What drew you to the story of Rob, Pen, Benny Boy and Jack?
I wasn’t drawn, the boys called me in. They needed their stories told and thankfully I listened (I don’t always listen to my characters). I’m a bit of a sook, I don’t mind a bit of grit and I love a bloody good laugh. The boys know this.
What was your experience like working with Magabala Books? How did it influence the process of writing your book?
Writing for Magabala Books is always a privilege. Regardless of what I throw at them, they listen. Magabala are not only great at what they do, they’re family. They’re also a very cheeky mob
What was your favourite part of the creative process for Brontide?
Having the courage to write a story regardless of who it may offend was a huge lesson. I had to stop and listen to the boys. To listen, to tell the story the way it was intended and change the format. It was liberating and life changing as a storyteller.
Why did you choose to employ an interview-style format for the novel? How did the format influence the way the book came together?
As a reluctant reader in high school and an old book worm now, I specifically wanted to write a good yarn that anyone could access without getting bored. I tried writing Brontide in a normal format, but it felt flat and bored me to tears. I strongly believe the format was needed. Younger Sue would’ve loved Brontide. If I was given the option back in high school, maybe I would’ve fallen in love with books and words earlier.
What are your writing rituals?
Coffee and Darrell Lee milk chocolate bullets when needed. A great day of writing works like this: In PJs when sons and hubby leave for work in the morning. In PJs when sons and hubby return from work in the afternoon. I’m so much into storytelling, changing out of PJs isn’t an option. I love these days.
What is the key message you want readers to take away from the book?
Love is our greatest superpower.