Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - Suzanne de Montigny

Today I’m interviewing the lovely Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, the Kindle Pick of the week and one of the top sellers at Muse It Up Publishing.

Suzanne, tell us about your story. 

The quickest way to find out what it’s about is to watch the book trailer below or click on this link:

I heard that you were a teacher for over 20 years. How did you ever make the switch from teacher to writer?

It was quite honestly a natural progression. I taught elementary music. One day, after giving a test, we had five minutes to spare. I didn’t want to start anything new so I decided to tell them a story about a creature that devoured humans and animals in a tiny village in BC. They loved it. After that, I had to tell a story at the end of every class, each day. Then kids I didn’t teach began asking me for stories on the playground. Of course, I obliged. 

My husband and I decided I should take a few years off to take care of my young family. It was during this time I began writing about my childhood fascination – unicorns.

What inspired you to write your first novel and did you always know your genre would be YA/fantasy?

I wrote my first novella when I was in grade six. It was a class assignment. It was supposed to be a short story but I got carried away. It was full of mistakes, but when you got to the end, you felt quite sad for the main characters. Somehow I knew this was special and carried it around to every place I ever lived. And that’s how it resurfaced again. As far as writing fantasy goes, the kids in my classes decided that for me.

Does your genre reflect what you like to read yourself? 

Absolutely! I teach values in my novels. I want kids to grow from reading my stories. I get tired of reading kid stories where they’re abused, the mother’s an alcoholic, etc. I want kids to get lost in my stories and yet feel safe too.

Has any part of yourself crept into the heroines of any of your novels? 

Oh, yes! In a novel I’m working on now, A Town Bewitched, the heroine is based on me at that age. The troubles she goes through are the troubles I went through, changed of course and exaggerated.

What is the most desirable characteristic you've bestowed on the hero of your latest novel? 

Courage. Always courage. They overcome fear to do what’s right. And they’re always very loyal.

Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way? 

Who knows. I write by the seat of my pants. Whatever needs to come out, comes out. I have so many ideas for stories kicking about and all screaming to be told. And yes, I do have grown-up stories too. Who knows what the future will bring.

I know you give half of your proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society. How did that come about?

I’ve always had bad eyesight. I was the little girl with the patch over one eye. But that didn’t hinder me. When I hit my forties, I developed cataracts and had them removed. But a year ago, a mysterious ailment claimed part of my vision in my right eye. My vision deteriorated to the point where I could only read the newspaper with a magnifying glass. I was immediately sent to every specialist imaginable and given excellent care and I’m pleased to report that a year later I can read the paper again. My vision’s not completely restored, but hey, I can read again.

At the height of this fright, I made the decision to give partial proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to underdeveloped nations bringing thousands of pairs of glasses and performing surgery for free. I was glad I did when I saw the video of a young lady who had been legally blind all her life for want of a pair of glasses. TWECS gave that to her. You can watch her seeing for the first time on this link.

Where can we buy a copy of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy?

You can buy it at Muse It Up Publishing. 
Or at Amazon.
Or at Kobo.


ManicScribbler said...

I've loved talking to you, Suzanne. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I wish you the very best of luck with 'The Shadow of the Unicorn', it sounds great. :)

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

Thanks! This was very enjoyable.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Lovely book and deserving of its success.

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

Thanks, Rosemary, as is yours.

Suzanne de Montigny said...

Hi Rosemary. Do you have my book yet? If not, I've chosen you to be the winner of my free e- opy.

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