I’m going to start the New Year off with a bang by revisiting fellow Muse author, Suzanne de Montigny. I’ve just finished reading her children’s book, The Shadow of The Unicorn. I read a lot of young adult books, but haven’t read a children’s book in a while (not unless I was reading an old favorite to one of my grandchildren). I really enjoyed the read! You’ll get a chance to read my review later, plus a sneak peek at her sequel, The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Deception, to be released in Jan. or Feb. 2015, but first let’s find out more about Suzanne.
Award winning author, Suzanne de Montigny, wrote her first novella when she was twelve. Years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting herlove affair with writing. A teacher for twenty years, she enjoys creating fantasy and paranormal for tweens and teens. She lives in Burnaby, B.C., Canada with the four loves of her life – her husband, two boys, and Buddy the dog.
Another interesting fact about Suzanne de Montigny
Two years ago, I was walking around Kilkenny, Ireland where I noticed I couldn’t seem to read the tourist signs. My husband and children thought it was really odd., though I dismissed it. Unfortunately, it got worse and worse until I could only read with a magnifying glass. Because I live in Canada, I was immediately sent to the top eye specialist in B.C., who in turn sent me to neurologists, and other specialists. The good news is I can read again. But it all got me to thinking how in third world countries, people don’t have the option of such excellent eye care. So I decided to give half of all my proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye doctors who travel to third world countries, bringing thousands of pairs of eyeglasses and operating for free. I’m so proud to be a part of The Third World Eye Care Society.
What a wonderful way to make the proceeds from your writing count. I think it’s a great way to share your good fortune with others. And speaking of writing, what made you finally decide to get serious about it?
Well, it’s kind of spooky actually. You see, I always loved writing as a kid and wrote a lot of stories and poems. I wrote my first novella about unicorns when I was in grade six. But of course, time goes by, and dreams change. But then, eight years ago, my father passed away, and for some dumb reason or other, I found myself saying over and over again at his funeral, “I feel like writing a book. I feel like writing a book.” I didn’t understand why I kept saying that, but six months later, while cleaning out the basement, I found a box full of my childhood stories, and voila, off I went and haven’t stopped since. I secretly (whispering) like to think it was my dad putting the idea in my head before he left for the other side.
I’m sure he would be proud of your writing accomplishments, and that story ties in with my next question. Tell me, what’s your favourite song?
Luther Vandross’ Dance With My Father Again. Gets me every time. I still remember teaching a music class once where I let the kids bring in CDs they enjoyed. Lo and behold, a girl brought in that song. I had to turn it off because my eyes were tearing like crazy. The kids thought it was hilarious. Little did they know my dad was dying from cancer.
What is the best compliment you ever received as a writer?
Okay, it was the very first one I received after publication. Some lady came and found me on my website and said, “Your story is really good, but you nearly killed me with your ending. Please keep writing.”
That happened to me as well. It thrilled me to hear one of my readers say she cried at the sad parts in From Now On, the second book in My It’s About Time series because it meant she was invested in the story enough to really care about what happened to the characters. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Oh, definitely dear, dear Darius the seer. He’s a giganotosaurus, the last surviving dinosaur after the great fireball. He is so selfless, and so smart, and so dedicated to his destiny of helping the unicorns survive. Yet he spends most of his life living in solitude. But the best part, is they find him again in the sequel.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do but don’t have the nerve?
Alright, promise not to laugh? I’d love to climb Mt. Everest, but it’ll never happen. I’m way too much of a wimp.
Not if you don’t laugh at mine. I’ve always wanted to skydive, but I’m afraid of heights!!! What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I am kept very busy with my two boys, 12 and 14. They both play a really mean violin, and of course, have tons of studying to do for school. It never ends. They are my everything.
What are some of the unique challenges you’ve faced writing, marketing, promoting a children’s book?
Actually, it’s quite simple. My book came out as an ebook which is next to impossible to sell. Yet sell I did. I did a lot of school visits, a few specials, that sort of thing. But the truth of the matter is, tweens don’t like to read ebooks. They like real books. And now that my book is out in print, it’s selling like hotcakes.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
Well, I taught kids this age, so it was natural that I wrote for them too. As far as fantasy goes, I just happen to like fantasy just so long as it’s not too far out.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Suzanne. Good luck with sales!!!
The Shadow of the Unicorn – Reviewed and posted on Amazon, Barnes and Noble by Susan A. Royal – I gave it 4 stars
I don’t normally read books in this age group, but I found it a fun read. I would never have imagined a story with both unicorns and dinosaurs like Suzanne de Montigny did. She has crafted an engaging story for middle-grade children who will find all the adventure and excitement they could want along with valuable lessons taught in a way that they don’t seem like instruction. And through the pages of the book, her characters mature and take on responsibility.
I didn’t have to read her biography to know she has boys. Her dialogue between Azaria and Darius and the other young unicorns is delightful and spot on. Nothing contrived there. She did a great job, and if you have young readers to buy for this would be a good book to consider.
And now, here is the blurb from The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy now available as a print book:
A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.
Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young, clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change to their world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. But nothing compares to the danger when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley, and their leader discovers the healing power in the unicorns’ horns. Greedy and ruthless, Ishmael will stop at nothing in his pursuit of wealth – even the complete extinction of the herd. Azaria must find a way to outsmart Ishmael before it’s too late.
Here is the blurb for the sequel, The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Deception, to be released in Jan. or Feb. 2015:
Will Ulysees find the truth before disaster strikes?
How did the Legacy of Azaria transform into the world fear it has, the unicorns barely existing hidden in the depths of the forest? Why is Icharus, the Great Stallion, so cruel and ruthless? And who is Jaresh, the powerful being no one’s ever seen who takes away their powers? Angry, the young colt Ulysees and his friend Téo rebel, following an abandoned trail where they’re discovered by humans. Now the entire herd must make an exodus. But Ulysees discovers there’s more danger then just humans when he meets a giant creature who warns them of impending doom…
Barnes and Noble:
Muse It Up Publishing: