Early Reviews of Where the Sun Rises…

Where the Sun Rises is an ambitious, compassionate and powerful novel. Sensory memories accessed through scents and tastes are used brilliantly to evoke the physical strain, tenderness and revulsion of war for female soldiers in the fight against ISIS. Their story deserves a far wider readership and Strong’s achievement lies in her ability to take us into their dangerous world.’ 

Dr Toby Davidson, Lecturer, Macquarie University, Sydney.

“Strong has taken care to accurately present the reality of the lives of Kurdish women and the dramatic choices they make as fighters defending their land. The story is remarkable for the authenticity of the detailed portrayal of the geography, the intimate lives of the women fighters and the ferocity of the killing in which they are involved…Strong makes good use of the senses to convey the sounds and smells of battle and death and contrasts it with the delights of singing and dancing, the smell of freshly baked bread and the taste of goat’s cheese. The extraordinary amount of research undertaken pays dividends. Recollections of peaceful days and olive groves are neatly woven into the narrative, as are the reassuring pots of tea.

Powerful and credible, Where the Sun Rises is an eye-opener to a story we rarely hear.’

Dr Lynne Spender, Lecturer, UTS, Sydney.

My novel will be released in a few days time. I am excited to finally be introducing my new novel baby to the world. 🙂

It will be available widely in print as well, on Amazon and all other online outlets. Stay tuned. 🙂 You can pre-order today or wait for two days until it is released. 🙂

Have a fab day! Suz 🙂

Freedom Writing No.1 Best Seller in 3 Categories…

Hey guys, (by that term I mean female and male :))

My book Freedom Writing was number 1 in three categories in Australia this morning. I was very excited. 🙂

I will have more news about my debut novel that is coming out soon, Where the Sun Rises. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading! Have a fab day. 🙂 Suz

Freedom Writing Workshop at Retreat…:)

Hi guys,

I just wanted to share a few pics from the workshop I did on the weekend. What an amazing time with some brave, strong, beautiful women! It was my privilege to hear their stories and share with them writing therapy, that they can use to get through various things that have happened to them in their lives. I have been through quite a bit of what they went through and it was a beautiful time of honesty and sharing between women who were supporting each other.

It was a lovely time, and such a beautiful place. As usual the poetry exercise at the end was amazing with people sharing some poignant and life affirming imagery in their poems. So wonderful. Thank you to the ladies who were there, I love you all. 🙂 Stay strong, safe and loving. Kind regards, Suz

Remember little things matter!

Feel so inspired by the people I’m meeting in the work I’m doing. Principals fighting racism and teen suicide on the front line, implementing ideas and creativity to break down barriers, and indigenous elders spending their time focusing on others and counselling people in desperate need. I feel blessed to be working with these people. I love working with social workers when you go to meetings or events with them they always asking how you’re going, but they really mean it! Haha 😄

Sometimes the issues of the world seem overwhelming and like you can’t make an impact and then you see these people who are doing things, creative things, inspiring things, setting up open and safe spaces for kids – educating and caring. They are a beacon of light over the immense dark waters of life. We need to keep doing things even if we feel they are small, in fact they’re not insignificant, sometimes they could be the one thing that saved someone’s life.

Feeling a bit poetic too, this morning. 😉

Writing Therapy Workshop Response :)

Monica, a Social Worker, recently attended my Expressive Writing Therapy Workshop and this was her written response.

“I attended the workshop as a personal and professional development opportunity.  I already knew of and experienced the therapeutic benefit of writing, however I wanted to learn more about how this works- particularly the benefit of writing as a way of working through previous trauma.

The workshop was excellent.  As I had attended a previous workshop with Suzanne, I knew of the quality of workshop she facilitates and this workshop did not disappoint. 

I got the most out of the part where we were encouraged to write about something negative or traumatic.  I found that the exercise was confronting, yet liberating.  I could feel the tension in my body as I wrote the words on paper but as the story unfolded on the page and came to an end, that tension dissipated and I felt at ease.  This was a very powerful experience.

Probably the most challenging part of the workshop, for me, was the task of writing a poem.  Because I am so used to writing in far less creative ways, I found myself struggling to even contemplate what to write.  I went ahead and did it anyway and actually surprised myself about how lovely it was to use words in this way.

Time seems to go by very quickly when you are immersed in these types of exercises.  I would love it to have gone for a few hours longer. I did feel a release of tension having tackled one of my current issues in one of the exercises.  Overall, I left the workshop feeling inspired to continue using these exercises frequently to help process and manage my challenges.

The writing I did in the ‘life story’ exercise gave me the opportunity to step out of my current life circumstances and instead almost take a bird’s eye view of my life so far.  That did bring up areas that I had not thought about for ages and it allowed me to put into perspective some of the things that are happening now.  That experience allowed me to recognise that I have gotten through many difficult situations in my life and anything I am experiencing currently will be resolved and overcome- just like past challenges have been.

I felt very positive after the workshop.  It is a powerful way of releasing built up stress.  It was also lovely to share the experience with the other participants.”

If you’re interested in my writing therapy exercises, my book Freedom Writing goes into detail about this;