Although I’ve been living happily in the North for twelve years, I was born in South East London. I left school at 16 and married unwisely at 18. At the age of 30 I took my two children, left my unhappy life and started again, reinventing myself with an education and a new surname, which I chose by drawing up a shortlist from the telephone directory and sending off for brochures so I’d receive mail in those names. I settled on Elliot; Susan Elliot sounded like ‘me’. Soon after changing my name, I met Mr Right, or in this case, Mr Wright. Within a few weeks, we decided to marry (although it took a couple of years to get round to it). We became the Elliot-Wrights, but we’ve dropped the hyphen now.
For most of my life, I’ve managed to avoid a full-time ‘proper job’, although after leaving school I did put in five years as a civil servant – talk about a misspent youth! Since then, I’ve been a cleaner, barmaid, washer-up, market researcher, cake decorator, FE English tutor, chef, freelance journalist, features editor, non-fiction author and creative writing tutor.
Now, as a novelist, I’m doing my dream job, but if I wasn’t an author, I’d be a chef. There’s a wonderful camaraderie in a commercial kitchen, and cooking with other people can be great fun, but professional cooking is hugely physically demanding and sadly, I no longer have the stamina. I loved cooking professionally, and I still miss it, though I remain passionate about cooking at home.
I now live in Sheffield with my husband and a big black dog called Henry. I have two grown-up children and a smattering of grandchildren (one of whom, confusingly, is also called Henry!)
I’m the author of three published novels and I’m currently hard at work on my fourth.