Sunday 22 January 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Susan White of New Brunswick, Canada.


Susan White is our featured author this week and we are happy to have her return to the Scribbler.

If you missed her previous visit, I invite you to have a look HERE.


Susan’s novels have garnered many great reviews and honoured with awards.

It’s an exciting time to launch new work and Susan is going to tell us more about it.

Read on, my friends.




Susan White was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. She earned her BA and BEd at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. She and her husband Burton raised four children and ran a small family farm on the Kingston Peninsula while Susan taught elementary school and Burton had a career in the military. In 2009 Susan retired from teaching to write full time. She is the author of six middle grade /young adult novels, including the Ann Connor Brimer Award winning The Year Mrs. Montague Cried.   She has also written six adult novels including Fear of Drowning which was shortlisted for a NB Book Award in 2019.Her thirteenth novel The Way I Feel will be released by Acorn Press in the spring of 2023.



Working Title: The Way I Feel




No Problem is too big to run away from

For Ginny Collins running away wasn’t on her radar until an old postcard drops from her mother in law’s photo album. Is the life she’s living the only one available to her? Are the dreams she cast aside long ago still waiting to be realized? Can she change the discontent and unhappiness she feels by driving away and leaving everything behind? For Ginny Collins the decision to run away from a 40 year marriage starts the search and she behind to uncover the truth she’s worked so hard at ignoring.



The Story Behind the Story:

I am not exactly sure where the story came from except to say I had the title first. I knew I wanted or needed to write a story about a woman in her early sixties who finds herself an empty nester, settled in to a life of frustration, discontent and longing. She makes a bold decision to run away. The escape begins an inner journey and a brave, honest introspection. It is not autobiographical but it was written during a very transformative time in my own life. I believe Ginny's story mirrors the way women often feel when the years of centering their lives around maintaining a home and raising  children is behind them. 



Website: Home - Susan White



A question before you go, Susan:

Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


My mind thinks writing wherever I am and ideas find their way in. Sometimes I jot them down but I have found if the idea matters it sticks or at least it comes back. I have gone on several writing retreats with Gerard Collins and Janie Simpson’s on their Go and Write adventures. Italy, Scotland and St. Andrews have provided wonderful inspiration and comradery with other writers.   But for the actual work of getting it down, I prefer the quiet order and routine of my office. After spending 29 years in the classroom, I love the opportunity to schedule my weeks and days around writing. I normally write from September to June but have been known to write all summer when a book won’t let me go. I often have the drone of CBC radio in the background. Definitely coffee in the morning and I often eat my lunch in my office. I keep notes as I’m writing a book. The notes are contained in writing journals. I love looking back at them when the book is done seeing the changes that took place as the story and the characters took over. 




An Excerpt from The Way I Feel.


Spencer lets out a particularly loud snore and shifts a bit. His right leg jolts, kicking the throw cushion onto the floor. I reach for the folded afghan and drape it over him. I stand for a few seconds as my eyes scan the room. The kids’ framed graduation pictures look somewhat ominous, shadowed and eerie. Each of their expressions seem to be taunting me and challenging the decision which minutes ago surfaced, simmered, and came to a boil. Am I being dramatic, selfish, foolish, and ridiculous? Am I overreacting? I focus on the rise and fall of Spencer’s chest, expecting his breathing to balance my own before going upstairs.

I pull up the handle of the suitcase, and as quietly as I can wheel it along the hall. I pick it up and slowly make my way downstairs. I glance at Spencer as I reach to turn the lamp off. The kitchen light guides my way through the dining room and kitchen, then into the back hall. I grab my purse, throw my phone in, and slip on my sandals before I open the back door. Is there anything else I need?

I get into the driver’s seat of the Expedition and look toward the house. It always looks so peaceful in the dark. I love the way the solar lights give the back veranda a glow, a look of enchantment, hiding the flaws of a thirty-five-year-old house. Midnight glow and early morning light always give me an optimism the rest of the day doesn’t offer. I turn the ignition key, wondering if Spencer will be jolted awake by the beam of headlights coming through the window. Will he jump up and come out to see who might be in the yard this late?

I put the Expedition into drive and glance back, making sure the lights on the trailer are working. I look quickly at the gas gauge. About half full. I pull away and start down the driveway. I have no idea where I am going, but I am going.



Thank you for being our guest this week, Susan and sharing your good news. Wishing you continued success with your stories.


And thanks to our visitors and readers.

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