A reason why I wrote Where the Sun Rises…

My novel Where the Sun Rises is fictional, but I wrote it to tell the stories of the real women who participated in these battles in Syria. My characters are fictional but their stories reflect real women who I discovered through research. The details of the characters I created however. In my mind and heart the whole way through writing this novel, sometimes with tears, was to tell the stories of these unrecognised women who gave their lives for their families, friends, people and land. Anyway, this is why this quote particularly resonates with me. Have a great day. 🙂

No. 3 on the Red List, Coverfly…

Hey guys,

I was excited to see that my book had reached number 3 on Action Manuscript of the month and is Number 4 – Action Manuscript of the year.

This is on coverfly which is a database for screenwriters to host their screenplays or manuscripts.

“Our goal is to become the most efficient way for writers to be discovered by the entertainment industry, and the most trusted guide for emerging writers to achieve their goals…In addition to hosting your projects for free, Coverfly uses your project’s reviews from submissions to top-tier festivals, competitions, fellowships and coverage services to provide a measure of our confidence that an Industry professional would be interested in your screenplay.”

So, it is nice to have this opportunity to have my book up on this site. 🙂 My place has been earned by being the semi-finalist for the Cinematic Book Contest with Screencraft that I was informed of a few weeks ago.

Anyway, thanks for reading! If you’re curious about my book Where the Sun Rises it is available everywhere online in print and ebook. I will include an amazon link, but you can get it in print on Book Depository all around the world.

Have a great day! Kind regards, Suz

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.

Sunshine Coast Council & Arts Qld funding for novel…

I am very excited to announce that I have gained funding support from the Regional Arts Development Fund from the Sunshine Coast Council and Arts Queensland for further development of my novel before it will be published in October. 🙂

Very exciting! Thank you so much for providing this support. Thank you! 😀

Editing of my novel…

Hey guys,

Today I started another whole edit of my novel. Since I made some plot changes a few months ago, I gave myself a little break from writing/editing so I could come back to the manuscript with a fresh perspective. 🙂

It has been an excellent idea. I have actually printed my manuscript as a book and I am editing in this way, whilst sitting in the sun in wherever I choose for that day. 🙂

I am enjoying the process. It is a good idea to give yourself a break from the writing process, write something else so you can come back with fresh eyes. 🙂

I started my second novel a few months ago. This made me feel very good as now I can explore a new narrative. So try that as well it keeps the creative juices flowing and keeps us exercising our writing muscles. 🙂

Have a fab day! Go well. 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

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;