My guest today is not only a fellow writer but a very close friend. Suzi Bamblett has come along to talk about her writing. Without further ado let’s go over to Suzi.
I always wanted to write. From earliest memories, copying envelopes at my grandmother’s house to starting a novel at the beginning of each school holiday, the yearning has been there. At the age of thirteen, having exhausted the library’s stock of Agatha Christie, I was introduced to Daphne du Maurier.
I loved her dark Gothic tales, Jamaica Inn and Rebecca, her sense of the uncanny in The Birds and Don’t Look Now. I’m also a huge fan of the twist in the tale and rate John Irving, Sarah Waters and Diane Chamberlain among my favourite authors.
By the age of twenty-five I was married with three children under the age of four. Seven years of study with the Open University culminated in a PGCE, followed by twenty-three years teaching teenagers at a girls’ grammar school. I wrote creatively in school holidays and studied part-time with The Writers Bureau.
When my grandson came along, I realised ‘time to write’ was running out. The following year, after losing six members of my family in quick succession, I knew I had to make a change so I took early retirement and signed up for an MA with Brighton University. The Creative Writing course was wide and varied. I engaged with collaborative projects, enjoyed forays into screen writing and poetry and became ‘writer in residence’ with Tamba (now Twins Trust) I became a granny befriender and launched a project to create a memory quilt, each square representing the story of a child ‘gone too soon’.
I began my MA with three novels in various stages and ended it with six. During my dissertation I undertook a personal journey with Daphne du Maurier, culminating in an autoethnographical project, Coming to know a Writer. This work introduced a new method of writing, The Imagined Dialogue and I’ve submitted a chapter to an anthology of autoethnographic writing. I have plans to develop this into an autoethnographic novel, part memoir, part fiction, focussing on links between my own life and that of famous writers – Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.
I meet fortnightly with my Friday Writing Group in Hove and regularly take part in National November Novel Writing Month. NANOWRIMO has enabled me to produce drafts of several novels over the years: Three Faced Doll, a psychological thriller about triplets; Prescient Spirit, an uncanny story about a ghost from the future; Pearl Seekers, a YA novel about a missing sister and a religious cult; The Changeling, a middle years’ fantasy. I also have a work in progress, an erotica novel, inspired by the sad and sudden death of my brother in 2019.
In 2020 I set myself the goal to independently publish my time-slip novel, The Travelling Philanthropist. An early extract from this novel, along with reflective commentary, featured in BrightONLINE, the online journal of literary criticism and creativity, Issue 7. To spur myself on. The cover has been designed for The Travelling Philanthropist and I hope to return to Patricia’s Pen when my book is launched.
Readers are in for a treat once Suzi Bamblett releases all of the above novels. And how about that quilt? Isn’t it amazing? Watch this space for Suzi to return later this year and tell us more about The Travelling Philanthropist. In the meantime, let’s find out a little more about her.
About Suzi Bamblett
Suzi Bamblett graduated from Brighton University with a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing. Her Imagined Dialogue is featured on the Daphne du Maurier website. Suzi write psychological thrillers and suspense for YA and adults. Her poems and short stories have been published in three Brighton University Anthologies – Small Worlds (2014), Reflections (2015) and Resistance is Fertile (2018), and her short story, The Girl on the Swing, was published by Shooter Literary Magazine – Issue 11 Winter 2020 Supernatural. Besides writing, walking and generally ‘being creative’, Suzi is a proud mum, ‘hands on’ granny and bereavement befriender for Twins Trust.