Q&A: Sue Duffy
An Interview with Sue Duffy, Author of the suspense novel Fatal Loyalty.
1. How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
Since my ninth-grade English teacher told me I did. Only
she said “writer.” Fine line between the two. So I became
an advertising copywriter, then a newspaper writer, then a
magazine writer. And then I discovered I liked to make
things up─not a respectable trait for a journalist. So I
shifted into respectable fiction and conjured my first
novel, Mortal Wounds, in 1998.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
In Fatal Loyalty, the daughter of Florida’s war-on-drugs
attorney general leaves that dangerous world for a quiet,
safe bungalow in Miami’s Coconut Grove, only to discover
she’s in the cross-hairs of her father’s powerful enemies.
Her world grows stranger by the day, and so do the people
she encounters during her plight. It’s a tale of hidden
identities, betrayal, redemption, romance, and more than
a few surprise twists.
3. When readers get done with your book, what do you want them to come
A clearer understanding of at least one thing: You can’t outrun the barbed tentacles of this
world. But you can survive them and thrive amongst them if your hope and heart are anchored
to the One who has overcome the world─Jesus Christ. It’s really simple. It’s really true. And
really hard sometimes to make people understand that. So I wrote it into a story that, I hope,
makes it really clear.
4. Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot,
historical monument, overseas, etc?
I want to stand in the middle of Red Square in Moscow and try to understand the differences in
our cultures. Then I want to trace the fictional life of Doctor Zhivago with the muse of Boris
Pasternak at my side, explaining how he crafted that gripping story. I also wouldn’t mind
climbing to the grassy peak (not knoll) where Julie Andrews opened Sound of Music, with that
score playing in my ear. I’m such a sap.
5. Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
Don’t just aspire. Write, write, then write some more. Pay attention to everything around you.
Observe people. My children are always telling me to stop staring. But I’ve drawn some pretty
good characters from what I’ve seen other people do and heard them say. Of course, pray for
God to give you a story and characters to inhabit it. A message would be nice, too. Many times
I’ve reached the end of a long novel only to wonder what I gained from reading it.