Visual artist and author Sue McPherson was born in Sydney to an Aboriginal mother from Wiradjuri country and a Torres Strait Islander father. She was a Ward of the State for a number of years before been adopted into the McPherson family, land owners from the Batlow area in southern New South Wales. After leaving school McPherson worked in various jobs before moving to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales where she worked with the Regional Aboriginal Land Council. Later she gained her Bachelor of Teaching from Charles Sturt University, and worked as a teacher at the Riverina Institute of TAFE.
McPherson’s inspiration to write came from her sons; this prompted her to take up a writing workshop advertised in the local paper in Coolum, Queensland. Subsequently, she began writing her first novel Grace Beside Me (2012), which she entered the first manuscript in the Black& Write! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writing Fellowship and was a joint winner in 2011. And, in 2013 it was shortlisted in the Young Adult category of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards; McPherson was the only first time novelist on the shortlist. Her novel also gained recognition by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and was listed on the White Raven’s list for 2013. (A list of books that are deemed to deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or, their exceptional and innovative artistic and literary style and design). McPherson continues to live on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane where she has been currently working on her next novel. (Brisbane Writers Festival; Magabala Books website; Queensland Government website; State Library of Queensland website; The Gallery Eumundi website)
'A warmly rendered story of life in a small town that interweaves the mundane with the profound and the spiritual. Told through the eyes of teenager, Fuzzy Mac, awkward episodes of teen rivalry and romance sit alongside the mystery of Nan’s visions and a ghostly encounter. Against a backdrop of quirky characters, including the holocaust survivor who went to school with Einstein and the little priest always rushing off to bury someone before the heat gets to them, Grace Beside Me is full of humour and timely wisdom.' (Source: Magabala Books)