My novel Where the Sun Rises Released today!

After three years of research, writing, editing and travel finally my novel, Where the Sun Rises is launched today! Where the Sun Rises follows the story of two Kurdish women who take up arms against ISIS in the Syrian town of Kobane. I’m very excited to finally release my novel.

Click on the link below to order the e-book, it is available in print as well. Contact me for further info about how to get a hold of it. 🙂 Thanks so much! 🙂 Kind regards, Suz (It is available in other countries on Amazon and is available in print as well, it will become more widely available as well :))

Here are some reviews:

‘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.

Green on Blue…Elliot Ackerman

Hey there,

Last night I finished the book Green on Blue by Elliot Ackerman. Wow, what an ending. Ackerman carefully and slowly builds the story and the reader’s connection to the characters. The main character, Aziz is a young Afghani boy who is forced to make a decision when his brother is maimed by a bomb that goes off in the market. His older brother is Ali, a sibling who cares and provides for his brother when they lose both of their parents in conflict. The style is reminiscent of Hemingway in its sparse, simple yet powerful imagery. I enjoy this style. Hemingway is my hero, and I recently finished A Farewell to Arms as well. These books also helped me as I have been writing my book about female soldiers in war.

Green on Blue was devastatingly powerful at the end. I feel like it built on the tension so well, there was this moment where the action began to escalate and culminated in an ending that was both tragic but also understandable for Aziz. Twice I was reduced to tears by Aziz’s relationship with an old man he bonds with and also with his caring, older brother, Ali. I can’t write too much without revealing things, but believe me the novel is worth reading. It was devastatingly profound at the end.

This is a novel that examines why people go to war. Ackerman fought in Afghanistan and shows a profound understanding of the complexity in the conflict in this country. I emailed Ackerman when I returned from New York to tell him how I loved his book and ask him a question. He answered my email and I was very touched that he made that effort.

Green on Blue is a profound work of art. I was blown away by the end of the novel, in its sad reality, but also the love that was present as well.

I must now say that I am reading a book that does not involve war, as my previous books I have read were: The Kite Runner, A Farewell to Arms, Green on Blue and Far from the Madding Crowd (which is a profound and beautifully written book). Now, I am seeking something light and comedic so I got a book for my birthday, Marian Keyes, Sushi For Beginners. It’s good to completely change it up and read something more lighthearted. I am going to read Dickens after this.

Check out Green on Blue, it was very powerful. 🙂 Thanks for reading. Have a great day.




Writing blurb/pitch for novels

Hey everyone,

As I am getting ready for the pitch conference in September I have been given the assignment of writing a pitch or blurb. It is such a good technique – if you go to books similar to yours, in genre or subject matter and find the back covers of these books or the blurbs. Have a look at how they have written these. It is such a good exercise because then you can see how to write your own blurb or pitch for your book. I have done that today.


Remember with either a blurb or pitch you need to have the reader asking questions, wondering what will happen, creating suspense and wanting to read to know what happens. This is the essence of story, isn’t it? Suspense.

Go, and do this exercise if you are thinking of writing a book or have written one. It has really helped me to summarise my book and write a blurb/pitch that makes the person listening feel something. The person needs to care about your story otherwise they will not be engaged. I am excited about this exercise. It has taught me a lot. When I read my blurb it makes me feel the tension in the novel and that is your test. Try it. I think it will be a great exercise for you! Happy reading or writing! 🙂


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