Tricia Sullivan — the Guest of Honour
Tricia is currently living in Shropshire in the west of England, not far from the Welsh border, with her partner Steve, who is an accomplished unorthodox no-bullshit martial arts teacher, and their three children, who you probably have seen running around here. They’re Tyrone, Rhiannon, and Sean.
Originally, Tricia is from the US, however, and if you listen carefully you may still detect traces of that in her accent. She was raised in New Jersey and grew up on horse stories, Star Trek, D&D, and fantasy. In high school she went in for music and subsequently went to Bard College in New York State, where she studied at the pioneering Music Program Zero. She describes her relation to music as something “for which I have little talent but much love”.
She tried working in the business environment of New York City, but that didn’t work out for her on a personal level so she returned to college for a Master’s at Teachers College at Columbia University.
She taught in New York for a year during which time she was offered a contract for what became her first novel, Lethe. Around the time that she had finished the book, in 1995, she moved to the United Kingdom with her husband at the time. They broke up in 1997 and the only reason she stayed in the UK was because she was training martial arts with this guy called Steve Morris, and she was absolutely fascinated with what he had to teach. After some time they became a couple.
Tyrone, Rhiannon, and Sean entered her life between 2002 and 2006, which meant that she was busy breastfeeding and being a mother to toddlers and didn’t have as much time for reading and writing. Nevertheless, she managed to produce three novels during those years.
To date, Tricia has published ten novels, seven science fiction and three fantasy. They are:
• Lethe (1995)
• Someone to Watch over Me (1997)
• Dreaming in Smoke (1999)
• The Company of Glass (1999) — as Valery Leith
• The Riddled Night (2000) — as Valery Leith
• The Way of the Rose (2001) — as Valery Leith
• Maul (2003)
• Double Vision (2005)
• Sound Mind (2007)
• Lightborn (2010)
Dreaming in Smoke earned her the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and she has also been shortlisted/nominated for the BSFA Award, the James Tiptree, Jr Award, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the British Fantasy Society Award. She has high hopes for many more books now that the children don’t occupy all of her time, but she is currently enrolled with the Open University, studying mathematics and physics, which has proven quite a challenge as anyone who’s friends with her on Facebook has noticed.
Despite what her last name indicates, Tricia still has two eyes.
Text & photo: Johan Anglemark