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I grew up in South East London, left school at 16 and married 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 three weeks, we decided to marry (although it took a couple of years to get round to it). We became the Elliot-Wrights, but I've now decided to drop the hyphen. Not sure why, but it just feels right. .
I’ve worked as: a civil servant, cleaner, barmaid, washer-up, market researcher, cake decorator, FE English tutor, chef, freelance journalist, features editor, non-fiction author and creative writing tutor. Until recently, I still did some occasional cheffing for a local catering company, but having been plagued for over a year by RSI in both hands and arms, I've reluctantly had to give that up, though I’m still passionate about cooking at home.
I began writing professionally in 1997 when I started to have features published in mainstream consumer magazines, and in 1999 I took a post-grad course in Periodical Journalism at the London College of Printing, after which I became a freelance magazine journalist. I’ve since published hundreds of features and have written several health-related books. But my first love was always fiction, and when I was offered a place on the prestigious MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, my husband and I upped sticks from London and moved to Sheffield. It was on the Hallam MA that my debut novel The Things We Never Said, was born. I'm currently working on my fourth novel. My third, What She Lost, will be published by Simon & Schuster in March 2017. Scroll down for the blurb.
Eleanor and her mother Marjorie have always had a difficult relationship and although they’ve tried, they have somehow just failed to connect. Now Marjorie has Alzheimer’s, and as her memory fades, her grip on what she has kept hidden begins to loosen. When she calls her daughter to say, ‘There’s something I have to tell you’, Eleanor hopes this will be the moment she learns the truth about the terrible secret that has cast a shadow over both their lives.
But Marjorie’s memory is failing fast and she can’t recall what she wanted to say. Eleanor knows time is running out, and as she tries to gently uncover the truth before it becomes lost inside her mother’s mind forever, she begins to discover what really happened when she was a child – and why…
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My debut, The Things We Never Said was published by Simon & Schuster in 2013. The novel tells the story of Maggie who, in 1964, wakes up in a mental
asylum with no idea who she is or how she got there, and Jonathan, who, in the present
day, is trying to come to terms with the death of his difficult father when a
policeman turns up with some unsettling questions about crimes committed many
years before. As the two stories intertwine, secrets are uncovered and the
devastating truth revealed.
“Crammed with drama and passion this emotional,
beautifully written, page turner deals with strong and unsettling issues with
un-sugar coated compassion creating a book that is very hard to put down ... A
powerful debut novel perfect for Reading Groups” Lovereadinguk
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My second novel,The Secrets We Left Behind, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2014 She has built the perfect life: a husband who adores her, a daughter she is fiercely proud of and a home with warmth and love at its heart. But things were not always so good, and in order to get where she is today she has done things she can never admit. Then one winter's evening a phone call comes out of the blue. It is a voice from long ago, from a past she has tried so hard to hide. Scott knows who she really is and what she has done. But now he is dying and he gives her an ultimatum: either she tells the truth, or he will. And so we are taken back to that long, hot summer of 1976, to a house by the sea, where her story begins and where the truth will be revealed... .