Welcome, Sue Barnard!

From Sue’s #WIP, Fortune’s Fool…

Fortune’s Fool is a sequel to my novel The Unkindest Cut of All.  Both are set in the world of amateur dramatics.  This extract is from Chapter One.

As Sarah and Katy waited for their first scene, Sarah took the opportunity to resume their chat.

“Have you done anything like this before?” she asked.

“I’ve been in a few plays at school, but this is the first time I’ve done anything on this sort of scale.  I’m really excited about it.”

“I can imagine.  I played Juliet myself once, though I was a bit older than you are.”

“Really?”  Katy’s face lit up.  “Can you give me any hints?”

Sarah grinned.  “Only if John says it’s ok.  It’s more than an actor’s life is worth to tread on the director’s toes.  But he’s usually pretty amenable,” she added quickly, in response to Katy’s shocked expression.  “I’ll have a word with him about it later.”

“When did you play Juliet?” Katy asked.

“A few years ago.  I was in my final year at university.”

Katy looked round and lowered her voice.  “What was your Romeo like?”

Sarah smiled wistfully.  “He was a wonderful guy.  His name was Simon.  We met during the production and hit it off straight away.  Lovers on and off the stage.”

“Really?  That’s amazing.  Are you still with him?”

“Sadly not.  We were together for about six months and were planning to get married, then he was killed in a car crash.”

Katy gasped.  “Oh, I’m so sorry…”

“Don’t worry – you weren’t to know.  It was hard to deal with at the time, and it made me understand how Juliet must have felt when Romeo died.  But I can talk about Simon now without getting upset.   And I’m with someone else now – someone I met here at the theatre, in fact.”

“Is he an actor too?”

“No, he’s a chef.  He works at The Royal.”

“So how did you meet him?”

Sarah grinned.  “Long story – too complicated to go into here.  But, coincidentally, it was last time we did Shakespeare.”

“Really?  Which play was that?”

Julius Caesar, just over two years ago.  I played the Soothsayer.”

Katy froze.  “Julius Caesar?  Wasn’t that the one where someone died on stage?  I remember hearing about it at the time.  Brian somebody-or-other?”

“Yes, that’s right.  Brian Wilmer – the guy who was playing Caesar.  It was pretty distressing all round.”  She wondered whether she ought to say more, but decided that this was neither the time nor the place to elaborate.  Instead she returned to Katy’s original question.  “Why did you ask?  About my Romeo, I mean.”

Katy looked nervously round.  Once she appeared satisfied that nobody else was within earshot, she leaned forward and whispered, “I just wondered, because… well… the guy playing Romeo in this one is a bit weird.”

Writer’s WIP Questionnaire – 2

  1. In the past two weeks, I have felt mostly happy about the progress of my WIP.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment: Progress is slow, but I’ve had a couple of light-bulb moments which I hope will move the story along.  Not necessarily in the way I’d originally thought, but I think it will work.

  • In the past two weeks, I have mostly managed to balance my writing life with the rest of my life.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment:  This is something I’m definitely not good at.  I’ve always had great difficulty in justifying spending any time or effort on my own interests.  It somehow feels selfish.  Maybe that’s because I was brought up to always put my own needs last.

Having said that, I have recently managed to devote a couple of days to formatting one of my books for KDP paperback, so perhaps there’s hope for me yet!

  • In the past two weeks, I have made drastic changes to my WIP.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment:  Not drastic in the sense of re-write, but drastic in the sense of the plot heading in a different direction.

  • In the past two weeks, I have mostly suffered from ‘writer’s block’.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment:  I get ideas but sometimes have trouble getting them down on paper.

  • In the past two weeks, I have focussed on one project.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Comment:  I have several projects on the go.  If I get stuck with one, I leave it for a while and look at another.

Thanks for taking part, Sue! I’m intrigued by Fortune’s Fool – it sounds like Sarah’s full of secrets! Best of luck with your writing – it’s always fun when the plot takes you off somewhere unexpectedly!

Sue Barnard

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction.  She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium.  She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.  Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird”. The label has stuck.

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings. 

Find out more about Sue, here…

Author and Editor at Darkstroke and Ocelot Press

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NOVELSThe Ghostly Father  The Unkindest Cut of All  Never on Saturday  Heathcliff:The Missing Years  

Nice Girls Don’t & Finding Nina: new editions coming soon

ANTHOLOGIES: Dark London  Doorways to the Past  Dark Scotland 

AUDIOBOOKS: The Ghostly Father

Published by morwennablackwood

When she was six years old, Morwenna wrote and endless story about a frog, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She’s the author of bestselling noir psychological thrillers, The (D)Evolution of Us, and Glasshouse, has an MA in Creative Writing, and can usually be found down by the sea. Her third novel, Underrated, will be published by #darkstroke on Valentine's Day, 2022. She often thinks about that frog.

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