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About Susan Tarr
I've been writing for over twenty-five years, drawing on my international travels, working within the NZ tourism industry, and in various psychiatric hospitals within New Zealand.
Kenya, East Africa, is where I began my family, adding more color to my palette.
Although I write mainly from personal experience, I borrow anecdotal information from others' life stories, which is how my characters take on lives of their own.
Playing with these diverse personalities often has my characters lead me to places I couldn't begin to imagine. That's when I relax and let them develop as they will.
I'm passionate about my writing, usually having three books on the go at any time.
New Zealand Creative Arts Awards 2012
2016 1st prize Literary Fiction award.
Titles By Susan Tarr
My parents have abandoned me into boarding kennels in the Far North of New Zealand, while they travel the world. I'm not at all happy about that. However, I shall do my best to maintain my dignity while getting on with the job.
Among these unruly and noisy mutts, I intend to remain aloof and guarded. And as for that black cat with the skinny tail and missing eye, there's no way she's getting anywhere near me. At all!
And I'll keep a diary so when my parents return they can read how absolutely miserable I have been all these months.
Yes, I shall keep a diary...
The world has tormented seven-year-old Francesca ever since she can remember from her lecherous uncle, inadequate father, and even her promiscuous mother who abandoned her to them.
By standing up to her bullies, she ends up in a mental health facility, where she spends most of her young life being rehabilitated while closely observing others. Her burning dream is to find her mother once she is released, but when they finally reunite Francesca discovers the glamorous woman she remembered is now a drug-dealing junkie.
Alone again, homeless and penniless, she’s working hard to put order in her life and adapt to the modern world, until she's thrown in the path of her childhood abusers once again.
This time she will not be a victim...
Praise for FRANCESCA:
★★★★★ ‘Susan Tarr is brave. She writes with a double-edged sword and a high-powered spotlight. She boldly goes where few authors dare. If I was a child horribly betrayed and abandoned by those who are supposed to love and protect me, I'd want Susan Tarr to come looking for me - she'd know where to find me.’ Ngaire Riddell
★★★★★ ‘Wow! I just finished Francesca. Heart in my throat, repeatedly. So emotive! You did a brilliant job, Susan Tarr.
And I must add that I LOVE your opening line: Stepping into insanity is easy. Stepping out, not so much.
Makes me sad to think anyone “lives” like this, but I know there’s more fact than fiction here.
Towards the end, “It’s a hard cycle to break, leaving your jailer.” Autobiographical, right?
Again, you did a GREAT job with this book. Thanks for allowing me the preview.
I hope you have great success with this gut-wrenching story. Every little girl needs a voice. I hope this book will open the eyes of teachers, neighbours, etc., to the silent cries of little ones.’ Linda Wilson
★★★★★ ‘FRANCESCA—a psychologically thrilling read from start to finish. Francesca rises from the ashes of her brutal childhood and ensuing incarceration like a maleficent Phoenix.’ Sue Gower
In her frantic drive for success Miranda hires a local character to get cracking on the property. Hamilton, her lascivious financial advisor, seizes the opportunity to undermine her. But now with paying guests expected, she must make some serious decisions. So the guests trickle in - hardly the sophisticates Miranda has envisaged.
At the brink of despair, she experiences deepening depression and manic behavior. She contrives an outlandish economic solution to the problem. What follow is intrigue and terror, and an emotional and tender unfolding of events in the face of financial ruin.
"Witty and wicked, scandalous and scary, this is a story to make you laugh and cry."
My name is Malcolm. I used to think it was MmmMalcolm. I used to stutter back then, back when Mummy died and everything changed. Now I don’t stutter.
This is my story.
I always wanted regular boys’ shoes. Brown. Mine were always black boots, and one boot was made especially for my gimpy leg. Now I have regular men's shoes. Brown. I have learned to talk again and to write. I used to. When I was at school. When I was ‘bright’. I remember that as clear as the day I fell into the goldfish pond. I was showing Julie the goldfish. One day something bad happened. Then it went dark. And I was back in the mental hospital up the hill from the little railway station where my father and Bella left me.
I don’t know why I ended up back there. I thought I would live forever in the little house with my new friends. Funny things happened there, at the mental hospital, like when they buried all those cats, or like when they shaved everyone’s heads. Some things were funny for a while, and then they weren’t.
I learned to be quiet and watch everyone and everything. I learned to keep my memories safe. If I lost them, would I become like the others? I kept my memories as safe as the little colored pills in my jacket lining.
I needed my memories of Mummy and Julie to give me hope…
This is my story.
Little does Ruby know, but her ditsy publisher is a charlatan who has no more idea about publishing than Ruby does. Pretty soon Ruby is broke. She has no IT experience so depends heavily on her nerdy flatmate, Hunter, whenever her computer fails her. He has enough of his own issues to deal with—he is studying for his final law exams. She bribes him with a dog she found on the side of the road, then Panforte, which chips his tooth, and a couple of Axolotls until he finally gives in and helps her. But Ruby’s life is filled with disaster…
What follows is excitement, disappointment, heartache, love and loss as we follow Ruby’s hilarious struggles to maintain her trust and focus in the ever-shifting publishing industry and in people in general.
Kate finds her employer both fascinating and terrifying. Bethany’s acerbic wit and raucous quick reactions have Kate in a continual spin. This is definitely not what she signed up for. She should resign.
But Bethany’s diagnosis changes everything.
How will a woman like Bethany handle a life-threatening illness and being faced with her own mortality?
Will Kate remain by her side and test her own capacity for compassion, patience and strength, when it would be so much easier to walk away?
An inspiring medical journey written with quirky humour, because no one wants to read something that is only sad. Life, with all of its highs and lows, still has humour.