Based in Porthleven, Cornwall, Suzie
is a self-confessed ‘serial 26 project-er’ and, I have decided, a superwoman
judging by everything she’s got on the go. From exciting projects for local
charities and festivals to a historical novel – find out what she’s been up to.
We’ll be meeting a new 26 member each month. If you’d like to feature, or nominate another member, drop me
a line email@example.com. Don’t be shy.
us a bit about yourself – where are you from and what do you do?
Suzie Inman and am currently very lucky to work as a freelance writer, editor
and content creator (find out more here).
background is in PR and Marketing and I’ve worked for a variety of companies
from small to large including Elemis, JVC, Arsenal FC, Chrysalis TV, Visit
Blackpool and Blackpool Council and the Eden Project. Since taking my MA in
Professional Writing in 2012 I have been working freelance on lots of projects,
including with local agency Stranger Collective and for Cornish brands,
companies and charities including Skinners, Porthleven Food Festival, Tom
Raffield and ShelterBox.
am originally from Lytham in Lancashire but currently live in Porthleven,
Cornwall with my husband, Chris and my three-year old, Ezra.
did your love of words come from?
have always loved reading and I think really it started there. I also love
acting and putting myself into someone else’s head is a big part of the reason
why – I think that’s why writing first person feels most natural to me.
made you join 26? And how long have you been a member?
have been a member for about five years now I think. I joined because I had
read (and loved) ’Twenty-Six Ways of Looking at a Blackberry’ and I heard John
Simmons was one of those who ran the group. I wanted a way to do more creative
work and link-up with other artists and writers in new and exciting ways.
you been involved in any 26 projects?
– I’m a bit of a serial project-er, in fact! My first one was the project with
the Story Museum in Oxford and my most recent 26 Trees. In between I made a
firm friend across the pond through 26 Atlantic Crossings, so much so that I
wrote about her husband’s grandparents for 26 Armistice. I also did 26 Memory
Maps as well as the design writers project for Fiera and the project that
celebrated Norwich as the European City of Literature, I’ve had some real fun
researching and writing these! I’m very excited about being a writer in
residence at the Bloomsbury Festival later this year, too and hope to meet more
of the 26 team and members there as, being in Cornwall, I have not made it to
as many get-togethers as I would like.
your ideal scenario for writing? (A coffee shop? Quiet retreat? With or without
music? What do you do to get yourself in the right frame of mind?)
like to have time and space to write. I need to clear things out and do my
research and then find a space to commit the words to the page. It helps if the
space is relevant to what I am writing too – so 26 Trees I wrote in the
graveyard that’s the inspiration for the piece and my fiction I try to write
where it is set – or at least to take notes there and then take them home.
Music can help with emotional scenes and pieces – and sometimes helps me to get
in the right frame of mind. My friend
Charlie runs Urban Writers Retreats and I never fail to bash out a good number
of words there because she is an absolute genius at removing all the
distractions – particularly by cooking for you!
are you working on at the moment?
am always trying to write my novel – The Morning Star. I started it as
part of my MA and achieved a distinction but life as a working mother with a
small boy has been quite busy! I am now two-thirds of the way there and aiming
to book another retreat with Charlie soon to finally get the first draft
finished. It’s a story about a dancer who is owned by a demon and when she
falls in love he will not let her go. Set in Victorian Blackpool it draws on my
love of heritage, weaving in real places, images and happenings to the story.
Throw in a vein of something-not-quite-like Greek myth and a dollop of fantasy
and plonk it all into a seedy but flamboyant underworld at the turn of the
century and you start to get the picture.
you tell us about a piece of writing you’re particularly proud of?
I was lucky enough to be commissioned to tell the story of the Cornish charity
ShelterBox on the walls of their new Visitor’s Centre in Truro. It’s a charity
I really believe in and have followed for a long time. So it was amazing to be
able to help with the way the story was told not just through the words that
were used and the way it was written but also through using different media
such as having messages printed on welcome mats, tied to tents and conveyed in
video and audio.
a similar vein when I lived in my hometown of Lytham about ten years ago I was
asked to write some history boards that were erected on the promenade. It is
always a source of joy to see them still there when I go back and to watch
people read them and learn something more about where they are standing.
do you get your inspiration?
I love a bit of history. Some of the
stories you uncover during research are far more fantastical than you would
dream of writing and there’s so much potential for finding untold and
worthwhile gems. The danger, I often say, is that you can find yourself
disappearing down the rabbit hole of history and never get around to writing
anything fictional at all. I like the
discipline of the 26 projects because there comes a point where the research
has to stop and the creativity and writing must begin.
– Suzie Inman and Sophie Gordon
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