This month I got to chat with one of the loveliest authors I know, Sue-Ellen Pashley, author of Young Adult, Children and Middle Grade stories.
LJ: Tell us a little about your books.
SE: I love urban fantasy. I love the thought of weird and interesting things happening in our own world which most people aren’t aware of. There are a few times when I’ve tried to write a contemporary story but somehow, elements of fantasy always seem to sneak in! And my children’s writing allows my imagination to come out in different ways.
LJ: What are your favourite genres to read?
SE: Truly, I will read anything – it just needs to be a good story! But I love YA urban fantasy or sci fi and at the moment, because I’m writing a middle grade novel, I’m enjoying immersing myself in those as well.
LJ: What is one book you believe everyone should read?
SE: Haha, mine! 😉 This is a hard one – there are so many books which have been influential to my writing or have stuck with me over the years. James and the Giant Peach was probably my first real journey into urban fantasy but Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern series is a wonderful example of world building and is just a great story.
LJ: Describe yourself in five words.
SE: Optimistic, laid-back, compassionate, imaginative, quirky
LJ: When your not writing what could we find you doing?
SE: Spending time with my family, working in my other job as a social worker, drawing, reading (of course!), swimming or drinking a vodka, lime and soda with girlfriends.
LJ: What is your favourite quote?
SE: There are two that I love. As a writer “I don’t like making plans for the day because then the word ‘premeditated’ gets thrown around in the courtroom.” But for life, “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful and don’t forget to make some art – draw or write or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.’ Neil Gainman
LJ: I’d love to hear about your latest book.
SE: There are 3 in the works at the moment. Blue is an YA urban fantasy and is a modern retelling of Pinocchio with a darker twist. The Jacket is a children’s picture book which explores the concept of having that one special thing which is hard to say goodbye to. And Genie in Training is a middle grade book about, you guessed it, a genie in training! It follows the adventures of 12 yr old Xavier as he experiences the fun and problems that come with learning to do magic.
LJ: What is a piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
SE: Write. Keep writing. And don’t be afraid to learn and grow in your craft. Be brave!
LJ: Where do you do most of your writing?
SE: Where ever I possibly can! I write on my laptop or my phone or scraps of paper where ever I happen to be at the time. Sometimes that 10 mins of scribbling continues to move the story along so I’m not feeling stuck or like I never get the time.
LJ: Where do you find your inspiration?
SE: The brain is an interesting organ (and I’m a bit of a brain geek!) – the weird ideas it comes up with sometimes amaze even me. But it’s often from people watching or wondering ‘what if…?’ or those moments in the early morning when my brain seems to like to play.
LJ: If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
SE: Antarctica. I would love to explore such an empty, beautiful space – walk on the ice, see the ice flow, embrace the quietness.