Saturday 10 February 2024

The Story Behind the Story with Suzanne Casey of Moncton, NB, Canada.

 


One of our most popular guests has a new book out. Suzanne is with us this week sharing the SBTS of her novel.

This is not her first visit to the Scribbler and I invite you to take a peek from our archives at her previous visit. Please go HERE.

Read on my friends.

 

In my office closet, I have binders upon binders of stories that I created during elementary school.  I've been writing since I was 9-10 years old.  That passion has been burning in me for many decades.  However, regular life got in the way.  Marriage, raising two daughters, work, and other regular obligations came first.

When my parents died 6 weeks apart several years ago, I decided to stop finding excuses and follow my dream of becoming a novelist.  Life was too short not to live it with complete passion.  Surrounded by the love and support of my family and longtime friends, I've never looked back.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, loyal friend, and supporter of the underdogs.  I prefer one on one lunch dates over large gatherings.  I like making food for people, a trait I got from my mother.  Spending time with my two daughters rejuvenates me.  Spending time with my grandchildren is beyond precious.  Spending time with my siblings feeds my soul.

 

Title  BIRCH ISLAND And The Secrets It Held

 


 

Synopsis:  Leo Clement makes the acquaintance  of Peaches King while staying at Birch Island Resort.  An odd friendship ignites between the young reporter and the enigmatic owner of the quaint vacation spot.

Leo starts coming to the island every Tuesday for lunch and a game of Scrabble with the eccentric octogenarian.  He listens to Ms. King reminisce about her eventful past while nibbling on Neapolitan wafer cookies.

Peaches shares details about her upbringing, her schooling and her marriage.  However, the more she talks, the  more questions Leo has, including the disappearance of several staff members.

Hired by Peaches' own daughter to uncover the truth, Leo goes on a fact-finding mission that takes him from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts.  By doing so, he uncovers more than he expected.

 


The Story Behind The Story:  A few years ago, my husband and I took a road trip that included a ferry ride from Saint John, NB to Digby, NS.  Our plan was to follow the south coast up to Halifax.  Getting off that ferry, we discovered this surprise resort called Digby Pines, an older but majestic place I'd never heard of.  Then two years ago, we took the ferry again, this time following the opposite coastline.  We also booked two nights at Digby Pines.  Having instantly fallen in love with the charm of the place, especially the sitting rooms, I decided to use this as the base of a book one day, not knowing it would become my very next novel as the fictitious Birch Island Resort.

As for the plot itself, I am part of the 67% of writers whose characters wake them up in the middle of the night to tell their stories.  All three of my novels were written that way.  They will share their physical attributes, or give me a paragraph, a sentence or a scene.

As far as composing the storyline, I always seem to know the beginning and the end of the story, including novel #4, which is in the works.  Filling the 200+ pages in between is always my challenge.  Those 2-3-4 o'clock wake up chats with my characters eventually fill in the blanks.

I also love to put in personal stuff, people's names or events, that only people who know me personally will get.   Things like Scrabble is one of my top 2 games...Backgammon is the other.  One of my friends has a very young grandson named Leo.  And if one looks at my other novels, The Quilting Bee or Danny And MJ, my mother was an amazing quilter and the initials of my daughters are M and J.





 

 

A couple of questions before you go, Suzanne.

 


Scribbler: What is the perfect setting when you write your stories? 


Suzanne: To get inspired, I need a touch of nature.  A drive following the coast, a walk in a nature park, a few hours sitting  in my hammock under the umbrella of maple trees while watching yellow finches flutter around our bird feeder or laying in bed in our camper and hearing all the sounds of nature around me.

Once that part of my soul is fed, I go into my office (or camper kitchen table) and write in a completely silent house.  Even when my children were young, I'd wait until they were sleeping at night before digging out the typewriter while my husband was working evenings.

 



Scribbler: We asked you this question before and wondering if anything changed. What's your favourite and least favourite part of publishing?   

Suzanne: I detested editing, but I'm getting better at it, and I trust my instincts with acquired experience.  Now that I've found a graphic artist who's really good at editing, I let her do the very last round for me.  But I'll still do between 10 and 15 rounds myself, first.

So now, my least favourite part is waiting for the publishers' approval.  And my favourite is receiving the email saying it's been approved.


  

Excerpt from Birch Island

 

Susannah received burns to most of her body.  Her screams echoed across the Halifax harbour.  Horrified by the sounds coming out of his mother's mouth, Finn ran away.   He ran and ran until his legs gave out.

Then he hid.

For the next several months, the young lad continued that pattern.  He would run at night, then hide during the day.  Nobody really knew Finn Walsh existed, except the barmaid who helped deliver him.  Not once had the boy ever stepped into a classroom.  His entire education had come from the streets.

And then, the fire incident changed everything.  Finn Walsh never found out whatever happened to his mother.  As far as he knew, Susannah had perished in the fire and he was to blame for it.  He was the one who had caused the lantern to tip and light his mother's bed on fire.

Finn Walsh would never know that his mother had survived, though severely scarred from the waist up.   And Susannah never went looking for her young bastard son.  As far as she was concerned, that chapter in her life was finally over.

  

 

 

Thank you for being our guest this week, Suzanne. We wish you continued success with your stories. 

 And a HUGE thank you to all our visitors and readers.

Don’t be shy. Leave us a comment.

4 comments:

  1. Love reading Suzanne novels and the way she captures your imagination and looking forward to reading her next novel .love seeing one of your childhood dreams become reality ❤️

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    1. I too enjoy reading her stories. Thanks for visiting.

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  2. I believe Suzanne is a sister-in-law to my cousin Ann Bernard . I would love to read her latest book.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and your comment. You definitely should read them. They're quite good.

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