Shaz’ Stars interviews author Sue Uden

In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:


SUE UDEN


Hello Sue, thank you for letting us have a peek behind thescenes.  Your sun sign is AQUARIUS.

  1. Aquarian energy is known for being unconventional and eccentric.  It would appear writing would be a good area to let this energy flow freely!  Are your characters unconventional and eccentric?  Do you use this energy in your writing? 

Hello Shaz and thank you for inviting me to your hot seat!  I am happy to be here and hoping that the butterflies in my stomach don’t show on my face.  To answer your first question, my first reaction would be to say that my own life has been conventional to the point of being boring.  On reflection, I guess that is not true and probably friends and family would say the same.


Youcould say that Jackie in Dear Dee is unconventional but that raises thequestion of whether the personality and behaviour of a character with a mentalcondition is a result of their illness. Can the ill person and the well person be one and the same?  I see Marjorie, Jackie’s support worker, asbeing slightly eccentric.  Whether areader would agree with me, I don’t know.


Manyyears ago I wrote a short story, that was published somewhere, where theprotagonist was one of the first female vicars.  I guess she was fairly unconventional.


  1. Aquarius is a sign that cares about humanitarian issues (as well as the environment) and can be found acting as advocates for those who are less fortunate.  Do your stories highlight any issues in our society today? 

The very subject matter of Dear Dee is an answer to that question.  The novel was written twenty years ago when I believe the stigma attached to suffering from a mental illness was very much worse than it is today.  A lot is happening now to attempt to dispel that stigma and help people suffering from mental illness to lead normal working lives where possible.


  1. Aquarius is a fixed sign and ruled by the element air.  In combination this can mean fixed ideas, however, Aquarians can let go of outdated ideas once they’ve been shown evidence that something is not working.  Have you let go of any ideas that were outdated in your writing and replaced them with something more appropriate?

As I have nearly reached the age where I can wear bright purple and beat people with my walking stick, you would expect me to have acquired a few fixed ideas.  But I honestly don’t think I have.  One’s ideas and opinions do change radically with time.  Scratches hairline and thinks! I have some pretty strong ideas about family issues and parenting, which could come out in future books, I suppose.  Or maybe the question is asking whether I have any fixed ideas about sex and romance portrayed in my writing?  I think ‘watch this space’ is the answer to that.

    1. More ‘head than heart’, Aquarians may be considered to be detached at times.  Please would you share with us how your characters become ‘real’ for you.  How do they grow to develop into complete personalities?

    This question sends a little line of brightly dancing asterisks across my brain.  I have so often realised, much too late, that I have given the impression of being aloof, unsociable, snobbish even.  And suffered agonies of regret because nothing was further from intention.  But I don’t consider it a problem at all when building my fictional characters.  Whilst appearing to be detached from the crowd, I believe I am quietly emotionally and intuitively reacting to people in the same way as a more gregarious person would.  I love people watching and character sketching.  No, no problems in developing complete personalities in my head.  Getting them onto paper or screen satisfactorily is a different matter! 

       


      1. Lewis Carroll is an Aquarian and his ‘Alice in Wonderland’ showcases the Aquarian energy beautifully.  Have you been drawn to writing fantasy adventures?  Do you read any fantasy adventures or does this genre hold no interest for you?

      No!  My star must wander a bit here!  Obviously I read Alice in Wonderland as a child, but never really enjoyed it.  And I am not attracted to writing or reading fantasy.  I know that is a bit unadventurous and narrow of me, but I find it really hard to suspend belief.  (Having said that, I did enjoy the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials Trilogy.)

        (We may find that Sue has somegrounding earth energy in her natal personal planets – Moon, Mercury, Venus,Mars or Ascendant)

        1. Aquarians are thinkers rather than doers.  How do you discipline yourself to catch those ideas and put them into concrete form onto paper?

        I find it very hard indeed.  Thoughts and ideas come one hundred to the dozen and sometimes with subject matters all muddled up to boot.  I could never record them fast enough to keep up with the flow.  Consequently I rarely write notes and then feel frustrated that they won’t come back when I need to marshal them onto the screen or paper.  I really need to learn to change in this respect.

          1. Aquarians like a fast paced and varied work environment, changing jobs regularly before they finally settle into one career (which usually has to include being able to use their creativity/thinking skills).  Are you still working alongside your writing?  Would you like writing to become the career you settle in?

          YES!  That was the plan!  If only I could get on with it!  Life still seems to be getting in the way a bit.  But hey ho, retirement is about living life as well so J)

            1. Group endeavours are attractive to Aquarians.  Apart from Loveahappyending, do you belong to any other writing groups? 

            I belonged to a Writing Group aeons ago with a lovely ‘teacher’ called Mary Bernardi.  When she retired I never found another to replace it.  I do belong to a ‘Readers’ Group’ at our local library.  And I stumbled upon LAHE crab fashion, investigating the possibility of being an Associate Reader.  Now here I am as a featured author – and so very pleased to be so.  Thank you Shaz and thank you Loveahappyending.


            Thank you for spending time with us today Sue.


              Sue is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.




              Author Biography

              Sue Uden was born in 1946. She has had a diverse career including spells as a PA, a doctors receptionist, a journalist for the John Lewis Partnership and teaching assistant in Primary School. Along the way she has published some freelance articles and short stories. Dear Dee is her first novel. She is married with two children and four grandchildren



              Author weblinks:


              Author Website and Blog:  http://www.sueuden.com


              Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sue-Uden-Writer/


              Twitter @Scuppered: http://bit.ly/kNvLSH





              • Paperback: 195 pages
              • Publisher: Olympia Publishers (31 Mar 2011)
              • Language English
              • ISBN-10: 1848971478
              • ISBN-13: 978-1848971479

              John wants retribution for his daughter s broken life. And he wants to fix it. Nickii, his wife, wants for the pain of this quest to stop threatening his health. All Jackie wants is for a miracle rewind to take her back to being a young mother living with her husband and children. Well observed, intelligently expressed and a cracking good read are just a few of the comments which have been made about Dear Dee. Here the devastating impact of mental illness on family life is sensitively described. The reader will be left in no doubt as to the ongoing corrosive impact on the family and individual sufferer. The range of emotions, including guilt as well as a sense of helplessness felt by the family, vividly described in Dear Dee will strike a chord with readers with similar experience. An extremely well-rounded story of people struggling against life s vicissitudes, as well as a celebration of the good times and a family eventually finding a sense of peace after tragedy; the final, poignant, closing lines are at once sad but immensely inspiring and uplifting.



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              3 thoughts on “Shaz’ Stars interviews author Sue Uden

              1. Amazing isn't it Sue, how Shaz's questions seem to hit on the very essence of our star signs! There's no hiding that's for sure…. I too thoroughly enjoyed reading Dear Dee and totally agree with Shaz that it is inspiring and uplifting. Lovely to 'catch up' with you ladies!

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