Chatting with Sue Searles

I’m happy to introduce author Sue Searles today. Sue is a fellow author at Clean Reads, formerly known as Astraea Press. 


When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve loved writing from as early as I can remember. As a kid I was always tinkering with different types of stories, and poems about the stories I’d written. I had notebooks filled with the stuff. So, to answer your question, I think I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. It’s what I was born to do.

Can you tell us about your journey towards publication?

I can probably thank my son for giving me the courage to take the first step as a serious writer. As a child, his wonderful imagination led me to writing my very first book about the delightful characters in his head…a children’s book called Little John and the Coaspies. Writing that book gave me a taste of what it would feel like to actually take my writing seriously. The book led to others, and eventually I plucked up the courage and submitted Lucia’s Web for publication earlier this year. Having a book accepted for publication, and the subsequent journey, has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Probably historical fiction.

Tell us about a unique quirk of yours?

Not sure whether you could call it a quirk, but I’m a grammar freak. I proofread literally everything, from street signs to newspapers, and critique TV news reports and documentaries without meaning to (You’d be surprised how many errors there are!). It can be annoying because I just want to enjoy what I’m reading/listening to, but I guess it’s a blessing because it pays off in my writing.

If you could travel to anyplace for a month, where would you go?

I don’t have to even think about it…the USA! It’s been a lifelong dream.

What are you reading right now?

Just started Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers.

Any encouragement for aspiring authors?

Stop procrastinating and just WRITE! We all have busy schedules and it’s way too easy to come up with reasons why you’ll tackle that first novel “when you stop working” or “when the kids are older.” If you don’t MAKE IT HAPPEN, it never will.


A little about Sue:

Sue Searles has written several books, ranging from women’s fiction and short stories to poetry and children’s books. Having worked on various forms of storytelling since childhood, writing has been a lifelong passion.

Now somewhat older and wiser, she is passionate about thinking outside the conventional box, and conveys messages that are thought-provoking and life-changing.

Her inspiration comes mainly from studying people, reading, and daily life.

Sue is happily married and lives in sunny South Africa with her husband and son.


Here’s a peek at Sue’s new release. ..


Creepy characters and shadowy scenes are woven through this suspense-filled story, steeped in strangeness with splashes of humor.

When Ali Duncan advertises for two tenants to share an upmarket apartment with her, she has no way of knowing the series of cryptic events that is about to unravel.  When one housemate turns out to be a quirky nonconformist, the other a Gothic misfit, she has to rely on her own defective judgment to find her way.

With circumstances stacked against her, whom can she trust when she finds herself alone in her quest for normality, but nothing in the house is as it seems?



I sucked in a deep breath and held it, then wiped sweaty palms on my trousers. I’d only arrived home ten minutes ago and hadn’t relaxed enough to freshen up or change out of my work clothes.

Get a grip, Ali. I shouldn’t be so nervous—this was my apartment, my advertisement. So I was in charge.

It took me a little over eight seconds before I snapped myself out of my trance. If Lucia James had seemed distant and sociably inept on the phone, meeting her in person only solidified my impression of her.

Pin-straight hair, dyed jet black with purple streaks, hovered just above a sorry pair of sagging shoulders. A thick, black fringe fell across an insipidly white face, barely hiding brown eyes that were bordered top and bottom with a heavy band of eyeliner. Black lipstick sapped the girl of any natural color and made her look deathly pale. She clutched a brown leather bag across her chest, and a black leather jacket and studded jeans rounded off the look. The girl bit her lip and dipped her chin, her nervousness palpable.

I closed my mouth when I realized I’d been staring. “Um, sorry…come on in.”

I stepped aside to let Lucia enter. Her brown eyes darted furtively around the spacious lounge, then focused on an invisible speck on the hardwood floor.

“So, do you live nearby?” My eyes remained on her as I asked the question and tried to size her up.

“No, I’m not from around here. I don’t know many people in Umhlanga yet.” A shoulder raised two inches, then went back down.

“Where are you from?” I studied her, trying to draw the girl out of whatever spell she was in.

“Eastern Cape.” Her eyes remained averted, the brown leather bag clutched like a lifeline across her chest.  The long fringe hung like a thick, black curtain over her right eye, and I had to resist the urge to reach out and pull it aside.

“So, what brings you to Durban?” I honestly wasn’t trying to sound pushy, just curious. Besides, it was a reasonable question, not so? When Lucia didn’t reply, I crossed the room and closed the front door to give her time to answer. Just as I turned back to face her, she jerked her head away and averted her eyes back to the floor. I felt my frustration levels start to rise. So Lucia could quite easily look at me, as long as I wasn’t looking back at the same time?

I held my palms together and tried to shake off the girl’s unsettling presence. “All right, so…the rent is fourteen grand, split three ways. With water and lights, say an extra grand, we can round it off at five grand each. How does that sound?”

Lucia bit her lip hard and her eyes darted around the room briefly. “Sure. Whatever.”

“Rent’s due by the first of each month.” I tried to keep it upbeat, to sound much friendlier than I felt. “I’d like to check references before I make a final decision.” I gave Lucia a pressing look, one intended to communicate that I wasn’t too convinced about her yet. And in case she hadn’t

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  1. Christina Lorenzen on June 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Love the sound of your book! And the cover is gorgeous. Good luck!

  2. Christina Lorenzen on June 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Love the sound of your book! And the cover is gorgeous. Good luck!

  3. Sue Searles on July 1, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Thank you, Dana, for hosting me on your blog!

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