Monday, 21 July 2014

The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard

What They Say:

The Ghostly Father

Romeo & Juliet - was this what really happened? 

When Juliet Roberts is asked to make sense of an ancient Italian manuscript, she little suspects that she will find herself propelled into the midst of one of the greatest love stories of all time. But this is only the beginning. As more hidden secrets come to light, Juliet discovers that the tragic tale of her famous namesake might have had a very different outcome... 

A favourite classic story with a major new twist.

What I Say:

I would like to thank Brookscottagebks and author Sue Barnard for sending me a copy of this, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

At the beginning of the book Juliet is asked to transcribe an old manuscript by her Grandfather, not sure she is up to the task as it has been awhile since she learned Italian...

From here the book is written from Fra' Lorenzos point of view, with a series of events leading to Verona that puts Romeo in the middle of the feud.  How this happens is a different way of telling this famous story.

I'm sure everyone is aware of Romeo and Juliet, but what if story that we know to day wasn't the truth but only a portion of it, it would be lovely to think so.  I won't go into detail but will say read this and you will have your eyes opened.

The book is excellently written by Sue and you feel like you are there in Verona.

4 out of 5 stars

An interview with the author 

Hi Sue

Thank you for coming on Comet Babes Books today.

Thank you for inviting me!

Can you tell us more about The Ghostly Father?
It’s a retelling of the story of Romeo & Juliet, but with a few new twists and a quite different ending.  It takes the form of a backstory for the character of Friar Lawrence (the eponymous Ghostly Father, called Fra’ Lorenzo in this version), and the tale is told from his point of view.

Can you tell us who created the wonderful cover for this book?
It was designed by my publisher, Crooked Cat Publishing.  I think they’ve done a fantastic job.

Why did you finally decide to write a book?
It was in response to the prompt “Write the book you want to read.”  I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but hated the ending, and I’ve often wished that there was an alternative version of the story which had a more satisfactory outcome.  If this book didn’t exist, then I realized I’d be the one who had to write it.

I originally wrote the book for myself, for the reason I’ve just described.  I wanted to be able to retreat into a quiet corner, read the alternative version, and privately imagine that things might have worked out for the star-cross’d lovers after all.  At the time, I hadn’t envisaged The Ghostly Father being published.  It was only when I showed the first draft to a couple of close friends, and they suggested that I ought to try taking it further, that I thought it might stand some chance of getting a wider audience.

Would you recommend someone who would like to be a writer completing a creative writing course?
Most definitely.  I did several online short courses with the Open University.  Sadly they are now mostly discontinued, but one of them (Start Writing Fiction) is now available as a free online course.  Details here.  As well as learning a lot about how to improve my writing skills and style, I received invaluable feedback on my work and also made lots of good friends.

As you were already in publishing, do you think bloggers help the publishing industry?
Yes – all forms of social media help the publishing industry, because they can spread the word to a lot more people.  I’d say that even if I hadn’t already been working for Crooked Cat as an editor.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Write something every day, even if it’s only a couple of sentences – remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and each step is one step closer to your goal.  

Do you have a desk/writing area and what is on it at the moment?
It’s a table in the corner of my conservatory, from where I have a lovely view of the garden.  At the moment, it’s host to my laptop, my phone, an angle-poise lamp, a copy of Writing Magazine, a copy ofRomance Matters (the magazine of the Romantic Novelists’ Association), a pad, a tub of pens, a tube of sun-cream, my camera (in case any birds come to the feeder), and an empty coffee cup.

Do you have any future book plans and can you share it with us?
My second novel, Nice Girls Don’t, was published  on 15 July 2014.  I have several unfinished projects on the go at the moment.  Whether any of them will ever be completed remains to be seen!

Thanks again.

Jo xx

If you would like to hear more from Sue head over to the lovely Dawn's blog:

About the Author:

Sue Barnard was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. After graduating from Durham University, where she studied French and Italian, Sue got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent. If she had her way, the phrase "non-working mother" would be banned from the English language.

Since then she has had a series of part-time jobs, including some work as a freelance copywriter. In parallel with this she took several courses in Creative Writing. Her writing achievements include winning the Writing Magazine New Subscribers Poetry Competition for 2013. She is also very interested in Family History. Her own background is stranger than fiction; she'd write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4's fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as "professionally weird." The label has stuck.

Sue joined the editorial team Crooked Cat Publishing in 2013. Her first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet) was officially released on St Valentine's Day 2014.  Her second novel, a romantic mystery entitledNice Girls Don’t, is due for release in July 2014.

You can find Sue on Facebook
Twitter (@SusanB2011), 
or follow her blog here.


  1. A fab post and review. Thanks for taking part. x

  2. Thanks for sharing lovely. I did the same xx