About the author***

Susan Frances’ grandfather’s tales of their Devon ancestors have always interested her, even though she was born in Surrey, England. Later, after doing some family research, she was motivated to write No One Must Know.

She moved back to Devon, where she has family, and is not far from the Ashetyne village that appears in her book.

Susan likes gardening and going on walks with her husband and their dog, Finn, when she is not writing.

BREW Question: Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?

Author’s Response:

Yes, the house was full of books.

BREW Question: At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?

Author’s Response:

I don’t know when I started reading but I do remember hiding under the bedcovers with a torch so I could read after Mum had turned out light out.

BREW Question: What was the first book you loved reading? Why?

Author’s Response:

Black Beauty was and still is one of my favourites. As a child, it was so sad but had a happy ending and as an adult, the social and animal welfare issues become apparent. When you think Anna Sewell was young when she wrote it, it is very perceptive and as a result, the first animal welfare act became law.

BREW Question: When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?

Author’s Response:

I was ten years old and I’d already written short stories. Loving horses and influenced by Black Beauty, I wrote the story of a horse called Amber. I sent it to Armada publishing and months later received a very kind rejection letter.

BREW Question: What was the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?

Author’s Response:

The murder that I never intended. I finished the chapter and thought, the characters were supposed to have a drunken brawl, how did that happen? Then, of course, I had to solve the murder!

BREW Question: What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?

Author’s Response:

Have belief in your work. Of course there are techniques, but at the end of the day, trust your instincts and find yourself a good beta reader and editor.

BREW Question: Who are the authors or what are the books that had the greatest influence on your own writing? Why?

Author’s Response:

So many but C J Sansom immerses the reader in the period and his characters are real.

BREW Question: What are your current or future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?

Author’s Response:

Book 2 of The Chiddleigh Saga is in its final stages. It continues the story from the end of Book 1 with Thomas as the young Lord trying to save his people from the plague in 1348 with twists, turns and intrigue.

Each book stands alone but the saga will follow the Chiddleighs through to the 1960s but I’ve no idea how many books that will be!

More details

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By The BREWer

As a caterpillar goes out of its dark cocoon, grows its wings, and flies high up in the sky, I acknowledge my role in the entire process of the written word's metamorphosis through The Chrysalis BREW Project. I believe that beauty and goodness exist in everything and everyone - may we let that emerge and shine in each word we read, concoct, write, or share.

5 thoughts on “Meet our Author: Susan Frances”
  1. Thanks – it was fun to do. Please vote for me in the Readers choice awards and if you already have, many more thanks!

  2. I love “Black Beauty” too! It was a huge staple of my childhood. And the anecdote of the murder was funny and creative. Great interview!

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