Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Sue Hewitt, who first hit my radar when I reviewed her debut novel The Cunning Woman’s Cup.
I was raised by the seaside in Deal, Kent and (mis)spent my teenage years there too. Left home at 16, travelled around in a VW Camper van with friends for a bit. The rent on my first flat was £3.00 a week. I did grow up a bit, eventually, settled down, married, had our two sons and moved to Scotland where Chris and I have lived for 30 years. I work as a housekeeper and gardener at a Country house in the Borders. Writing was a hobby thing until I joined Kelso Writer’s Workshop, where the group encouraged me to take it seriously. I self published The Cunning Woman’s Cup in 2014. I am currently working on a sequel, but am a very slow writer, it will get written, sometime.
So over to Sue:-
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life.
The Missa Luba mass sung by The Troubadors of King Baudouin, a Congolese choir. It is a bit obscure I know, but it takes me way back to a friend’s house in Deal. Her mother had a 10 inch vinyl record of it and it has always stayed with me.
The original recording was made in 1958; other choirs have recorded the mass but the original has something very special about it which is difficult to put into words.
Sisters are doin’ it for themselves, Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox – to celebrate Aretha’s life, musical and political work
Respectable, Mel and Kim, because I’m not!!
Any track from Penthouse and Pavement album, Heaven 17 because it reminds me of when I met my hubby.
Sweet Thing, Van Morrison, because of the lyric about ‘never grow so old again’ and because it always makes me cry.
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Coffee, proper coffee not instant, preferably accompanied by chocolate and a cigarette.
Sheepskin boots, (I live in Scotland).
Secateurs, I’m a bit obsessive about correct pruning, cutting back and dead heading, sharp secateurs are an essential tool.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
It was never your fault.
Yes, you can.
Patchouli oil is very pungent, maybe try something else ……….
Ignore the English teacher’s red pen.
Write. Don’t leave it until you are in your 50’s.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I have a phobia about getting locked in the loo. It happened at my Nan’s house when I was little, my uncle had to climb up a ladder and in through a window to rescue me.
I always arrive early.
I never kill spiders. My gran, whose little ‘sayings’ echo in my head to this day, always told me, “If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive.”
Roses are not my favourite plants, too thorny. As a gardener, that statement borders on heresy. The garden where I work has many roses; shrubs and ramblers, in the formal beds and the walled garden. All that dead heading, pruning, getting pierced and scratched by thorns is ok if you are getting paid for it; my own garden has no roses.
Chris and I recently adopted a Jackhuahua (yes, they are a ‘thing’ it seems, Jack Russell Chihuahua cross) called Chico from the local animal rescue centre. Our rescue cat, Lily was not best pleased to begin with, but they have become quite good pals … most of the time.
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
Visit my sons and daughters-in-law in Australia/Germany/get a passport.
Live on a canal barge
Own an antique Knole sofa.
Drive a horse and carriage.
Finish the patchwork quilt I started years ago.
Thanks so much for taking part Sue, I’d forgotten that little rhyme about spiders as it was something my Nanna used to say to me. I loved the Penthouse and Pavement album too, I used to have it on cassette at University until someone stole it! We are currently without a dog (always a Jack Russell) and getting broody. I’m with you on patchouli oil.
The Cunning Womans’s Cup (see my review here)
When Alice McCleish’s gardener Brian unearths an object of great archaeological significance deep under the compost heap it is not only Alice who is affected. Her friendship with Margaret Allerton, retired Professor of Anthropology, as well as Alice’s family, friends and neighbours are all touched.
Alice and Margaret find themselves questioning long-held beliefs about the material and spiritual world that surrounds them. Both women find their lives transformed unalterably by their newfound companionship. Serendipity puts Alice’s nearest neighbour, the troubled Violet Turnbull, in touch with the enigmatic Avian Tyler, whose mystical ‘gift’ offers Violet a promise of liberation.
All the while an echoing voice from long, long ago hints at the history of the locality dominated by the standing stone circle that bestrides the skyline above the small community of Duddo. This harrowing story reveals the provenance of the artefacts found beneath that compost heap.
To coincide with this feature Sue has put The Cunning Woman’s Cup on a Countdown Deal until 14th September at 99p so pick it up here
You can find Sue on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Sue-Hewitt-In-The-Writing-Shed-238601632995724/. Sue doesn’t post very often so if you ‘like’ the page you won’t be inundated with stuff.