Suffolk Author Interview: Sue Thompson

Sue Thompson holding her book Spending a penny in Southwold

See Suffolk catches up with local writer Sue Thompson about her new book, ‘Spending a Penny in Southwold.’

Tell us about your new book ‘Spending a Penny in Southwold’ – what can people expect?

My latest book started life as a guide to Suffolk for visitors but I had to change it quite a bit to make it Covid friendly. Along with lovely illustrations by local artist Lorraine Woolnough, there are poems, amusing stories from our villages and wry musings on how to cope with the lockdowns.

I’m guessing from the title that Suffolk is a key inspiration for you as a writer, is that correct?

I am inspired every day by this beautiful county, plus wherever I go things just seem to happen to me that are worth sharing.

What are your other inspirations?

I love the local music scene and have made friends with lots of talented people on my visits to music nights at Suffolk’s pubs. I have even joined a group of like-minded performers called the Desperados and can’t wait to be able to meet up and sing with them again.

What’s your process like when writing – does the plot arrive first or the characters?

I call myself the analogue author on Instagram because I write all my books by hand in notebooks before beginning the laborious task of transferring them onto a computer. I wait for an event to inspire me then I weave in the characters who belong with my stories. As these are all real people I ask permission from each one before putting them in my book. So far no one has turned me down.

Have you always enjoyed writing and have you always wanted to write and publish a book?

I used to write poetry at school and for many years I kept diaries and journals. It wasn’t until I moved here in 2013 that I began to write seriously. The reason I published my first book “Harmonicas round my hat” is because I wanted to thank everyone in our village of Hollesley for saving my husband’s life when he had a cardiac arrest in 2015.

How was the publishing journey?

My publishing journey would not have been possible without the help of Suzan Collins from Get Writing who had infinite patience with my lack of technical skills and enabled me to put my first two books on Amazon. My third book was printed by Leiston Press who listened closely to all my requirements and have given me a book to be proud of. This has been a long hard road but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. If you are terrified of technology, don’t give up, if I can do it so can you.

Do you have any favourite local authors?

I like Esther Freud and Ellie Griffiths, also Ruth Leigh has written a brilliant book called the ‘The Diary of Isabella M Smugge’ which I can highly recommend.

What’s next for you as a writer?

When lockdown ends I hope to write a book about local artists, makers and food producers to encourage everyone to shop local.

Cover and back cover of Sue Thompson book's Spending a penny in Southwold

You can find Sue Thompson on Facebook under Sue Thompson Author or Instagram @theanalogueauthor.  Email or direct message for a signed copy.
You can also buy the book from Dial Lane Books in Ipswich or the Woodbridge Emporium.
Her first two books, “Harmonicas round my hat” and “Come in at random in any key you like” can be ordered on Amazon.