Sue Bentley is an author who has published over 70 books during her 25 year career. She is best known for her multi-million selling Magic Kitten, Magic Puppy, Magic Ponies and Magic Bunny series – for readers aged 5-8 years. Her latest, a dark fantasy thriller entitled We Other was published in April this year.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Sue Bentley

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

66

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

UK

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I write for a living – books for children and adults. I’ve published over 70 books in a career of over 25 years.

WHAT IS IS LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Wonderful. I feel free of the worries and hang-ups that dogged me for many of my younger years. I have a wonderful group of writer friends and have been married to the same man for around 40 years. I’m more myself than I’ve ever been and I’m absolutely not bothered about what anyone else thinks of me.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Confidence. Time to be as creative as I like in my writing. Security of owning my own home. Time to enjoy relaxing with my partner and take a day off from working whenever I like. I can dress how I like and not be bothered by trends or agonise about body shape.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Intimacy is important to me. The security of being able to be myself in a loving relationship is very special.I feel free of the pressures on women to be ‘forever sexy’. I’m me – take it or leave it.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Relationships of all kind are very important to me. My partner and I share many interests, but I also enjoy spending time with my sisters – I have 4 of them, and we’re all very different – and my writing friends – with whom I do things my partner isn’t interested in. I think this is very healthy in a long-term relationship. I also have two grown up sons and 6 grandchildren – from ages 14years – to 2 years who I adore.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

 I feel free within myself, but I do worry about the troubled wider world in which we live.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

 My writing achievements. Of being able to support myself from money earned from writing. I’m proud of my two sons who are healthy, fine young men.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Being creative by nature and allowing my curiosity to go in whatever direction it leads me. I love learning new things, interacting with other writers and readers. I adore reading good fiction. That always inspires and sometimes awes me.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

Being by myself, but only because I know I have the security of those I love around me. I like my own company and get lots of my best ideas when walking alone. I love my workspace. I have my own room where I can be undisturbed.

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Wherever it wants to! I love colour, texture, flavour in all of life. I like the darkness, the fantastic and the extraordinary within the every day. These things are reflected in my books, short stories, and my artwork. I’m a multi-media artist and mono-print maker. Although most of my energy goes into whichever book I’m working on at the time.

WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Live every day to the full. If you haven’t something kind to say, then say nothing. I’m a positive, glass half-full type of person.I’m imperfectly perfect, as I don’t always live up to my ideals!

AND DYING?

Philosophical about it. Not scared of dying, only of the process. These last two years we lost quite a few of our older generation, including my father just over a year ago. I was with three of my close relatives as they died. All the deaths were as individual as they were as people. It was a profoundly affecting experience, both terribly sad with a kind of beauty. I was also present at the birth of my grand daughter and held her in my arms immediately she took her first breath. And I’ve given birth naturally myself twice. So I have seen the beginning and the end of life. The mystery of it all is always with me.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Yes – I dream of the books I plan to write, the characters and setting I will create. Of all the wonderful things there are to experience in the world. I’m not a great traveller. I feel that I’m a creature of the place I was born in. My dreams are filled with the beauty and wonder all around me, of the greenness and trees of my little patch of earth. The wildlife in my garden. Of the laughter and wisdom of the children in my life. I allow myself to dream of the detail and richness of the close-at-hand. And that to me is the whole world.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

Well – most of the outrageous things I do are in my mind! They often find their way into print in one way or another. But I hate injustice and did once shout at someone in a car park who was berating my partner, when he was actually trying to help her. The words came flying out before I could stop them! I’m not proud of that.