Interview with Author Sue Wilkes

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Hi, my name’s Sue Wilkes. I’ve written about social history and genealogy for over twenty years. I’m a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the Society of Authors.

My most popular work to date is A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England, (Pen & Sword, 2014), and it has recently been released as an audiobook,

Regency Spies: Secret Histories of Britain’s Rebels & Revolutionaries (Pen & Sword, 2015) uncovers the shadowy world of Britain’s spies, rebels and secret societies in late Georgian times.

My most recent family history book is Tracing Your Manchester and Salford Ancestors (Pen & Sword, 2017).

I’m married to husband Nigel, and we have two grown-up children.

# What is the real-life story behind your book(s)?

I have loved Jane Austen’s novels since I was a little girl. I feel very privileged that so much of my writing career has been dedicated to writing about Austen and the world that she lived in.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

History is an ever-growing subject – fresh discoveries are always being made, and there’s always something new to find out.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Factual accuracy is vital, especially when writing history. Check and double-check your work before sending it to a publisher. Don’t bore your reader with too much repetition – unless you need to recap, or emphasize an earlier point! Be brave and edit out any words or paragraphs that aren’t earning their place.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

Your book cover should be bright and colourful if possible – obviously depending on the subject – something which will stand out on the bookshelf. Beware of over-fussy designs, though.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

It depends on whether a criticism is justified. A bad review is always hurtful (unless you are very thick-skinned!), but where possible, an author should try and take a step back from it and try to learn from the feedback. It might come in useful for future work.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

Over the years, my research has become far more organized than when I first started out.

# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I love exploring old churches and historic buildings. I particularly enjoy exploring ancient stone circles and burial sites. Scotland is my favourite place, especially the Orkney Isles.

I love second-hand bookshops and collect old books – unfortunately I’ve long since reached the point where I can’t remember which books I’ve already bought!

My hobbies include crochet and gardening – I particularly enjoy the challenge of growing vegetables!

Find out more about Sue’s work at her history blogs:

You can buy Sue’s books via Amazon US,, and Amazon UK,


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