>From the FSS Archives… Suzannah Burke

>I’m pulling a favourite writer out of my archives this week. Suzannah Burke is one of my heroes – she has been through so much, yet come out of it laughing and writing such wonderful things. So here is the interview I had with her and one of her brilliant flash stories…

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Sexy Deep Voiced Announcer: After a small Hiatus to try and get some writing done, our Leading Lady is back! Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for the one… the only… Tiger Princess!

AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS, STANDING UP AS THE TIGER PRINCESS ENTERS THE STUDIO.

Tiger Princess: Boy, is it good to be back – I’ve missed you, Mr. Announcer…

Sexy Deep Voiced Announcer: And we’ve missed you, M’lady.

AUDIENCE APPLAUDS AGAIN. TIGER PRINCESS MOVES TO THE MIDDLE OF THE DAIS IN FRONT OF THE CHAIRS

Tiger Princess: Today, we have a real Heroine of mine on the show.

Her heart rending biography “Empty Chairs” is being published by Night Publishing under the pen name of Stacey Danson and at times I found myself sobbing uncontrollably as I read it. For anyone to go through all that pain and abuse, yet come out so strong and wonderfully whole as an adult, is a true miracle.

My Guest tonight isn’t just about her experiences though, she’s also a beautiful person and a stunningly unputdownable writer. She has a delightful sense of humour, as seen in “The Dudes Down Under Series.”.

PAUSES FOR BREATH.

May I introduce to you, Suzannah Burke!

AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS, STANDING UP AS “DON’T CRY OUT LOUD” BY MELISSA MANCHESTER PLAYS.

SUZE SASHAYS DOWN THE STAIRS WEARING A SPANGLY, BLACK, FLOOR-LENGTH DRESS AND HOLDING THE ARMS OF TWO RATHER HANDSOME GENTLEMEN IN TUXEDOS.

Tiger Princess: Welcome to the Show, Suzannah.

Suze: Thank you for having me. Call me Suze; everyone does, even I do!

Tiger Princess: When / Where / Why did you start writing?

Suze: My very first foray into writing was when I was around twelve-years-old. I was living in a shipping container on the docks in Sydney with a bunch of other street kids.

One of them, “Jenny”, was only eight. She was a fragile and damaged little girl. Jenny began to trust me, and we had a little thing happening where I would write {Such as it was} a story on newspaper with a pencil, about an imaginary world where people were kind, and abuse didn’t happen.

They evolved into stories of fairies and elves. She needed one a day, and I read them to her at night just before she went to sleep. I left the group when I was sixteen and didn’t write again until 2007. Then I began to write, every day, at times I was writing for twelve hours at a stretch. I haven’t stopped.

Tiger Princess: How much writing do you do on a daily basis?

Suze: The amount of words depends solely on what I am writing. Flash Fiction is something I love to do, so I attempt to write 3 or so of those in any given week. Mostly for contest entries.

I am also working on the second book in the Dudes Down Under series. I write a 1000 words a day for that. Then I have the blog and I am also beginning the second book in my 3 part biography. All up I guess I write between 1000 and 3000 words every day.

Tiger Princess: If you could meet any writer (living or dead), who would it be and why?

Suze: For me that would have to be Australian Author Peter Carey.. he’s won the Booker twice with “Oscar and Lucinda” and “True History of the Kelly Gang.

I just love his quirky humor, he writes even the darkest of scenes with an edge of humor to them that carries the unmistakable Carey touch. His writing crosses genres so effortlessly. He is one author I would give anything to meet and talk to.

“Parrot And Olivier In America” by Peter Carey is also on the shortlist for this years booker.

Tiger Princess: What is your favourite music to write to and why?

Suze: I can’t listen to music while I write, any noise is a distraction, so much so that I write with earplugs in so that no sound penetrates. I have a do not disturb sign on the door and the phone switched off. I often forget to stop and eat as well.

I listen to music before I write to help set the mood I need, but only when I’m writing fiction.

Then the music depends on what I am thinking of writing.

For Comedy I listen to Rock ‘n’ Roll, the light fast stuff.

Drama…mmm gimme R&B.

Horror, well Black Sabbath and Deep Purple can set that up for me nicely.

Tiger Princess: Which do you prefer – Paper / Ink or Computer / Keyboard and Why?

Suze: Initially in 2007, I used pen and paper. A computer was way outside my disability pension budget. Then just before Christmas 2008 our then Prime Minister decided that all disabled pensioners should receive a one of payment of $1600.

Wow, what a Christmas that was!

AUDIENCE LAUGH.

I gave myself a laptop with wireless internet connection, a desk and a printer. I’ve spent the last two years learning how to use it. I love it now…and it’s an addiction. I can’t stand it when I run out of funds to top up and recharge the net. I budget carefully now to make certain that doesn’t happen.

Tiger Princess: And Finally – if you won the Booker Prize, how would you celebrate?

Suze: That is so far outside even my imagination… I really had to think carefully about it. I don’t know, perhaps have all the folks that helped me learn to write in the first place…and those that edited my work. Anyone that contributed to my writing in anyway…get them all together and have a huge celebration. Then start writing again for the next round.

Tiger Princess: Thank you for joining us. When you win the Booker, I’ll be round like a shot!

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Nice girls.

By Suzannah Burke.

“Is that it, Pop?”

“Yes, sonny-boy, that’s it.”

“It’s kinda beat up, huh?”

“Is it? Well…yes, I suppose it is now that you mention it. Didn’t used to look like that though, boy. There was a time when any young man taking his best girl on a date would’ve been mighty proud to have picked her up in that there car.”

“Is that the car you drove when you first met Grandma?”

“It surely is, boy.”

“Did you and grandma go on dates, for real?”

“No, boy …we dated by correspondence. Of course we went on dates! Things may be a little different these days, but boys still ask girls out, don’t they?”

“Sure…Pop. Sure we do.”

“And I guess boys still try to get girls into the back seat?”

“Pop!”

“Good God. You young folks seem to think we grandparents were born old and grey.”

“Pop, Its… I …um”

“Well that’s a hell of an informative observation, boy. Tell me now, when you go on a first date, with a nice girl, what do you do? Where do you take her?”

“I dunno. Out I guess.”

“Maybe you just don’t know any ‘nice girls’ hmm.?

“Pop! Gimme a break. I’m eighteen. I don’t wanna know nice girls, well not yet anyways.”

“So, you only date girls you don’t consider, “Nice?”

“Hey, no …that’s not what I mean. Some of them are real nice. But they also … you know… do stuff.”

“Stuff?”

“Yeah, stuff?”

“Oh, so they put out.”

“Pop … that’s sounds, well disrespectful.”

“You call it by a nicer name?”

“Well, no, no I don’t. But it don’t mean I need to hurt their feelings.”

“So, you’re saying they have feelings? These not nice girls.”

“Course they do.”

“Ah, that makes it more interesting. So, these not nice girls with feelings…you take them to the movies maybe?”

“The movies. Um…no.”

“Then out to dinner, yes?”

“Well, not exactly…maybe McDonalds.”

“So, you buy a burger and then go down to the beach and talk, and watch the sunset?”

“No … well, we talk, maybe.”

“Face to face…or do you call em on your cell phone from the front seat to check if they undressed yet?”

“Hell, Pop … it’s just different now is all.”

“Son, that is the same damned bullshit I said to your great grandpa.”

“Oh. You did?”

“Certainly did.”

“And what did, Great-Grandpa say? I’m curious is all.”

“He said, “Sonny-boy, your ma was not considered a nice girl. I loved that woman so hard I couldn’t breathe when she was near me. So don’t be lookin’ in all them right places for somethin’ considered nice,…the greatest love of your damned life could be waitin’ on that back seat.”

“Wow.”

“Yep, that about covers it.”

“Pop…was grandma, was she…you know?”

“I loved her more than my life, boy. That’s all you’ll ever need to know. Understand?

“Yeah, yeah…pop. I think maybe I do.”

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Suzannah Burke first put pen to paper in October 2008. She had a long held desire to write, but the confidence was lacking. With almost non-existent formal education her knowledge of all things written was confined to her delight in reading.

Nanowrimo 2009 arrived and was completed, her book Dudes Down Under was born.

She recently signed a publishing contract for her biography “Empty Chairs” due for release in paperback later this year – written under the pen name of Stacey Danson.

Suzannah writes in many genres, accordingly she has different sites:

http://dudesdownunder-soooz.blogspot.com
http://staceydansonemptychairs.blogspot.com
http://sooozsaysstuff.blogspot.com

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One thought on “>From the FSS Archives… Suzannah Burke

  1. Soooz says:

    >Aww, Mandy…thanks, hon. I could get nose bleed up here! Seriously I am honored that you consider me firstly as a friend, and secondly as someone deemed worthy of being featured again on this terrific blog.Hugs and again my thanksSoooz

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