Of course, I have brought my famous chocolate chip cookies and I hope you will all bring something to this party. It would be fun if you would bring one of your characters. I think it's always fun for characters to meet each other. Also, who wouldn't love to meet a unicorn and one so brave!!!
Actually, let's meet Suzanne de Montigny, the author and find out more about her and her work.
Hi Suzanne. Welcome to my blog and let's get this party started with a little information about you.
- Where were you born and raised?
I’m mighty proud to say I’m a Canadian girl born in Vancouver, B.C., and raised in a small town called Chilliwack a hundred km east of Vancouver where my father practiced medicine.
2. Tell us a little about your life before you started writing.
Believe it or not, I started out as a free-lance composer and pianist. I used to play piano around town and write music for everything from television, to plays, to industrial videos. But don’t tell anyone about the last one – it’s commonly known as elevator music. Then I got tired of living in poverty and taught elementary music for over twenty years. During that time, I discovered I was a pretty good storyteller. The kids would behave just so I’d make up a story on the spot at the end of class. Later, I took off a couple of years to take care of my two young boys. It was during this time, I started writing.
3. Why did you decide to start writing?
Here’s a bit of a spooky story for you. When my father died, I kept walking around his funeral saying, “I feel like writing a book.” I like to think he planted the idea in my head from the other side.
4. Did anyone influence you in your writing?
I always loved Lucie Maude Montgomery, Kurt Vonnegut, James Michener, Jack London, and Ray Bradbury. I also love Kit Pearce, one of our Canadian authors. So I suppose they all influenced me. In French, I love Arlette Cousture.
5. Would you share with us the story of how you got your first novel published?
When I was in grade six, I had a creative writing project due. I got carried away and wrote a six chapter book about a unicorn. I got an A+ and have always kept that little book in a safe place. Then about five years ago, I was cleaning out the basement and found an old box full of childhood memorabilia, and in that box, I found a partial rewrite of the first four chapters that I had done somewhere in my teens. I chuckled and threw it in the blue box. Then, a couple of days later, I thought, “I should at least see what I wrote.” So I dried the rain off and read it. I was just fascinated, and the following week, I began writing it. Later, I submitted it to two agents and was rejected because it wasn’t the kind of story they were looking for. But then, one day, I opened up the MuseItUp site, that had a big winged Pegasus for a banner. I thought, “That’s where my unicorns will live.” And I was right.
6. What was the inspiration for your latest book? Have you always been interested in fantasy?
My latest novel, entitled: A Town Bewitched came from our experience with a fiddling camp a few years ago. My two boys and I are avid fiddlers. We all play classical violin too, but our passion is definitely fiddling. When we attended the camp, we were absolutely lit on fire. It was like we were bewitched. And what was even better, was that one of the instructors moved to town so we could continue studying with her. Then one day, I thought, “What would happen if a whole town was lit on fire like us, only there was something really wrong with the fiddler?”
7. When you write which is more important for you to start with, the plot or the characters?
I have a beginning, a middle, and an end in mind and characters just walk in. One minute they’re not there, the next, they are. I always say that writing is like reading a really good book only you’re writing it. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. It just comes to me as I go.
8. Please describe a typical writing day for us.
I get up at five AM, answer e-mails, tweet, FB, blog, and then I write until the boys get up. After I drive them to school, I exercise or run errands. Then I write until they come home. After that, it’s all about them.
9. What have you planned to celebrate the release of Shadow of a Unicorn?
Well, my husband got up early on Friday when it was released, and bought me a bouquet of flowers. Then we went for Chinese food with friends that night, and ended up back home singing Christmas carols. Then, on the ninth, I’m having a live launching for friends and families where I’ll be collecting used eye glasses for the Third World Eye Care Society. And BTW, just so everyone knows, half of all my proceeds will be going to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to underdeveloped nations bringing thousands of pairs of glasses and performing eye surgery for free. I figure since I can’t do anything about my rotten eyesight, I can at least help someone else restore their vision.
That is such a great thing to do for these countries!!
10. Do you have any WIP’s on which you are working? Would you please share them with us?
I’m frantically writing the second of the Shadow of the Unicorn series. And I’ll only tell you that there’s a second natural disaster, but I won’t say what.
11. Are you doing any contests with this release?
Being a newby, I’m completely in the dark about contests. I’m hoping I’ll find out soon. It would be cool to add under my belt.
Suzanne de Montigny Bio:
Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn novel when she was twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, and thus began her love affair with unicorns. A teacher in Vancouver, B.C., she learned she could spin a good tale that kept kids and teachers begging for more. She has written four novels. THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN: THE LEGACY is her first. Living in Burnaby, she resides with her husband and two boys.
Let's find out about your 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.
Wow, Suzanne!!! This sounds a lot like what is happening to the rhino population!!
I want everyone to know that Suzanne is giving away a free ebook to the lucky commenter who wins the drawing. Meanwhile let's get this party started!!!
Here are my virtual chocolate chip cookies. Help yourself and I hope everyone gets to read this book! I have it on my TBR list and I will be posting a review very soon!!!
Here is where you can find more about Suzanne de Montigny:
Whinnnnny! It's me, Azaria. I'm not supposed to talk to humans, but I couldn't resist those chocolate chip cookies. Got some cake somewhere?ReplyDelete
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing your experience as a writer!ReplyDelete
The party is just getting started, so let's see some guests leave a comment. I've brought my character, Carolyn and her dog Max. Uh, oh, Max is getting into the cookies!!! Don't you do that Max. Carolyn, take Max for a walk, please.ReplyDelete
And here's Azaria. Anyone got any hay before he gets into the cookies too?Delete
I brought Chocolate Haystack and Oatmeal Raisin cookies to share, Azaria, help yourself. I'm excited to be here and it's good to see you again. :)Delete
Thanks for the cookies! Delicious!ReplyDelete
Congrats to you, Suzanne, on your big release.
Oh, so sorry!! I had to get Carolyn back to school and then I had to chase Max around the yard, because he was getting into the cookies!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you all for coming and hope you enjoy the party!!!
The chocolate chip cookies were great, I dropped a few in my pocket for later. Loved the Unicorn video the first time I saw it, and still do. As a child I hid in fantasy lands and I just knew there were Unicorns in the bluebell woods. I'm now in my third childhood and still believe in magical creatures so I will be checking out The Shadow of the Unicorn.ReplyDelete
Wonderful! I lived a fantasy world too, but mine was with Bobby Sherman. I had such a crush on him!Delete
So glad you enjoyed the cookies. I'm hoping someone will bring more snacks. I'm thinking The Shadow of the Unicorn is my kind of fantasy too!!ReplyDelete
Dibs on a cookie! I'm bringing along some pumpkin bread :) Thanks for sharing about your book--sounds great!!ReplyDelete
Hi Everyone! I brought some cheesecake and some horse cookies for Azaria. My Emily likes the kind called Apple Wafers. Chocolate chip cookies were awesome. Congrats on your release, SuzanneReplyDelete
I love to hear other authors talk about their journey to being published, especially when I see how they work time spent writing in around daytime jobs and family. It's an art, isn't it? Congratulations and best wishes.ReplyDelete
Hi Meradeth and Nancy!! Thanks for bringing the pumpkin bread. It's delicious!!! So glad you enjoyed the cookies.ReplyDelete
Nancy, cheesecake is my favorite!!! How thoughtful you brought the cookies for Azaria. Do you think a dog could eat them too? Max really needs a treat:)
Susan, thank you for coming and juggling everything is an art.:)
Have to go for awhile, but I'll be back. Enjoy yourselves and hope Max doesn't get into too much trouble. I think I saw him over with Azaria.
Hey, look. I just found some spinach dip in the fridge for Azaria and some paté for Max. They should be okay now. Did someone say cheese cake? The animals keep eating everything.ReplyDelete
I know Max has never had pâté. Look at him lap that up:)ReplyDelete
Sorry you have been having difficulty with Blogger.)If you started a blog they should recognize you soon.
Loving the snacks! I just hope they don't pack on the pounds.ReplyDelete
I think my housework will have to wait!
I started reading "The Shadow of The Unicorn" this morning & had to stop for a hair appointment. There's nothing to do now that can't be done later. Judging by the first 3 chapters, I will have to read until it's done. I'm already looking forward to the next of the series.
Why thank you, Darby! You are too kind. My pounds have been creeping up. Oh well.Delete
The book trailer is awesome. I loved the book, can't wait to read more of Azaria and his families adventures. This was a great fantasy world built for all tastes. Unicorns and dinosaurs, what's not to love? Congrats, Suzanne on the already successful start of your sure to be fab career. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, April. And I can't wait to read more of your books.ReplyDelete
Congratulations and best of luck, Suzanne! Can't wait to read it.ReplyDelete
Have started Shadow of the Unicorn and so far am loving it! I just got home from work, hope I didn't miss the party. ;) I brought virtual chips, chocolate, and tea. Nothing I enjoy more than a good read and munchies. :D I want to get to the next chapter, but time is forcing me to pace myself. Oh well, I will just get to enjoy it longer! Can't see what other stories you have up your sleeve, Suzanne, keep it up! :DReplyDelete
Well, it's time to go home. I'm stuffed and Azaria's eyes are starting to close. Thank you everyone for coming.ReplyDelete
Congratulations to Suzanne from Australia on her publication. It's great to see her passion and steadfastness in living her dream. If I was still teaching I would introduce her work to my pupils to allow them to see great Canadian literature for children of all ages.ReplyDelete
Aww, thanks Dennis. You're so kind.Delete
Congratulations Suzanne, Barbara the cookies look yummy.ReplyDelete
Great interview. The book trailer is amazing as is Azaria and the concept behind The Shadow of The Unicorn.
I bought some snickerdoodles since they seem popular at book launch parties. The smell of baking cinnamon seems to attract Azaria and Max too.
After hearing about snickerdoodles so often I downloaded a recipe this year... Have you heard of rolling Rolo chocolates or bits of Snickers inside the dough? Imagine the calories! Now, if I am quick enough I might get to taste one, even if it is covered in Unicorn slobber. :P
Have a wonderful book launch Suzanne!
Oh my gosh. Is it my imagination or did a giant dinosaur just stick his head in the window? Darius, is that you? "Yes," his voice rumbles. "I'm looking for Azaria. It's been a while since I've seen him." Large tears plopping on the ground. "Sorry, Darius. He's falling asleep in the corner. But have some snickerdoodles."Delete
Thank you all for coming!! I've been away, but Suzanne has been a great hostess!! I can't wait to read The Shadow of the Unicorn and give my review here.ReplyDelete
I will leave this post up for a few days so people who couldn't make the party can get over here. We will close it on Wednesday. Good luck to all who are in the drawing.:)
And thank you, Barb, for hosting me. This has been great fun. Thanks to everyone for coming to my on-line launch. Now I get to do the draw to see who won a copy of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.Delete
Congratulations Suzanne. I love that this is a story you first started when you were a kid. I wrote plays when I was young that my neighborhood friends and cousins starred in. I wonder what ever happened to those old scripts? I'm sure that they are long gone. That's cool you kept yours all this time. I can't wait to read it.ReplyDelete
Congratulations Suzanne! I can't believe you started this book when you were a kid. I wrote plays when I was young that my neighborhood friends and cousin starred in. I wonder what happened to those old scripts? They are probably long gone. It's cool that you kept yours all this time. I look forward to reading it.ReplyDelete
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Ooh... I am so excited to meet a unicorn. Hello, Azaria. If you only knew how many unicorn stories, figurines, etc. I have given my daughter over the years. I wish she were here to meet you too. We love unicorns and look forward to reading your story. Oh, here, I brought these haystacks...you know, the chocolate candy with lots of coconut. Best wishes to Suzanne. What a fun time you've had with this launch. And flowers from your hubby. Very cool. Best wishes.ReplyDelete
Hi JQ!! So glad you could get here and so thoughtful to bring those delicious candies!! The party is winding down and you just made it here to be in the drawing!!!ReplyDelete
Yup, you did! Did you meet Darius? I too have a little unicorn my mother bought me to remind me she believes in me no matter what. Thanks for coming. I haven't done the draw yet. I guess that happens today.ReplyDelete
I'm late, but had to comment to say I didn't realize you liked Lucy Maud, Suzanne! You must know I adore her and everything about her and her books :)ReplyDelete
congratulations on yours!
Denise of Ingleside, PEI