Mandasue Heller

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Mandasue Heller

Mandasue Heller was born in Warrington, and spent many of her childhood years performing in am-dram productions. This love of the stage carried through to adulthood, and at 18 she began to tour working men’s clubs with her country & western band, Missouri Sunshine. She regularly appeared in such shows as Coronation Street, Brookside, Albion Market, Watching, and Boys From The Blackstuff.

After moving to Manchester in the early 1980s, she immersed herself in the underground music scene, fronting an original rock band, and session-singing for various blues, soul, and jazz bands. Forced by illness to temporarily quit singing in the 1990s, she turned her hand to writing, using the notorious Hulme Crescents, where she had spent her first ten years in Manchester, as the backdrop.

Her first written piece concerned a real-life incident, when a man had broken into her house in the early hours and attacked her as she lay sleeping with her ten-week-old son in her arms. The finished piece was too personal for anybody else to read, but she had enjoyed the process of writing, so decided to try her hand at fiction instead - and her first book, The Front, was snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton.

Mother to three grown children, and grandmother of three, Mandasue still lives in Manchester, and spends her time between books and family commitments locked away in the studio, writing and recording music albums with her producer/musician partner, Wingrove Ward.


Interviewed 21 January 2017

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

A trawl through the darker recesses of my twisted mind.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

Slate-grey sky, train tracks, metal footbridge, anguished man, anxious woman, newspaper blowing in the wind, 999 on the screen of a mobile phone . . . And, lastly, the blank bedroom wall that is facing me, upon which I can clearly see all of the above as I write about it.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Bacon, scrambled eggs, beans, curried tomatoes.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

My mum, my partner, my kids and grandkids (I’d be sneaking the youngest in).

Six things you can't live without ...

Family, laptop, phone, car, make-up, savoury food.

Five favourite words ...

Mum, Nana, love, gorgeous, bollocks.

Four places you'd run away to ...

A cabin in the woods, a deserted beach, an abandoned mansion, a tree house.

Three books you've bought recently ...

RoomHate, Fam, Me Before You.

Two things that make you rant ...

Bigotry, bullying.

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Chill out; life will get better.