Sue Hepworth's new book, PLOTTING FOR GROWN-UPS is being launched next Tuesday. I thought I'd interview her and this is what she had to say:
How far do you draw on your own experiences in your books? In other words, are you Sally Howe?
'I always draw on my own life in my books, but I am not Sally Howe, even though she does share many of my writing and publishing experiences. She is a kind of alter ego, I suppose – but she’s less complicated, more optimistic, sunnier, less politically conscious, and she is not a Quaker (which I am.)'
Who are your favourite authors?
'Carol Shields – for her fluid writing and her analysis of ordinary lives; Garrison Keillor – for his humanity and humour and his perceptions about American small town life; Sebastian Barry – for the powerful emotions and poetry of his prose; Helen Dunmore’s novels – for the poetry and sensuality of her writing, Nora Ephron – for her perceptive wit, sharpness, and humour.'
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
'Walking and talking with my husband, cycling, playing the tenor saxophone, patchwork, gardening, laughing, knitting.'
Describe the room where you write for us.
'The walls are painted turquoise and the room is sunny and light. I have a window onto the front garden – to the south - and one opposite, looking onto the back garden. Above my desk hang four landscapes by a Wensleydale artist called Piers Browne, and an oil painting of cows in dappled sunlight. The latter was my father’s. Although I love the Peak District where I live, my heart is in Wensleydale (in North Yorkshire.) On the windowsills there are stained glass pieces that my husband made; and the tops of the bookshelves are full of family photographs. Next to my computer is a photograph of my mother, who died five years ago, but whom I still miss.'
Sue's book launch is at Hassop Station Bookshop, near Bakewell, Tuesday, 24th September, 7-8.30 pm. Free wine and nibbles. Open to all. I'll be there.