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Sue Nicholls lives in rural Buckinghamshire with her husband, younger daughter and a large, smelly Labradollie called Milo. Sue had a happy childhood, marred only by several changes of school as her family moved around the UK. From a very early age she was an avid consumer of books. She was a fluent reader before she went to school and would read to her small friends when they came to play. Her first novel, Be Careful What You Wish For, is published by Mardibooks.
‘I’m amazed I’ve been able to achieve this,’ she says. ‘I’ve enjoyed every writing moment and have already started work on the sequel to Be Careful What You Wish For.’
I’d like to thank my Mendes da Costa family: my brother Simon, father Reg and mother Meg, for reading, patiently and carefully, and providing valuable feedback, and my sister Sara, for being so kind, and empathising with my occasional frustrations. Huge gratitude goes to my friend Emma Burton, who read the book twice. Jan Moran Neil got me started on my writing labour. Sue Benwell, Amanda Hatter and Angela Taplin kept me going. My husband, Dave Nicholls gave me space, and listened to my various convoluted plot ideas, and last but by no means least, thank you sincerely Belinda Hunt of Mardibooks, for having faith in my writing, putting up with my acerbic emails and teaching me so much.
- Star Sign: Leo (noisy, confident, gregarious and outspoken)
- Inspirations: My Mendes da Costa family. My brother, Simon, the playwright and my sister, Sara, the novelist (I have been a bit slow off the mark but in my defence I am the only one with children), my mother with her a dogged determination and sense of duty, and my father, always there with advice, support, and to worry. Closer to home, my husband and two daughters, who make me laugh and tolerate my impetuosity and forgetfulness.
- Favourite books: This keeps changing. Books that have made an impression are: Fame is the Spur - Howard Spring, Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte, What Came before he Shot Her – Elizabeth George, We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver.
- Favourite film: Terms of Endearment, Grease, Love Story.
- Favourite car: Something classic with a soft top.
- Favourite food: Seafood, especially shellfish, anything in a creamy and/or alcoholic sauce, mashed potatoes.
- Favourite places: There are so many beautiful places in the UK. The Lake District, the Peak District, the South East coast of Wales. I also love France; not the tourist bits but the countryside, the little villages where the residents are so polite to one another (‘Bonjour Monsieur le Pasteur. Voici ma belle femme, Edite.’) and wild flowers grow in profusion.
- Favourite things: Eating good food and drinking good wine with good and family. Staring in solitude at the sea, knowing I am loved.
- Challenge: Slowing down enough to think about the needs of others.
- Thing I’ve learned: Oh my goodness, we never stop. I’ll be 60 this year (2015) and I have learned so much in the past 12 months about writing, dealing with adversity and about myself.