Sue was born Ying Yee Cheung in Nottingham in 1971. She was given her English name to make it easier for the other children to remember. She grew up in the very colourful environment of a Chinese restaurant, scribbling her doodles on the edges of menus. At seventeen the doodling paid off when she won a scholarship to the London College of Fashion, which led, in a roundabout way, to a job as an art director in advertising. Her dream, though, was to live by the sea and write and draw children's books. Which she now does.