Sue Brady, the author of Precious Gems, released her book in April 2020. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life has been treating her since she was published.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
I have always had a passion for books, I loved going to the library when I was younger and I would spend hours on a Saturday morning agonising over which four books I would choose. My library card was like a golden ticket to me! My dream was to see one of my books on the shelves one day, so that others could enjoy my writing.
What was your first job?
My first job was working as a shop assistant in Woolworths when I was fifteen. I was in charge of the counter which sold pick ’n’ mix sweets, loose biscuits, fruit cake which had to be sliced and weirdly, cigarettes! An eclectic mix, but I loved it there.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I have always enjoyed reading books and often thought ‘I could write that’. I had the idea for Precious Gems about four years ago and wrote down a few notes and plot outlines etc. I played around with it for a bit, but seemed to get stuck. Two years ago I was made redundant from my job; I had two months before I needed to look for work so I had some time on my hands. I revamped my original notes and thought I would see how far I could go with it. Once I had the beginning and the ending sorted, the characters came to life.
I like to write for fun, but to become published I guess is the ultimate goal for any writer. In the past, I have written a few short stories for magazines (they were rejected and never published). I also like to write poetry and I wrote a poem for a dear friend and colleague who sadly passed away. It was printed in the company magazine in her memory.
What was your life like before you became an author?
I was a working mother of two children; now they are grown up and I have grandchildren. They are my pride and joy! When they were younger I would have them over to stay for the weekend and we would bake cupcakes or play games. Writing would take second place to them.
My grandsons, Callum and Ryan, are now teenagers and no longer want to bake cakes with me – although they will eat them! My granddaughter, Lily-Mai, still loves to create in the kitchen though, so we will spend a happy Saturday afternoon cooking.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
I think the only struggle I had was with my self confidence. There were a lot of times when I doubted my capabilities as a writer; however, I persevered, and to receive the positive feedback I have had so far from people who have read Precious Gems is a tremendous boost.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I am still working. In the current crisis I am classed a key worker as I work for a recruitment agency and we supply temporary staff for food production companies. Since joining Twitter and Instagram I have accrued some new followers and now I love to read and interact with other authors on social media.
As we are currently in the Coronavirus pandemic crisis, I can only really use social media to promote my book. Once things are back to normal I am hoping to approach local places to hold book signings etc.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
There are a few!
My first memorable moment was when Pegasus sent me the email to offer me a contract; for the first time I could envisage my dream coming true!
The second was receiving my copies of Precious Gems; to actually see the book in print and hold my creation was a marvellous feeling.
The third is the positive feedback I am getting; as an author you never really know if you have got it right until someone else has read it. You become so wrapped up in the story you are trying to portray, it’s a huge relief when someone says that they loved it and the emotions you are trying to bring to life actually happen!
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
It has been a long process to get to publication date. There were long periods of time when I didn’t hear anything and it was frustrating having to explain to people that my book was still the graphics team or wherever. Having said that; everyone has been totally professional and answered my – sometimes idiotic – questions. From the initial contact from Suzanne and Jenna, to Gwyneth, Vicky and Rudite; you have all held my hand through every step so thank you so much! I would never have got to this point without your expert guidance.
Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I had sent my manuscript to several publishing companies and I was waiting for responses; I had heard good things about Pegasus so when I was offered a contract with them I took the chance – I’m so glad I did!
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