Emotional connection to Surfleet Seas End

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Susan Knight – who writes as S J Knight – says her books have sold pretty well but adds: “I have not done it to make money. I guess, like a lot of writers, I write because I have to.

“The best reward to me is not about whether I make x amount from a book but for someone to come up and say, ‘You know that really touched my life. It made a difference.’

“To me, what’s most important is, what’s the overall message?

“When you put something in a story that engages people’s attention it makes it come alive and makes it real so it is about the emotional connection with the facts.”

Susan and her husband had an emotional connection with the house they found at Surfleet Seas End when looking for properties to renovate – their other passion.

Susan says: “All our married life we have bought the most awful dumps nobody else would touch with a barge pole and we have either done them up and let them out or sold them.

“My brother lives in Surfleet and we love it here. It’s such a contrast from Australia and when we come here and everything is wet we think it’s lovely.

“We found this fabulous place on the River Glen down the road from my brother and it’s sort of our retirement plan.”

The couple have another, more unusual passion – teaching ballroom dances to prospective wedding couples.