Today, I’m delighted to welcome Suzanne de Montigny, fellow author at MuseItUp to my humble blog as guest. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys.
Welcome Suzanne! It’s great to have you here. Now tell us a little about yourself so we can get to know you a little better. How long have long have you been writing?
Hi, Susan. First of all, thanks for hosting me. I wrote my first novella when I was in grade six. And believe it or not, it was about unicorns! But I stopped writing until about seven years ago when my father died. Like a lot of people, I was hit with hyperscribia, the intense need to write, but after I wrote and delivered my speech at my father’s funeral, I couldn’t stop.
I remember some of my efforts at that age. Of course, mine were illustrated with every color in the crayon box along with the story. What made you finally decide to get serious about writing?
It was shortly after my father died that I decided to clean the basement and found this old box way in the corner underneath a lot of stuff. It was worn and the side ripped. When I began to leaf through it, I found all sorts of old things from my childhood. One of those things was the first four chapters of a rewrite from my grade six novella. I threw it in the blue box, and a couple of days later, pulled it out to read. It had been rained on, and the letters consequently smudged. I dried it out, read it, and was bowled over. “A psychic dinosaur?” I exclaimed. I sat the next day and began to write it. Two weeks later, the first draft was done.
Looks like you rediscovered your passion. Describe what you consider your ideal writing conditions.
At five o’clock in the morning with a nice latte beside my computer before my boys get up.
Describe your rituals for preparing to write.
I don’t have one, but I do procrastinate a bit by checking e-mails and reading other people’s blogs. Then I say, “Okay, get writing,” and I hit the Word icon.
How often do you write?
Probably every day.
Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?
Definitely a pantser, but oh, how that gets me in trouble. Everything and everyone gets into my novel as I write, and then I have to go back and take out entire chapters, all sorts of description, etc. To give you an example, when I wrote the first somewhat finished draft of one of my current projects, I was on a diet. Consequently, the entire book is filled with all sorts of descriptions of really lovely meals – steak dinners with steaming baked potatoes, strawberry salads with poppy dressings, and a delicious fruit cake with whipped cream. Another was tacos. Then there was Thanksgiving. I had to go back and take out a lot of that.
Name one of your all-time favorite movies, the one you instantly recognize when it flashes across the screen, the one you stop and watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
Funny, I was thinking about that very thing last night. I would have to say Fiddler on the Roof. Makes me cry every time I see it. Especially the scene where his daughter elopes with a Russian soldier, and he sings this very sad song with silhouettes of dancers in the sunset.
What song makes you want to cry?
Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross. When I was teaching elementary music, I used to let the kids bring their own CD’s just so long as they were proper. Well, lo and behold, a kid brought that very song to class. I had to turn it off because I was starting to get all teary-eyed. My father was going downhill at that point and it made me think of him.
Describe one of your favorite characters and tell us who you patterned them after and why.
I would have to say Darius. Believe it or not, I didn’t pattern him after anyone. He was born of himself. I love him so much because he is selfless. He’s the last surviving dinosaur after the asteroid strikes the earth. He survives because he has a destiny – to help the unicorns. But it comes with a price of terrible loneliness.
Where do you go for inspiration?
My brain mostly, but there is this fiddling tune on one of Andre Brunet’s albums that inspires me with a story of my grandparents living on the prairies during the depression. I have yet to write it.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.
Ray Bradbury, James Michener, Amy Tan.
Tell us about your current WIP.
I have two works in progress right now. The first one is the second of The Shadow of the Unicorn series. The second one is about a teenaged child prodigy in classical violin growing up in the town of Hope. Her best friend is an Asian girl adopted into a white family. As you can imagine, they are misfits. To make matters worse, Kira’s father dies at the beginning. At his funeral, a strange woman arrives carrying a beat-up fiddle. Within days, she takes the town by storm, bewitching them with her Celtic music. When the town becomes plagued with vandalism and dead and gutted birds, only Kira knows who the real perpetrator is.
For a peek, go here: http://youtu.be/St9OsyK974o
Blog: Suzanne’s Thoughts for the Day
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/unicorngirl52