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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Susanna Kearsley Interview & Giveaway


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.


imagesCAYJDKZ4 "Tread lightly, she is near."

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:

     imagesCAU0JIF2 imagesCA5S7FK9 imagesCALOMGVN

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


1ZPLGWxrwAAEC5KxCjkg_tn128-1 Visit Angela Renee @ Renee’s Reads


Mystica said...

I have to win this as this author's books are not going to come to my part of the world for at least three years! I think I have to win on compassionate grounds!!!!


Linda said...

Enjoyed this interesting interview. The Shadowy Horses is a favorite book, and therefore I'm anxious to read other Kearsley novels. Thanks for the very generous giveaway.
If I could go back in time, I'd visit the court of Henry II and Eleanor, in hopes of meeting William Marshal.


Caroline said...

I've heard so much about Susanna Kearsley but haven't read any of her novels yet. I would love to enter.
I'm surprised that writing the present is trickier.
But people do like to point out errors, don't they?
Oh it's hard to decide to which time to go. Victorian England, I'd say and meet the Pre-Raphaelites.
My e-mail is
beautyisasleepingcat at gmail dot com

Thanks a lot for offering this.

petite said...

What a wonderful giveaway which is captivating. The place that I would visit would be Italy, Leonardo Da Vinci and be enthralled. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

An interview which I found fascinating and lovely. Susanna Kearsley has written such wonderful novels. I would enjoy spending time in England, during the pre World War 11 era and meet Churchill. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Felicia said...

Wonderful interview and all the novels sound like great reads. They are definitely added to my TBR list!

"If you could travel into the past what period, person, or place would you visit?" Could I have a time machine and just visit them all? That's a hard question, that's why I love reading, you can visit them all. I'd have to say I'd love to spend time with Jane Austen in her time.

felicialso @gmail. com

Patty Woodland said...

I would love to go and have a conversation with Michelangelo...that would be wonderful for this Art history major.

thank you.
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Colleen Turner said...

What a wonderful giveaway! If I could travel to any time and place it would be the Tudor times. I would live to be a fly on the wall to witness the dramatic goings on, but only if I could have an exit strategy in place just in case Henry's eyes turned my way :). Thanks for the giveaway!

Colleen Turner

Carol L. said...

I enjoyed the interview.I've read The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden.I loved them both. I am looking forward to reading Marianna.
I'd love to go back to Scotland before Culloden. I'd love to see and talk with William Wallace.
Carol L
Lucky7450 (at) aol (dot) com

miki said...


i would like to speak to Leopold 2 of Belgium to ask some advice

isabelle F


marybelle said...

I'd like to meet the ultimate Renaissance man - Leonardo da Vinci.

He has inspired so many & was so far ahead of his time.


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I would travel to Elizabethan England and meet my idol, Queen Elizabeth I. Learning about strong women in history has helped make me the woman I am today.

Thanks for the giveaway!
truebookaddict AT gmail DOT com

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I would love to visit Ancient Egypt, but only if I could be guaranteed to be a rich person or in the Pharoah's family!

Please enter me in the giveaway:

Catherine said...

I would love to go back to the French 18th century when Madame de Pompadour was actually ruling France in ruling Louis XV. I would meddle with Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau,...
Thanks for the giveaway

Margaret said...

For me it would be Ancient Egypt and I would visit Ramses II. This is the time period of the Moses story in the bible and he is said to have such built such a grand city.

I would absolutely love to win these books!! Thank you!

Elysium said...

I've wanted to read her books and Ive heard only good things about her books.

I would either wanna meet William Marshal or Richard III.


bn100 said...

Nice interview. I'd like to visit 1800s England and meet the people.


Carolyn said...

I would like to travel back to the ancient library of Alexandria. Thank you for a very exciting giveaway!


Rexmoy at gmail dot com

Anita Yancey said...

If I could travel into the past I would like to visit the American West during the 1800's. Thanks for having this giveaway.


Maureen said...

Since I really enjoyed Downton Abbey I would pick the turn of the twentieth century to see how all the changes were affecting people on a daily basis.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Carol M said...

I would like to go back to the Roaring 20's! I love the clothes and the dancing!

mittens0831 at aol dot com