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Coffee chat with Aussie author Sue Parritt, author of climate-change fiction novels

Coffee chats are a great way to find out about an author. They're short and snappy. Like a piccolo coffee. Mmmm. Now, I don't know about you, but I need two cups to start my day. Whether you drink coffee, tea or cocoa, grab a seat and have a beautiful morning.
Today on my blog I have Sue Parritt, a fiction writer based in Mornington, Victoria, Australia. Sue's trilogy is of a future dystopian Australia, focusing on climate change and the treatment of refugees from drowned Pacific islands. With the recent crazy weather patterns in Australia, climate change is something we no longer think of as never going to happen.
Please welcome Sue to my virtual coffee table.
DL: Firstly, how do you have your coffee?  Are you a morning or afternoon person?

SUE: This first question is an interesting one as I don’t drink coffee! British born and bred, I’m very much a tea person and I drink that beverage strong with milk at any time of the day! I’m at my  best in the morning but not too early.

DL:  Cli-Fi is a relatively new term that is being brandied about. Can you tell us what Cli-Fi is? And which novels, do you think, pioneered these type of books into having their own genre?
SUE: Cli-Fi or Climate Change fiction, is fiction usually set in the future, that deals with climate change/global warming. Two books I have read that I feel pioneered this genre are: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Flight behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. See also for my article Cli-Fi/Eco fiction – categories of truth.
DL: Dystopian fiction is very popular at the moment. The underlying theme is usually oppression and a plot to revolt and unhinge the new world order. What do you think makes dystopian fiction different to super hero fiction?
SUE: As a writer of dystopian fiction, I see the difference as primarily one of character creation and development. Characters in dystopian fiction don’t possess super human powers and must rely on courage, determination and defiance to achieve their goals. In my novels, Sannah and the Pilgrim (Odyssey Books, 2014), Pia and the Skyman (Odyssey Books, 2016) and The Sky Lines Alliance (Odyssey Books - due November 2016) the characters are ordinary people trying to overcome extraordinary situations and effect much-needed change. Unlike super hero fiction, characters in dystopian fiction often pay the ultimate price for their actions and must leave others to continue their work.
DL: You have what so many others dream of - the chance to write full time. Has having time helped keep up the momentum of writing a series, or are you a naturally self-disciplined person, or is it publisher deadlines that motivate you?

SUE: I am a naturally self-disciplined person but having time to write – I saved hard in order to take early retirement in September 2008 and devote myself to creativity – has certainly helped keep up the momentum of writing a series, as has the peace and quiet, no phones or doorbell audible in the beautiful writing studio my husband built for me in our back garden. The third book in my trilogy of a future dystopian Australia, The Sky Lines Alliance owes its swift (for me) completion to my publisher’s deadline. 

DL: Have you got any tips for writers? Or what is the best writing tip you ever received?

SUE: My tips for writers – full time part time or any time you can spare – is to keep on writing to hone your craft and never give up no matter how many rejections crowd your in-box or mail box.  My method of dealing with rejection is to note the result in my Submissions file and then decide where next to send the manuscript. Patience is also a necessary virtue – once accepted by a publisher, it can take many months before the book is published.

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?
SUE: Favourite biscuit or cake: Anything chocolate!

About the books
Books in this series are: Sannah and the Pilgrim, Pia and the Skyman, and The Skylines Alliance - all published by Odyssey Books.

When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes he's a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaire's unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence he's a pilgrim suggest otherwise. Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the country's true history, even Kaire's White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

Buy the books
Praise for Sannah and the Pilgrim

“It’s a complicated story that intertwines the realities and threats of the twenty-first century, along with the ever present prejudices, with the possibilities of a future that looks even more bleak. It is a compelling tale and readers will certainly be eagerly looking forward to the sequel.”  Readers Favorite

Follow Sue on Facebook
Read more on her website

Thank you so much for stopping by, Sue, and good luck with the writing! Please keep us updated on any new books.

And thank you reader for stopping by!

D L Richardson


  1. Fantastic blog post, and now I know what cli-fi is! :)

  2. Cli-fi! Learn something new every day. ;)

    1. Agreed, Lyn. I can also see the appeal of this genre.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Interesting premise about topical issues. Thanks for the interview :)

  4. Yes, I have learned a bit today as well. Thanks for the interview.

    1. Thanks for visiting my virtual cafe. The best thing about a virtual cafe is the virtual calories. Glad you learned something today.


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