WOW Wednesday! Wowing Sue Hayman!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABorn and raised in Chatham, Kent, Sue then went to university in London where she completed a degree in Leisure Management, including a gap year spent working in the Canadian Rockies. After working in London for a few years, she went backpacking in New Zealand and Australia. It was during her time working in Melbourne she met her husband Barrie and they returned to the UK together. After a few years living in Kent, they eventually moved and settled in Devon where they have lived for over10 years. Sue and Barrie don’t have children together, choosing animals instead. They currently have 2 dogs, Drake and Meggie, and their famous duck, Star.

The writing of “Star: The Story of One Duck’s Rise to Fame” was a real surprise to Sue, who up until that point, had never thought of becoming an author. However, the incredible events taking place with Barrie and Star gave plenty of content where a story was just asking to be told.

Synopsis/Book Blurb:

This true story follows the life of an Indian Runner duck called Star, who decided from the beginning that he preferred humans to ducks.

Although happily married to someone half his age, Barrie was struggling to enjoy life. He was now officially retired and was sinking into a depression, missing his adventures as an actor and scuba instructor, along with suffering from poor health. An immediate and unusual bond of kindred spirits developed when Star came into his life. Recognising Star was different, the two of them embarked on an incredible journey. They became inseparable and went everywhere together, becoming celebrities with an international following. Wanting to make the best use of the celebrity status, Barrie and Star dedicated themselves to the Children’s Hospice South West. Not only did they go and visit the poorly children, they also went out busking on the street, raising thousands of pounds for the charity. We see how they honed their double act, entertaining and warming the hearts of all those who met them.

Told by Star’s mum, this is a funny and heart-warming tale of one man and his duck, but with the darker side of every day life threatening to stop them both in their tracks.

book cover Final, 070414Pre-Reader Reviews:

Star One Ducks Rise to Fame is an adorable story about a special “Indian Runner” duck named Star whose personality matches its name.

I loved learning about Star and all the other precious animals and how much love went into raising them. What a sweet story. I fell in love with the Hayman family. No matter how quirky they could appear they evoked everything good.

Who would think a duck would catch so much attention but this was not just any duck. This was Star Hayman, or more accurately a “Hollywood duck” and what a duck he is. It must have been so uplifting for people to get to see something positive in the news for a change. This upbeat story is one with heart and compassion.

Reading about all the exciting things that took place was so amusing and entertaining. Will have to go on Facebook and YouTube (starduckonline) and have a look for myself. Of course, if not for Barrie and the affection that Star had for him none of this would be possible. Barrie being a natural comedian had all audiences in stitches. Even his wife Sue found him surprisingly funny, though at times she feared what would come out of his mouth next.

This story is about people and humanity. There is more to this duck than meets the eye and I feel fortunate to have had the pleasure of being introduced to this beautiful animal and these extremely giving people. More than anything, this real-life tale has heart and soul. This story also brings to light the importance of Children’s Hospice and charitable acts in general.

In many ways this is a story of survival. Beautifully told and filled with grace.

Do you believe in destiny? I believe I do.

Brenda Perlin

Author of Brooklyn & Bo Chronicles


When I was asked to beta read this book, I honestly didn’t know what to expect: a book on how to bring up a duck; a biography of the owners; a children’s book. What I found was a beautifully written and poignant tale of how lives can be changed with the help of an animal; of the love they give to so many.

The prejudice shown to something so honest and generous, at times, was very shocking.

In summary, this book on the first two years of Star’s life was an “unputdownable” one; an excellently written story, witty, funny, serious, sad – a superb read and one I’d highly and totally recommend.

Fiona Melrose, Beta Reader


I was one of Star’s Facebook fans. When I saw there had been a book written about this wondrous duck, I jumped at the chance of reading the whole story. I was not disappointed. It’s a wonderful story which includes happy times but also challenges which the family met with bravery. A fabulous read which I hope many readers will enjoy!

Diane Kitsy, Beta Reader

Where to find Sue:

Twitter @SueHayman3

Star Hayman on Facebook

Sue Hayman on Facebook


Amazon US

Amazon UK

About jenniferloiske

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. As a huge fan of dark novels Jennifer's bookshelf is full of books from L.J. Smith, Alyson Noel, Stephanie Meyer, Chloe Neill, Michelle Rowen, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate. She’s also a huge fan of music from Evanescence, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, OneRepublic and Disturbed. But her hunger for music is endless and depend on what mood she’s in or what kind of book she’s working on. She can be pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music.
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