Spotlight on…Suzie Cunliffe

Suzie is one of our newer members of 26 and so it’s lovely to find out a bit more about her. I am already impressed with her wonderful hat choice (hat envy: editor).

What’s your day job? I am currently studying an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University and over the last year have also been working on a number of freelance business writing projects including the annual Blackpool Destination Guide and working with Cornish writing agency Stranger Collective on the Port Eliot Festival website and other projects. My Masters is allowing me to concentrate on writing my second novel and on getting more fiction out onto the page – it finishes in mid-September. My career background is in marketing and communications.

What is/are your private passion(s)? I’m not sure how private they are but I love ski-ing and have done it since I was four years old. There’s nothing better than the fresh air and spectacular views when you’re tearing down a beautiful snowy mountain. I am also really passionate about British heritage, particularly that of the North West of England and especially Blackpool. There are some fantastic places to see stunning Victorian architecture in the resort and people just don’t realise it. The Tower Ballroom is one of my favourite places in the world.

I also love to bake and have a weakness for shoes.
What do people get wrong about you? I really have no idea! I’m fairly straightforward.

You’ve recently joined 26. How are you finding it? So far I’ve enjoyed hearing news and sharing it with like-minded people, mainly through the website, and I’m hoping for the opportunity to get more involved in the future.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? When I was aged 16-21 I worked on a local paper with an ex-tabloid newspaper editor called Bob Grey who taught me everything I know about how to write and how to interview. I don’t recall specific advice as it all seems second-nature now but he is the person who springs to mind as the most encouraging and influential.

What is/are your favourite piece(s) of writing? I am a big fan of John Keats. The Odes are amazing but I think Hyperion is my favourite because I love Greek and Roman mythology and I find the story of a poet wanting to write an epic poem and feeling he had failed to achieve this is a useful insight into the mind of a writer. My first degree was in English and drama and I am also a big fan of Oscar Wilde. For sheer inventiveness, rhythm and imagination I also love The Jabberwocky.

What motivates you? Deadlines. And tea. And cake.

Have you been watching the Olympics? What do you think? I have indeed. I went to London to see the Beach Volleyball as I was lucky enough to get tickets and I got totally swept up in Games fever. London looks wonderful and all the volunteers were brilliantly helpful – there was a friendly vibe to London which is heartwarming. I’ve been so impressed to see real people achieving great things on my TV instead of the usual reality TV nonsense featuring people who are famous for nothing. London 2012 has been inspirational – it even managed to coax a rare positive front page in the Daily Mail – I think that was my favourite moment.


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