Sue Wighton – Accidental Writer

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Sue Wighton is a Brisbane writer, and a singer/songwriter. She is a regular contributor to The Bribie Islander.

Q: sue, you call yourself an accidental writer. how did you start writing?

A: I sent a very long, rambling rant about a scrub turkey in my backyard as a Letter to the Editor at the Courier-Mail. To my complete surprise the Op Ed editor rang me and asked if they could use it as a column (and pay me!). Um, yes please. And that was the start of my newspaper writing career! I sent occasional contributions to the paper for a couple of years.

Q: How did you come to write a weekly column?

A: In 2011, the then-editor of the Courier-Mail (whose name I forget!) rang me to ask if I wanted to write a weekly column. I was terrified but my daughter Katie urged me to do it. I then went and had a chat with the lovely Sandra McLean, an exjourno working in the Queensland Government. Sandra also encouraged me – though I remember her saying how hard it was to write a piece every week.

Q: How do you come up with ideas for your writing?

A: Ah, the world is an endlessly fascinating place! And people too. I write about things around me, my family and friends (sorry, everyone). Sometimes I challenge myself to write about a particular topic. I remember writing about toast once – it was fun! Oh, and I’m a shocking eavesdropper too so other people’s conversations become fodder for my writing. Friends also suggest topics. ‘Why don’t you write about …?”

Q: How did the book come about?

A: I decided when I retired from paid work that I’d put some of my writing into a book. I found a wonderful editor/ designer (Epiphany Editing and Publishing) and she’s been instrumental in putting the book together. Sean Leahy (Courier-Mail cartoonist and wonderful artist) produced the cover illustration which I love, and I did a few sketches for the section headings. It’s all been a labour of love really.

Q: Where can people buy your book?

A: The book’s available through my website on Amazon, Booktopia and The Book Depository. So far AVID Reader at West End has a few copies and I’m hoping to get some into the State Library of Queensland’s bookshop. I have hard copies and I’m happy to post them to people if they’re interested ($25 plus postage). Sue’s contact details: Website: http:// suewightonaccidentalwriter.com Email: s.wighton@optusnet.com.au