The Writers Write Interview – Susan Mann


Susan Mann was born in Durban in 1967. She has worked in the media and taught at the University of Cape Town. She is currently doing research in France.

1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Prince Myshkin in ‘The Idiot’.

2. What is your most treasured possession?

My bottle-opener. It was a gift..

3. Which living person do you most dislike?

Those who are smug.

4. What is your greatest fear?

Being trapped in a lift with people who know they’re right, and no bottle opener.

5. Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?

Figaro – my black cat. He was run over.

6. What is your greatest regret?

Ah, I have several – including breaking a pencil box over Maxi Stone’s head when we were nine. .

7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?

Shere Khan. Just kidding – I really don’t know.

8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje.

9. What is your favourite journey?

The stretch of coast from Simon’s Town to Noordhoek via Redhill and Scarborough

10. Cats or dogs? Which do you prefer?

I love both. But at a push, cats.

11. What quality do you most admire in a woman?

A sense of perspective.

12. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?

I’ve only written two – I really don’t know yet.

13. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Try not to get in the way of your stories.

14. What are your favourite names?

I associate names with people – so too many to mention

15. What do you do as a hobby?

At the moment it seems to be getting lost down side streets

16. What are your top three books? 

  • The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  • The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
  • Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton

17. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Often in my bed, just before falling asleep. Which usually means I don’t.

via email