Humour in Writing – Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin

Whilst I don’t think I could write a rom com, I have noticed that humour finds its way into my writing without me realising it. It happens when the characters really take over and you find them saying things you hadn’t planned. It  comes in different forms, depending on the character.



In my novel, “Closing In,” I used humour to end a love scene and a chapter. It wasn’t planned; it just seemed to appear on the page. I’ve had several people comment on it and how it made them chuckle. Overtones of a ‘Carry On’ film, I feel.

 Excerpt from “Closing In”

 The come-down was slower; gentle waves lapping over her body, her breathing levelled, her heart rate dropped and the dizziness subsided. Donovan was spent, exhausted, and lying half on her and half on the chaise. He kissed her cheek and brushed a strand of hair from her face.

‘Much as I love this chaise, it wasn’t built for two,’ he said.

‘Where do you suggest instead?’ asked Ellen making sure the kiss she gave left him in no doubt what she had in mind.

‘It’s king sized,’ he said between kisses.

‘I know that.’ She grinned. ‘Now, show me what size your bed is.’

Also from “Closing In” : This is probably closer to sarcasm than humour, but it suits the character of Carla – a bit caustic.


The clunk of the receiver being slammed back into its cradle made Ellen jump. She heard Carla’s chair wheels squeak as they rolled over the carpet and before Ellen had time to react, Carla was yanking open the door.

She looked startled to see Ellen there but was quick to regain her composure.

‘Is there something I can help you with, Ellen?’ Her voice was the epitome of politeness but her eyes told a different story.

Ellen gulped. ‘Do you know what time Donovan will be back?’

Carla appraised her for a moment. ‘No, I don’t. These networking meetings can run on for some time. Is there something urgent that I can help with?’

‘No, it’s fine.’

‘Good. Now, if you don’t mind I’ve got work to do and I’d rather you didn’t lurk outside my office door like some sort of spectre. I know it’s Halloween, but still.’


“Closing In” is available at   Amazon UK and


“United States of Love” – Again, this just suited my character. It’s exactly how he spoke and the sort of expression he would use.


‘Let’s sit down.’ He gestured towards the seats. ‘That’s better. Look, I was just out for a drink. I forgot you said you’d be here, but when I saw you with your client, I was, well, hurt.’


‘Yeah, like shocked. Jealous, I suppose.’


‘Blimey, Anna, it’s like having a conversation with an echo.’ Mark let out a sigh. ‘You know how I feel about you, I told you the other night. You said you were going to think about things. Since then you’ve avoided me like a dose of the clap.’

United_States_of_Love  High Res

United States of Love is available at Amazon UK and

Closing In – Sue Fortin

Today I welcome guest author, Sue Fortin, to Anneli’s Place.  Sue will tell us a bit about her new novel, “Closing In.”

The Villages Behind the Story

Having lived in West Sussex for most of my life, I really enjoy incorporating the local area into my novels.  With “Closing In” which is to be released on 15 May, I used the backdrop of two neighbouring villages, Felpham and Middleton-on-Sea.   I thought I would share some pictures of the setting.



The beginnings of a storm at Felpham October 2013. My book is set in the autumn, and I thought this picture reflected the setting perfectly.


A lovely sunset of the beach at Middleton-on-Sea. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, Middleton, as it was then referred to, has in the past provided great opportunities for smuggling. With its gently sloping beach and the Elmer sluice, it was a favourite spot for bringing contraband ashore. In 1745 it was reported that five tonnes of tea was brought onto the beach and during this incident 36 smugglers were arrested.

However, Middleton was not destined to remain. It is believed that up to two-thirds of the village was reclaimed by the sea, with the medieval church succumbing to a high tide in 1838.


Brightly painted beach huts are found along Felpham sea front. There has long been a debate as to the correct pronunciation of Felpham, whether the ‘ph’ should be a hard sound (Felf-fm) or whether it should be softer like ‘Felp-am’ with an almost silent ‘h’.


Poet William Blake lived in Felpham for three years whilst writing his poem Milton. He also shared his thoughts on the village itself …

Away to sweet Felpham for heaven is there:
The Ladder of Angels descends through the air
On the turrett its spiral does softly descend
Through the village it winds, at my cot it does end.

Blake had been invited to Felpham by local resident William Hayley, also a noted writer. Hayley was so famous in his day that he was offered the position of poet laureate 1790, but turned it down.


Helen has had to leave everything she’s ever known behind; her home, her family, even her own name.

Now, returning to the UK as Ellen Newman, she moves to a small coastal village, working as a nanny for Donovan, a criminal psychologist. Attractive, caring and protective, this single father and his sweet daughter are a world away from Ellen’s brutal past. She thinks she’s escaped. She thinks she’s safe.

But Ellen can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong.

Strange incidents begin to plague her new family, and their house of calm is about to become one of suspicion and fear. Who can be trusted? Who is the target? Who is closing in?

About the Author

Sue profile pic 1

Sue Fortin was born in Potters Bar, Herts, but had a rather nomadic childhood, moving often with her family before finally settling in West Sussex, where she now lives on the south coast. Before taking to writing seriously, Sue had various secretarial jobs, eventually settling as a PA at a high street bank for 13 years.Having said goodbye to the world of banking to look after her family, Sue published her debut novel ‘United State of Love’ in 2012 and is now looking forward to publication of her second book ‘Closing In.’

You can find out more about Sue Fortin and her second novel, “Closing In” by clicking on the link to her blog:






Love Quotes

For today’s Valentine’s Day countdown, author Sue Fortin  has found some worthwhile quotes to describe what love means.

Sue Fortin

What does love mean?

When I published my book last year, my Romaniac pals and I discussed this on our blog.  We came up with some great suggestions and these are a few of my favourites.

Friendship is the foundation of love. (Sue Fortin)

Lighting candles even though it’s only soup for tea. (Celia J Anderson)

Making me laugh until I cry. (Vanessa Savage)

Love is a friendship set on fire. (unknown)

Sue Fortin, writer of romance with a touch of danger. Blogs at and with The Romaniacs, member of the RNA. Published by Harper Collins’ imprint, Harper Impulse.

United_States_of_Love  High Res

Christmas Interview – Sue Fortin

My friend Sue Fortin lives in the U.K. and is the author of “United States of Love.” I’ve asked Sue to share with us her traditions and ideas about the Christmas season. Welcome, Sue!

Sue Fortin

1. Have you ever spent Christmas alone? 

No, not alone, but I’ve worked on Christmas Day before now.  When I was a teenager my weekend job was in a care home for the elderly, so when Christmas fell on a Saturday, I still had to go in. It was nice though and only for the morning – I was still home for Christmas dinner.

 2. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have? 

I have, unfortunately. It was bacon sandwiches. I was 8 months pregnant and very unwell, and my husband had just come out of hospital after a bout of pneumonia. It was all we could do to get out of bed to open a couple of presents with our 18-month-old son and cook a few rounds of sandwiches. In the end my mum abandoned her Christmas Day and drove 120 miles to come to the rescue.  We actually had our traditional Christmas dinner in the new year.

3. What are your thoughts on gift giving?

I like giving presents and not at all fussed about receiving any. Having said that, it is lovely when one of my children gives me a present that I know they’ve gone to the trouble of buying themselves. I find that very touching.

4. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

I never had Christmas stockings as a child and so it never occurred to me to do them for my children. We have what I call ‘tree presents’. These are given out after Christmas dinner and are the smaller gifts. I also save one present each for my children at the end of Christmas Day. It’s usually a DVD or a book, something they can relax with in the evening once all the excitement is over.

Christmas tree

 5. What do you do with gifts you don’t like?

Save them for school raffle prizes or donate them to a charity shop.

 6. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

I love ‘Silent Night’. It always reminds me of being a child and singing it at nursery school. It must have been the first Christmas carol I knew.

 7. What do you like best about Christmas?

Getting together with all the family. I don’t live near any of my family so it’s really nice when we get the chance to meet up.

United_States_of_Love__High_ResThe Kindle Edition of United States of Love is available at

Living The Good Life

Today I’m pleased to introduce my guest, Sue Fortin. She lives in the UK and is author and contributor today at Anneli’s Place. Sue and I both apologize for the poor quality of the photos, but they were taken a long time ago and thus fit with the story rather well.

Living the Good Life

UK television viewers of the 70s will, no doubt, remember the BBC sitcom ‘The Good Life’. A quick summary for those who are unfamiliar with this sitcom: Tom and Barbara Good give up their middle-class trappings and adopt a sustainable, simple, and self-sufficient lifestyle without moving from their suburban home. They grow their own vegetables and fruit, and their garden becomes home to chickens, pigs, and a goat called Geraldine, much to the horror of their conservative neighbours, the Leadbetters.

My dad always worked in London. Wherever we lived he always commuted in. As fans of ‘The Good Life’ it seems my parents thought they would give it a go themselves and in the late 1970s moved us to a tiny and remote Fenland village in Cambridgeshire where our neighbours were either farmers or HGV drivers.

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Three acres of the land that came with the bungalow we lived in was given over to growing barley. There was a paddock for my pony, and we rented out stables and use of the paddock to other horse owners.

One of the outbuildings became a free-range chicken house for approximately 150 chickens. My sister and I would go down to the barn in the mornings and rummage amongst the straw and roosting boxes to collect the day’s eggs.  My mum would then box them and put them on a table in the conservatory where she sold them.

We had a huge vegetable garden and mini orchard. Strawberries, gooseberries, plums, apples, pears, and the like were all harvested, boxed, and sold. as was the jam my mum made from the produce.

Breadmaking was also a high on the ‘Good Life’ list. I remember we had to be careful when opening the airing cupboard as there would be tins and tins of dough ‘rising’ under a damp tea towel. Again, the bread was sold from our conservatory.

In those days, I really don’t think there were any particular food hygiene regulations that you had to comply with. Certainly, nobody in the village seemed to mind, probably due to the fact that there was only one shop which sold the very basics, closed at lunch-times, had half-day opening on Wednesdays and never opened on a Sunday. Grabbing a loaf of bread or some eggs from ‘the new people in the bungalow’ was convenience shopping 1970s style.


I look back on those days with fond memories. I wouldn’t say it was a bohemian childhood but living in The Fens afforded me a lot of freedom which I never experienced anywhere else we lived. As to what happened to my ‘Good Life’ parents, well, after a couple of years they sold up and moved to West Sussex where my mum then had a village shop and my dad continued to commute into London daily. I wonder if they had stopped watching ‘The Good Life’ and, at that point, were watching ‘Open All Hours’?

Sue profile pic 1

Sue Fortin was born in Potters Bar, Herts, but had a rather nomadic childhood, moving often with her family before finally settling in West Sussex, where she now lives on the south coast.

Before taking to writing seriously, Sue had various secretarial jobs, eventually settling as a PA at a high street bank for 13 years.

Having said goodbye to the world of banking to look after her family, Sue published her debut novel ‘United State of Love’ in 2012 and is currently working on her second book ‘Closing In’. Sue is a feature writer with the Lifestyle e-magazine Love A Happy Ending


Links for United State of Love