The Ghostly Father
Romeo & Juliet – was this what really happened?
When Juliet Roberts is asked to make sense of an ancient Italian manuscript, she little suspects that she will find herself propelled into the midst of one of the greatest love stories of all time. But this is only the beginning. As more hidden secrets come to light, Juliet discovers that the tragic tale of her famous namesake might have had a very different outcome…
A favourite classic story with a major new twist.
I managed to get Sue to sit down long enough to answer a few questions…
You say your background is stranger than fiction (I’ve got some crackers in my family history, too), could you share a snippet from your family history? You don’t need to mention names.
Suffice it to say that for almost forty years, I was a skeleton in someone else’s cupboard – a secret baby who had to be given up for adoption because of the unforgiving attitudes of the time. How I came to be reunited with my birth family is a long and very complicated story, but when it happened, it felt like a homecoming. And the day I met my mother would have been a very good day to have owned shares in Kleenex!
What prompted you to write this book?
It was in response to the prompt “Write the book you want to read.” I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but hated the ending, and I’ve often wished that there was an alternative version of the story which had a better outcome.
What’s the best thing about being labelled as “professionally weird”?
The label “professionally weird” originated when I first became involved with writing questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – something which requires a particularly warped type of mind. The best thing about the label is that it gives me something to live up to!
Thanks so much, Sue, for stopping by Celtic Connexions and sharing your book and your story.
Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.
Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.
Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.
Sue joined the editorial team Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. Her second novel, a romantic mystery entitled Nice Girls Don’t, is due for release in July 2014.
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