Quickfire Questions with Sue Wallman Transcript
Hi! My name is Sue Wallman and I wrote Lying About Last Summer. I’m delighted to be part of Zoella’s Book Club in conjunction with WHSmith, and I’d also like to thanks my daughters for helping me make this video.
What was your favourite book as a teenager?
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’d never read anything like it before, it was dystopian and feminist.
Who is you favourite author?
Anne Tyler. I love how she can say so much in just a few words.
What is your favourite book of all time?
That’s really hard, but it is this book; To Kill a Mockingbird. And we have several copies in the house, this one is in a bit of a sorry state and that’s because one of my daughters dropped it in the bath.
What is your favourite book that you have read recently?
I’m going to cheat on this. There are two books that I’ve really loved recently. The first is this, Station Eleven and it’s by Emily St John Mandel. I don’t know if you say ‘St John Mandel’ I’ve never heard it spoken out loud. And the second one is this, Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. They’re both really powerful books that took my breath away.
What is your favourite character from a book?
Standish Treadwell, and he comes from Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. I love Standish, and I really love his name too.
Is there a book that you wish you wrote?
There are many books that I wish I’d written and the current contender is this one, which is The Girl on the Train.
What is your favourite book to film adaptation?
The first Hunger Games.
Which character from a book would you have as your best friend?
I love the relationship between Piglet and Pooh, but I’d like to think I’d be good friends with Mrs. Weasley.
Which character from a book would you have as your boyfriend?
Anyone who was loyal and kind and brave and maybe a little bit spontaneous.
What do you love about reading?
I love the anticipation of the book. I like it when it unfolds and you’re not sure which way it’s gonna go. And I love that feeling after you’ve read a book that you’ve loved that it just stays with you for days, weeks, sometimes forever.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
I find writing really hard, but the best bit about it is when something really clicks, when the plotpoint works out or you have a lightbulb moment and it comes together. And that feels like magic to me.
eBooks or paper books?
I don’t feel as if I properly own eBooks, I must prefer paper books, I love everything about them, particularly the covers.
Proudest moment?My proudest moment was after my third daughter was born and I took all three of my girls out for the first time. I felt really proud of myself for surviving the birth experience three times, and I felt very proud of my girls and how lovely they were, and they still are very lovely.
Favourite place in the world?
City, countryside or beach?
Beach. I grew up by the sea and I love the sea and the beach, but I prefer deserted beaches so my favourite time of year for the beach would be winter, spring and autumn.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I was a bit of a show-off and I dreamt of being an actress, but then I grew up and I got really self-conscious and a bit shy and now the idea of being an actress just fills me with absolute horror.
What was your favourite subject at school?
English, probably like most writers. And I was lucky because I had nice teachers and they didn’t put me off the subject.
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. I’d love a little dog. A little writer’s dog.
What makes you happy?
Laughing with the family and having a good hug with someone.
Favourite song at the moment?
Probably Clean Bandit – Tears.
Favourite text/tweet you’ve received recently?My eldest daughter recently went to university and she sent me a text that made me laugh, and it was ‘my advisor of studies is a level three pole dancing instructor, so the whole flat’s off pole dancing on wednesday’. And apparently they went and had a wonderful time.
I’ve got many favourite photographs and I used to spend ages trying to get everyone looking normal and it was really difficult. And then I realised my favourite photographs were the ones where someone was pulling a funny face or just, you know, acting oddly in some way.
Favourite item of clothing?
My fluffy dressing-gown. And in the drawer just under there I’ve got lots of fingerless gloves and it gets really cold up here in the winter and I feel the cold and I know I should be doing starjumps or press-ups to keep warm but frankly I’m just too lazy to do that.
Favourite quote of all time?
It’s by Steve Jobs, who was the co-founder of Apple, and it’s ‘your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life’
What motto do you live your life by?
Plough your own furrow, which is a bit of an old farming thing, I think, and it means be your own person. And I think that’s the route to happiness.
Favourite place to read?
Favourite place to write?
I can write anywhere, I usually write up here or in the kitchen, but basically I write anywhere where there’s coffee and probably a few snacks kicking about.
Notebook or laptop?
Laptop. I think writing a whole book in a notebook would be torturous but I have a very uneasy relationship with my laptop. There was that awful time that it didn’t save something, that awful time I chucked water over it, the time the keys got stuck. But at the moment it seems to be going okay.