Who do you picture as the ideal reader of your work?

Anyone who is interested in relationships, and who likes to get absorbed in a story with lots of sensory detail. I have the condition called synaesthesia (certain words have a taste—for example, Robert tastes of strawberry jam), so this tends to feed through into my writing.

Where and when do you prefer to write?

I prefer to write in my summerhouse in the garden, and I love early mornings.

Where would you most want to live and write?

I love where I am at the moment, but my greatest wish is to have my own writing room—preferably in an attic with a view across fields and woodland.

Do you listen to anything while you write?

Sometimes, if it fits in with the characters I’m writing about.

Do you have a philosophy for how and why you write?

I write because I have to! I feel really scratchy if I’ve missed a day’s writing for any reason.

Is there a quote about writing that inspires you?

‘It won’t write itself!’

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write every day, even if you only manage 15 minutes. Keep going, and don’t be discouraged by negative criticism.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a writer?

You make your own luck by being persistent.

Is there a question you find surprising that people ask you about your writing?

How do you find the time? Most of us can make a little bit of time for the things we really want to do.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Keeping going when you get rejections.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

I enjoy yoga, reading, painting, and playing the guitar.

About Sue Johnson

Sue Johnson is a writer, artist, and musician. She lives in Worcestershire, UK with her partner Bob Woodroofe who is a poet and environmentalist. She is published as a poet, short story writer, and novelist. She is a Home Study Tutor for Writers’ News Magazine and also organizes her own brand of writing workshops. She publishes Writer’s Toolkit booklets designed to help new writers. Her novel Fable’s Fortune was published by Indigo Dreams in August 2011. Her book on writing novels, Creative Alchemy: 12 Steps From Inspiration to Finished Novel, will be published by HotHive Books in October 2011.

Buy Fable’s Fortune, preferably at your local independent bookstore.

[Toffoli, Marissa B. “Interview With Writer Sue Johnson.” Words With Writers (September 13, 2011), https://wordswithwriters.com/2011/09/13/sue-johnson/.%5D

Fable's Fortune cover

Fable's Fortune by Sue Johnson (Indigo Dreams, UK).

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