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Genre – Middle Grade Fantasy
Rating – G
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If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? I would go into the past. I’d want to see what it was like when the great asteroid hit the earth, or when the pyramids were built, or when Napoleon was in power, or to be there when my ancestor landed in Canada.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Barack Obama (because I greatly admire him), Justin Bieber (because he’s awww, so cute and talented) Stephen Harper (since he’s our prime minister), Brad Pitt (because he’s hot), and Julia Roberts (so I wouldn’t be surrounded by all guys).
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? My glasses so I could see and start a fire, a knife so I could cut things, and a fishing rod.
What is one book everyone should read? Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley convinced me writing was a cool thing to do.
If you were a superhero what would your name be? Super-Philanthropist. I know, it’s dumb, but I always wanted to be a philanthropist. It’s power. Just think of it – handing out money to anyone who needs it like Bill Gates does. I’d love it.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose? To brainwash evil people so they turn their lives around.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Rocky Road. I love the chocolate and the chewy nuts – texture.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? Pierre Trudeau, our past prime minister. He was so utterly brilliant and didn’t care what people thought of him.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? A Spanish omelette with salsa. Mmm.
Night owl, or early bird? Oh, definitely early bird. I get up at five AM to write. That’s when my head is clearest. I can barely stay awake at night to read which is why it takes me a long time to read a book.
One food you would never eat? Liver. Yuck. I had it once by accident at a friend’s place thinking it was chicken. Boy, was I ever surprised. So were they when I nearly threw up on their new linoleum floor.
Pet Peeves? Gossips and bullies.
Skittles or M&Ms? Depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I really like sour food, but I like chocolate too. It’s the sort of thing I only eat around Halloween.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. You should read it because it’s powerful and because unicorns have to endure terrible things, yet they win in the end. Besides, you’ll love Darius. I love Darius. I cry every time I read that darn book because of Darius. There is no greater creature in the world than Darius. He’s like a Mahatma Ghandi or a Mother Theresa. His name means ‘doer of good’, and that’s exactly what he does. Sigh.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I finished a YA Paranormal a couple of months ago and am waiting for a reply to my submission. It’s a great story about a fourteen-year-old child prodigy in classical violin growing up in the small town of Hope, B.C. Her best friend is a Chinese girl adopted into a white family. They both struggle to fit in. Then this fiddler comes to town and bewitches everyone. And only Kira has it figured out it’s her who’s been vandalizing the town, leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card.
I’m also working feverishly to rewrite the second Shadow of the Unicorn novel.
What inspired you to want to become a writer? I thought it would be neat to publish a book when I was a teenager, but I also loved music and medicine. Music won out for a long time. After a master’s degree in music, I free-lanced, playing piano in restaurants and composing music. Eventually, I drifted into teaching and taught classroom music in Vancouver for over twenty years. That’s where I learned I was a good storyteller. The kids really behaved just so they could hear some tale I made up on the spot at the end of class. Then after my kids were born, I decided to take a couple of years off of teaching until they were in school. And that’s when I began to write, and I’ve never looked back. And, BTW, I quit teaching to stay home and write two days after receiving my first publishing contract.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. I don’t know yet. I’m still waiting for it to happen. Well, when they sent me my finished book, that was pretty amazing.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be? Probably Chronicles of Narnia. I mean, talking animals – how cool is that?
What is your dream cast for your book? I don’t have one. They’re mostly unicorns.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? I really loved the Lucy Maude Montgomery series, lots of Victoria Holt, Agatha Christy, and James Michener. And when I was really small – Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? No, but I’ve sat down and started writing one a couple of times. Maybe it’ll come out one of these days if I can find a minute.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Write from the heart and write what’s true to you. Make your readers feel everything in great depth. Make them see themselves in your characters. Make them laugh. Make them cry.
If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why? The Yukon during the time of the gold rush.
If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why? The ugly one with the snakes in her hair. I’m constantly struggling with frizzy hair and I really relate well to her because of it.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Here. Or maybe Ottawa. Well, Quebec City would be nice too. Mind you, I loved Vienna last summer. Wait a minute, have I forgotten Paris. Okay, here.
What is your favorite Quote? What goes around comes around. It’s my sweet revenge whenever I’m mad at someone.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? I wanted to be either a composer, a doctor, or a writer. Guess I’ll never be a doctor.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? Someone completely unknown to give them a chance.
How did you know you should become an author? I didn’t. It just happened. I’ve always believed we have a destiny, and every so often in my life, I’d find myself doing strange things like quitting a job, breaking up with a boyfriend, and not understanding why I was doing it. But when I look back, it’s obvious I was meant to go in another direction. I’m still mystified by the whole thing and keep saying, “How did this happen?”
Who are your favorite authors of all time? J.R.R. Tolkein, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, C.S. Lewis, and Lucy Maude Montgomery
Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Oh, absolutely. In my teen novel, A Town Bewitched, Kira is definitely me. Her issues were mine at that age.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? Well, it’s not really crazy, but I thought I’d write a story about my first love. I doubt I’ll ever do it.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? It was my Uncle Denis who told me to write music that would give hope. Now I write novels to give hope.
Hidden talent? It’s not hidden. I’m a musician. When I’m not writing or helping my two boys with their homework, I’m playing piano and fiddle. My boys and I are avid fiddlers. I take them busking on Granville Island in Vancouver.
Favorite Food? My greatest weakness in life is taco chips and salsa, and if someone brings out some Tex Mex dip, it’s over. Guaranteed I’ll scream when I step on the bathroom scale the next morning. I can’t stop eating that stuff until it’s all gone.
Favorite Candy? Marzipan, oh marzipan, oh marzipan! Oh how I love marzipan.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year? I want to see that movie about Abe Lincoln. As far as books go, I have a whole stack to read. I can’t keep up. There are just too many good books out there.
What was your favorite children’s book? When I was five, it was Bartholemew the Beaver.
Nickname? Suzy-Q, Suzannah
How do you react to a bad review? I haven’t had one yet, only because I’m so new, but I’m sure I’ll feel awful for a while, and then shake it away and move on.
If you were a bird, which one would you be? A cardinal because they’re so pretty and red.
If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be? Taco chips and salsa.
If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why? The Old Testament. Hey, who else would have a book signed by God himself?
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? I’d get things fixed around the house. It’s driving me crazy – the unfinished bathroom downstairs, the tilting deck, the weedy bricks on the side of the house, the ugly landscaping. But I’d also give a lot away to people I know who need a hand up.
Which authors have influenced you the most and how? Probably Lucy Maude Montgomery because she wrote about such charming things like little red-headed girls bashing their slate over a boy’s head whom she later marries. Then there’s Charles Dickens. I love the way he foreshadows everything with his descriptions.
What do you do in your free time? Music, music, and more music.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? The Screaming Neurotic Child Within
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I get up at five, answer my e-mail, tweet, FB, blog if I have to, then write until seven. I get the boys off to school, exercise or run errands, then by 10:30 I’m back to writing until my boys come home from school. When they’re home, it’s all about them. It’s go, go, go, homework, homework, homework, violin, violin, violin. Then at around nine or so, the boys and I lie in my bed and we read until ten. That’s when my husband comes up and kicks them out.
What’s your favorite season/weather? Definitely autumn. I love the colours, the bite in the air, and new beginnings.
Who or what inspired you to become an author? I like to think it was my dad after he died. I know, it sounds weird, but I kept walking around during the reception after his funeral saying, “I feel like writing a book,” over and over again. Then a year later, I did. Could it have been his spirit influencing me?
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? We went out for Chinese food with friends and my husband got up early to buy me flowers.
What is your guilty pleasure? Fiddling and acupuncture. I know, it sounds very strange, but once they stick the needles in, you just lie back in the low lights while Diana Crawl croons away softly in the background. All I can say is, “Ahhhhhh.” It’s like lying on a Mexican beach drinking Pacifico cerveza.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? I love kids’ books, especially Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Oh, how I laugh hysterically when I read one of those books. I can’t imagine that anyone in the world wouldn’t laugh as hard as I do when I read them.
Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is…. The Little Prince. How a guy can take such a simple story that’s complete and utter nonsense, make you follow along, completely intrigued, and then fall in love with the little prince so you cry at the end, is beyond me. I never get tired of that book in French or English.
Favorite places to travel? Europe. Anywhere in Europe. There is so much history and culture there. It takes me back in time. I just love it.
Favorite music? Bach. Always Bach. There is no more spiritual composer who has ever lived, although Vivaldi comes close.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? Kit Pearson. One of our famous Canadian authors. I love her work.
Hi Suzanne, I learned a lot about you here, my grandfather played piano and fiddle. It's a gift. Great interview.
Lovely to meet You.
I adore Yr Verb¡
Enjoyed this, Suzanne! What a fun person you are!
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