Up Close With: Sue Ransom

Meet the wonderful writers and patrons behind LWS.

Back in the noughties, many of us saw the success of a certain teen vampire romance, read it, and thought “I could do better than that”. The difference between “many of us” and this week’s featured patron is that she followed through — and has a collection of successful YA novels to prove it. These days, Sue Ransom is turning to more grown-up worlds, writing the sorts of thrillers you’d pick up at the airport on way to a beach holiday. Not bad for someone who gave up writing for science after leaving school! Sue is also one of our Writers Hour hosts, so join our UK morning sessions to say hi.

Sue Ransom

  • Based just south of Chichester, on the UK coast
  • Recently joined the Writers Hour hosting team, and usually found at the London 8am sessions
  • On her age? “I’m only prepared to admit I’m in my fifties :)”

What do you write, in general?

I write thrillers. I’ve had four books for teens published, and am now writing for the adult market. I also get commissioned to write memoirs for people.

What are you working on right now?

Just polishing a heist/thriller to submit to agents, about 10K into a new project, and completing a memoir for a record-breaking cricketer.

Where and when do you write?

I’m at my desk by 8am every morning to join the UK Writers’ Hour, and I stay there as long as possible before I get distracted by the house and garden. I also (usually) do the rather more subversive Weekend Writers’ Hour.

How do you write?

I write on the computer, but I revise on paper with a red pen. I have lots of printouts of the current WIP at various stages. I also like to map out the action with post-it notes across the wall so that I can see if I’m rushing a section or missing some action.

Why do you write?

A good question! After my last English exam at 16, I abandoned fiction and turned to science. I used to paint to keep my creative side busy, but after I had the kids that got abandoned, too. It wasn’t until my daughter was 11 that I decided to write her a story (I had read Twilight and realised that it didn’t look too hard), and that became my first published book. Once I’d started I found it very hard to stop!

What inspires your creativity?

It was initially my daughter — my first books were all written with her as the ideal reader. Now I write the kind of books I’d like to pick up in the airport on the way to a beach holiday. I want my readers to keep turning the pages, desperate to find out what happens next, and I’m constantly striving to get to that.

Sue writes the kind of books she’d like to pick up at the airport on the way to a beach holiday

What’s your favourite book?

So many! The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Stand by Stephen King, and The Chrysalids by John Wyndham are three of them.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about creativity?

Only you can write the story in your head.

What’s the one thing you would tell other/aspiring writers?

Keep going — keep writing, keep getting the words down and share what you dare. As with anything, you get better the more you practise.

How can we discover more about you and your work?

My teen books are on my current website — www.sueransom.com — and a new site covering the memoir writing will be live soon. I’m on Twitter (@SCRansom) and Instagram (@SueCRansom), but currently not very active on either.

It’s hard not to get inspired by this writers’ view.

✍️ Write with Sue and hundreds of other writers each weekday at Writers’ Hour (it’s free).

Connect with fellow writers and build a successful, creative career with London Writers’ Salon.

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Lauren McMenemy

Lauren McMenemy

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Weird girl in the corner | Gothic & Folk Horror Writer | Writing Coach | Trainer & Facilitator | Mental Health Advocate | wherelaurenwrites.com | 👻🧛‍♀️🔮😈