Rescue Me by Sue Bordley
Today I am talking to the talented Sue Bordley. Sue is a breath of fresh air, full of wit and charm, and her Instagram posts leave me in stitches! She has several novels but I chose to dive into Rescue Me first (pun intended) because it was highly recommended by several of my friends. And rightfully so!
Before we get into the interview, let’s read the synopsis for Rescue Me:
Single mum Nikki’s one of life’s survivors - but when Rob Jones walks into her life, she realizes it’s time to stop treading water and start living. A heartwarming, realistic romance for any lovers of contemporary fiction who enjoy strong female characters.
J.C. - Welcome Sue. I can’t wait to talk about Rescue Me. Can we start the interview by having you introduce yourself to our readers?
S.B. - Thanks, Jess. I’m Sue Bordley, originally from Liverpool but now living on the Wirral, UK. I write heartwarming, true-to-life contemporary fiction with a dash of humour.
J.C. - Rescue Me is just one of your many novels and I absolutely fell in love with the story. What made you come up with the idea?
S.B. - Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Rescue Me was the second book I wrote and, like the first (more on that later), it was written for a reason rather than because I just came up with a story.
I was going through a difficult time in my life. Severe depression caused me to leave to the teaching job I loved, and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to feel useful again. I tried swimming to regain some confidence, and found I really enjoyed it. One day, I noticed the lifeguard tapping his feet to the song on the radio – which was Rescue Me by Fontella Bass. After laughing at the irony, a story formed in my mind. As soon as I got home from the pool I started writing, and my novel Rescue Me was born. The main character’s journey back to happiness after tragedy echoed my own road back to wellness. I’m a firm believer in delivering a message through my strong female characters. I got fed up of so-called chick-lit being all shopping, prosecco and ditsy women that left me feeling let down. I dedicated Rescue Me to ‘the real life Lauras and Jeanettes’ (the main character’s best friend and boss) because it was very much about the power of women supporting each other.
J.C. - The main character Nikki displays such strength after tragedy strikes but somewhere along the way, she forgets to take care of herself. How important is self-care to you?
S.B. - Self care is extremely important to me. It took a long time for me to return to feeling well after my breakdown, so I’m determined to make sure I never let myself return to that place again. Life is busy, but I make time for myself whenever I can – and I never let work take over my life. I’m still a keen swimmer, because the feeling of being in the water allows me to forget all my problems and feel free.
J.C. - Nikki’s best friend is Laura. Because of her, Nikki is pushed out of her comfort zone and into the beginnings of a new chapter of her life. Speaking of chapters, you have another book titled Sort Your Life Out, Laura Bishoprick. This book follows Laura but I understand that it is not a sequel to Rescue Me. What can you tell us about it?
S.B. - Haha, Laura’s book is what I refer to as ‘a spin-up', cross between a follow up and a spin off. After reading Rescue Me, people asked for a sequel, but I felt Nikki’s story had come to an end: if I wrote another book about her, I’d have had to have given her some problems, which I didn’t really want to do because I felt she’d had her share of bad times. However, I felt Laura was an interesting enough character to be given her own book, so Sort Your Life Out, Laura Bishoprick picks up the action from about 18 months after the end of Rescue Me. Nikki features in SYLO,LB as a side character, so as well as Laura’s story, you get to find out how she and Rob are getting on too!
J.C. - What character is your favorite and what character do you most identify with?
S.B. - There’s a little bit of me in all of my characters, but I suppose I’d have to say Laura – but unlike her, I’ve never been sacked from a job in my life! She does get into a few bizarre situations though, and more than one of the things that happen in her story are based on events that have actually happened to me!
J.C. - Nikki’s favorite sandwich is a ham and cheese. What is yours?
S.B. - I too love a ham and cheese sandwich, but for a real guilty pleasure, you can’t beat a crisp butty! For US readers, that’s chips in a bun. Not very healthy, but so yummy!
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
S.B. - I would have to say my long-suffering husband, who has been a constant source of moral and IT support on my writing journey. I couldn’t have done any of it without him.
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…
S.B. - Still be writing, knowing I’m enjoying it and so are my readers... but yes, millions in the bank and all my books adapted into films would be good too!
J.C. - What made you decide to also write under a pen name? And why not take a moment to introduce us to her and talk about those books.
S.B. - I also write under the name Jess Molyneux, in fact my first Jess book, X Y, Z, was how I got started. As a teacher, I was concerned about the messages teenage girls were bring given by popular culture, particularly a trilogy of books containing sex scenes that I knew girls were reading because they had questions about relationships. Something had to be done, so I wrote a book specifically for older teenagers that contained bedroom scenes to answer their questions, but with a greater emphasis on respect, contraception, equality and consent. X Y, Z caused some controversy when it was released, but it’s been used by schools in sex education lessons and many teenagers have told me it’s helped them, so I know I did the right thing.
I’ve since written a follow-up to X Y, Z which shows what happens to main character Zoe when she goes to university in London. It’s called SE6 and, while it contains fewer sex scenes because she feels more secure in that department, it deals with some of the other pressures young adults face.
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
S.B. - The best place to find me is @suebordleywriter on Instagram. I love hearing from readers, so do get in touch if you’ve read one of my books! My books (both as Sue Bordley and Jess Molyneux) are available from Amazon. Thanks so much for the interview, Jess. It’s been great talking to you.