Susan E. Kaberry and Beth Cox

Susan E. Kaberry

First Steps

An interest in reading and writing often starts in childhood and I was an avid reader as a child. Little Grey Rabbit books by Alison Uttley were early favourites, followed by Enid Blyton. I think I read everything she wrote. The Famous Five and The Secret Seven were particularly engrossing and I had collections of them on my bookcase. 

a pair of ballet shoes

As I grew older, I discovered Pamela Brown and Noel Streatfield. I loved being taken into magical worlds that were very far from my own experience growing up in a suburb of Bolton in the North of England in the 1950s.

I longed to be a ballet dancer or part of a circus or in the theatre. It was reading that took me there. The classics like Little Women and Black Beauty moved me to tears. Later the writings of the Brontë sisters and the romance of their bleak lives full of loss and passion up on the Yorkshire moors spoke to my need for passion. I could go on and on about more favourite authors and books but when did the idea of being a writer myself occur to me?

My father was a great reader too and he was the one who encouraged me to read and enjoy writing that I didn’t find easy to understand as a child. He taught me that words and sentences can be things of beauty in themselves. He read poetry and Shakespeare to me and I slowly began to appreciate what he was showing me. His favourites were Dickens, Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare. He confided in me that he would like to write a book and it was his wish to write that triggered my own desire. My father never did write a book. The circumstances of his life conspired against him.

But he had passed the idea on to me.