I would like to welcome Susanna Kearsley to Royal Reviews.
Question 1- Tell us something about yourself, so that we can get to know you a bit better…
Thanks so much for inviting me here. I don’t know how interesting I can manage to make my life sound, but here goes: I’m a former museum curator who, like many other writers, started writing stories when I was a little girl, but didn’t finish my first novel till my sister got tired of reading first chapters that never went anywhere, and dared me to actually write a whole book. Which I did. I’ve written nine more books since that one, and am just now finishing work on my 11th novel. I’m also a fairly ordinary, minivan-driving suburban mom, with two great kids who keep me very busy when I’m not in my writing-room.
Question 2- Your novel Mariana is out now—congrats! Could you tell us about it?
Thanks, I’m really happy to see Mariana getting re-issued in the States by Sourcebooks. I know writers aren’t supposed to have favorites among their books, but Mariana has always been one of my favorites. It was the second book I wrote, but in a lot of ways it marked the start of my writing career, winning Britain’s Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize in 1993 and finding me my first major publisher. Mariana is the story of a young woman who’s always felt herself drawn towards a particular house in the English countryside, and when she finally has the chance to buy it and live in it she finds her own life gradually becoming tangled up with the life of a woman who lived there in the 17th century.
Question 3- Since Mariana is a time slip novel, do you find you have more trouble with writing the past or the present.
Both sections of the story have their own challenges. Whether I`m researching the history for the past sections or researching the present-day location and characters’ occupations, there’s always a lot for me to learn. I`d have to say, though, that writing the present-day scenes can be trickier at times, because while there`s no one from 1665 who can come back and point out some minor detail I got wrong, there are always a lot of people from the present day who will do exactly that if I get sloppy with my research and my writing.
Question 4-How do you find that perfect balance between past and present?
It’s not something I consciously do. At different times in each of the interwoven stories, the characters of one story will seem to be demanding more time or more attention, so I’ll focus more on them. It’s not a scientific method, but it always seems to work.
Question 5- What can readers expect next?
Well, this fall Sourcebooks will be bringing out my book The Shadowy Horses, which has been out of print in the States for over a decade. And next spring they’ll be publishing my brand new novel, which is a sort-of-sequel to The Winter Sea, continuing the story of many of the 18th-century characters I introduced in that book.
Question 6- Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?
The one thing I’d love to tell anyone wanting to write is to not worry too much about what the current trends are, or what people are saying you ought to write. Write what your heart wants to write—write the story that you want to tell, because that book will carry your own voice more strongly, and voice is what makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s what captures an editor’s eye, and can carry you farther than anything else in this business, and I’ve always believed it comes best when you’re writing the stories you love.
Julia Beckett believes in destiny, settling into her rustic new home, Julia encounters haunting remnants of a beautiful young woman who lived and loved there centuries ago.
It's seems Mariana has been waiting for Julia.
I have a lovely set of books for 1 lucky winner.
Worldwide Giveaway includes:
To enter please leave your name, a valid email address and your answer to the following question:
If you could travel into the past what period, person, or place would you visit?
Giveaway Ends: May 25