About

Q: What's the best and worst thing about being an author?

A: The best is that I'm doing the job that I dreamed of as a kid, the one relatives told me to forget about - now I'm living the dream! The worst is not having a boss to keep me on my toes. I have to rely on me and even my cat doesn't rely on me. He spends most of his time sitting by his empty bowl, pointing at his mouth.

Q: What's going on in the pictures above?

A:  1) Me aged 2 pretending to drive Dad's Ford Escort with my eyes shut  2) Me aged 7 with a Chinese bao (steamed bun) stuffed in my mouth while wearing a fetching pair of Rupert the Bear trousers  3) Fast forward to me with my son wearing a pair of Rupert the Bear trousers  4) The only sensible photo of me I could find, which has a boat in it for no reason

Q: Where are you from?

A: Some may be fooled into thinking it's Downton Abbey, due to my accent being so perfectly English, but I'm afraid not. My parents emigrated from Hong Kong in the 1960s and I was born in Nottingham (I've never been to Hong Kong, although I can tell you it translates as 'Fragrant Harbour'). My name was originally Ying Yee Cheung, but when I started school it got changed to Sue Cheung so that people could remember it better.

Q: When did you decide to become a writer/illustrator?

A: I've been able to draw ever since I could pick up a crayon without eating it and grew up reading and copying pictures out of comics from the local newsagents. Over the years, I'd collected piles of ideas but decided to send them off to publishers after guests started tripping over them when they came round to the house. It took 3 years of rejections before my first picture book Bob & Rob was published in 2013. I celebrated with a special edition Pot Noodle.

Q: If you weren't an author or artist, what would you like to be?

A: As a teenager I wanted to be a fashion designer and at the age of 17, I won a scholarship to The London College of Fashion through a competition in Mizz girl's magazine. I also fancied window dressing for Selfridges, or failing that, become a backing singer for Duran Duran, who were a 1980s boy band so gorgeous I could have died (in the style of a melodramatic pre-pubescent). Now I want to work for NASA, but they'll never accept me as an astronaut 'cause my maths, physics and inability to not randomly press buttons on control panels skills are poor.

Q: What do you do when you're not working on your books?

A: Forget to feed my cat, yoga (I can do headstands on demand), play guitar (at the level below 'basic'), travel to interesting places (favourites are Tokyo, Florence and Iceland - not the supermarket), and scuba dive (I've done over 100, with sharks and everything!). I also like running, dancing, baking, gardening, painting and reading (the order is what I do fastest to slowest).

Q: What are some things people don't know about you?

A: I'd love to do Kung Fu, but am scared it might hurt. I can't read or write Chinese and can only speak a bit. I've seen ghosts. I'm a certified reiki practitioner and meditation guide. I'm a massively nerdy Professor Brian Cox fan. I went to No. 10 Downing Street and shook paws with Larry, the Chief Mouse Catcher.

Q: You're an EmpathyLab-trained author. What does that mean? 

A: EmpathyLab is an organisation that offers innovative ways to build empathy. I work with a team of authors who encourage children to #ReadForEmpathy, so we can help them understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. This way, we can be kinder to each other and build a better future for everyone worldwide.

Q: What are you up to now? 

A: I try to keep everyone up-to-date by posting on my blog here. Or even better, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for daily snippets - just visit the homepage and click on the icons.

REPRESENTED BY THE CATCHPOLE AGENCY