About Susanna Newstead

This a page about Sue, who has always told tales…

I have always told tales.

As a child I wrote little stories rooted in history and my teachers pestered me for the next instalment. I have always loved history, especially the reign of King John 1199-1216  and so naturally anything I wrote was set in those years.

Belvoir’s Promise has been 40 years in the making.

I started it as a young student of speech therapy in my 20s, writing it by hand in a small orange notebook in pre-computer days. I put it away in a drawer where it sat breathing quietly for over forty years.

Life and the need to pay the mortgage got in the way and whilst other areas of my creative life flourished, (painting and embroidery), my writing dwindled to a few poems here and there.

I changed professional direction and drifted into dementia research in Oxford, a very exacting and sometimes sad job. As a distraction from its hardships, I began to read historical murder mysteries. I found I quite liked them. Might I write them myself?

Then I got very ill and had to take early retirement. What was I to do with my time? The little orange notebook was dug out and Belvoir’s Promise became a murder mystery set in Savernake Forest amid the Marlborough Downs, in Wiltshire, where I grew up. I spent a very long time researching and one book led to another and so, the Savernake Novels were born.

Now I live quietly in a small town in Northamptonshire with my husband and a Wire Fox Terrier called Delphi. Delphi and I make regular forays into the woods and have done a deal of research into the emerging town of Marlborough close by, a town which was beloved of King John and given its charter by him in 1204. Delphi does the groundwork….and I follow along, plotting dire murder!