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An Interview with Susan Eaton, author of The Ceres Illusion

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Under her own name, Sue Eaton has had work broadcast on BBC Radio 4 as well as winning a Millennium Award for work with scriptwriting for people with ASD. In addition to stories in The Corona Book of Horror Stories series, her story The Tasc Band appears in The Corona Book of Science Fiction. Her debut novel The Woman Who Was Not His Wife was published in 2018 followed by a psychological horror novella The Boyfriend published in 2021 as an e-book. She has also edited The Corona Book of Ghost Stories.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I have always loved reading and was desperate to go to school to learn more. I can clearly remember the day my Year Two teacher taught us how to string sentences together to make a story. It opened a whole new world for me. I decided I would write my own book in the future. No maybe—I would write a book.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I decided that I wanted to be a teacher from the moment I entered school aged four years. I was a teacher for forty years working in special education, autism in particular. I spent thirty years as a classroom teacher and ten years as an advisory teacher helping others to work with children with social, emotional and behavioural issues.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The book title was originally just a working title/file name but it seemed to fit and so I kept it. Some titles arrive with the idea of the book, others come as I write but some are so difficult.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I was very impressed with the cover when I first saw it. It showed what I wanted with only one or two alterations. I was over the moon with the quality of the book when it arrived and very proud of myself for achieving my childhood goal of writing and publishing a book of my own.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

I had not really thought about this but I think anything by David Bowie would be good. I also think Holst’s The Planet Suite has some brilliant music. “Uranus the Magician” and “Saturn” spring to mind.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

That we need to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters on this planet, whoever they are. The planet should not belong to no one person or group of people. Its resources are for all to enjoy.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

I enjoyed working with the publishing company, Water Dragon, which was very supportive. People who look at the book, be they family, friends, or strangers, are very complimentary, which makes me very proud of my achievement.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I tend to have more than one writing project on the go at any time. If I find I hit a block with one I move on to another until I work a way around it. I try and write every day but sometimes life gets in the way. I do find that routine jobs help to focus the mind and will get on with something totally different where I can think. I decide when I get up where I want to go—chasing dragons on a strange planet, lost in an alternative universe, or struggling to survive in a dystopian northern England. My main WIP is the dystopian tale of three woes the Earth is going through, it has experienced a viral pandemic, then a global recession and now, finally an alien invasion. I was hoping to finish it this year but it isn’t anywhere near.

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