of our most popular guests has a new book out. Suzanne is with us this week
sharing the SBTS of her novel.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
be shy. Leave us a comment.