Interview with Sue Bates

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm not very good at inspiration first thing in the morning so rely on my dog Daisy to shame me into getting up and taking her out for a walk.Then I get inspired by views of Ben Lomond and early morning birdsong.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I go to the cinema a lot and spend time with family and friends drinking coffee and every six months or so I take five weeks off to visit family in California and Belize where I have a great time.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the first story I wrote as an adult - it was a short story about a pregnant woman who was watching an old man walking by the ocean in southern California.
What is your writing process?
First I get an idea. This idea can pop up from anywhere and usually when I'm not consciously looking for it. I could be out for a walk with the dog or doing the washing up. After the idea comes the self discipline - write at least 500 words every morning no matter what. This is when I get the words down fast (sometimes in pencil; sometimes straight into the computer) - even though I know what I'm writing isn't up to much I just keep on going anyway...until I get to the end somehow (a lot of self discipline later). Then I put the writing away and after a month or so (during this time I'm most likely busy revising an earlier piece of work) I go back and look at it with a fresh eye. Despair can set in at this stage. So I go out for another walk with the dog and then it's revise, revise, revise - for as many times as it takes to make the work at least acceptable...and then I try it out on one of the peer review websites and if you get at least 4 out of 5 stars feel pleased...and if it's a children's novel I try it out at the local school and if the kids say things like "It was exciting because didn't know what was going to happen next." or "It's the best story ever!" feel very, very pleased.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No not an individual book. When I was growing up there weren't any books in our house so I discovered books when I started going to the library and I used to scour the shelves for something that grabbed my attention - I read so many books I can't remember them but they opened up a new world to me.
Describe your desk
My desk is a reclaimed pine desk which I've had for 25 years and was first used for my son's computer. Now it sits in my living room overlooking the garden and has a printer, and monitor on it and lots of bits of paper but very rarely my laptop which moves around the house with me from one comfortable spot to another.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is one of my top favourites because of its justice and humanity, all wrapped up in great story telling power and humour.
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I love this because of its uniqueness and colour, and the message of truimph over the odds is both heartening but also ambiguous. Did the tiger actually exist? In my mind, YES. I enjoyed the humour here too.
Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I choose this book because of its insight into the fleeting nature of human life and the ways in which we can misinterpret other people and build stories around them that are more about ourselves than about them.
Small Island by Andrea Levy. I like this because it tells the story of how black people survived in Britain and illuminates how we can all get caught up in prejudice if we are not on the alert.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. You are inside the minds of the narrators and the book has so many insights into what it means to be human.
Published 2014-03-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Leopard in the Grass
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,400. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Inspirational
When Lily sees a leopard hiding in the long grass in her back garden, she makes a decision which takes her and her dog, Archie, on a long journey of discovery. They are faced with many comical challenges on the way as one thing leads to another – which often happens when you have a leopard to consider.
Super Sleuths in Space aka Intergalactic Posties
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 29,010. Language: British English. Published: March 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Martial Arts
Ten year old undercover super sleuths, Rosie and Tommy and their sidekicks, a super clever sheep, nicknamed Brains, and a duck, called Puddle, set off to collect a top secret parcel. But before they get very far they find themselves zooming across space to an alien planet where they meet dangerous creatures, survive high speed chases and at last solve a mystery.