sue hassler
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Sue Haasler, author of the very funny Two's Company and Time After Time, gives us an insight into her writing methods and future projects.

1. What inspires you to write?
To begin with, things from my own life. Two's Company was written when my daughter was a small baby, and
there's a lot of my own feelings and experiences about pregnancy and motherhood in it. For Time After Time, I
just went a bit further back and plundered my schooldays for the original idea. The novel I'm currently working on was really inspired by my agent. She asked me what I'd enjoyed reading as a child, and I said The Swiss Family Robinson was one of my favourite books. She said how about trying a Swiss Family Robinson in reverse - a family from a very isolated existence moving to "civilisation."

2. How long does it take you to write a novel?
Generally about 6 months to do the first draft, then several months of polishing.

3. Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?
After I've dropped my daughter off at school I come home, answer my emails, make a cup of tea and then go
into my "office" (which is one end of a converted garage) and work until I've done at least 1,000 words. Sometimes I'll do a bit more in the evening, depending on deadlines & things.

4. Has your life changed since you became a novelist?
The biggest change has been meeting other writers. I've found them to be very generous with their time, support, advice and friendship. I joined the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) just before Two's Company was published, and through that I've met some lovely people.

5. How do you cure writer's block?
I try not to worry about it. As soon as you switch off the part of your brain that's actively worrying about the block, the subconscious seems to take over & provide the solution when you aren't expecting it. So I do other things like housework - washing up and anything to do with water seems to get my creativity going.

6. What is your all-time desert island book?
That's a tricky one. It's a draw, I think, between Stephen King and Thomas Hardy! Both of them are great storytellers.

7. What are you reading at the moment?
I like reading political diaries and biographies, and Jo Of The Chalet School, as light relief.

8. What's the biggest myth about being a writer?
That we're rich.

9. What advice would you give budding authors?
First of all write your novel - a lot of people say they want to write butnever get round to finishing anything. I would also recommend getting an expert opinion/advice from an authors' advisory service, such as Hilary Johnson's, before you try submitting your work to agents.

10. What can readers expect from you in the future?
More books, I hope! The next one is very different from Two's Company and Time After Time, but I hope it still has the humour, because I like to make people laugh.


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