AUTHOR: Suzanne de Montigny
BOOK TITLE: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Muse It Up Publishing
Barnes and Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-of-the-unicorn-suzanne-de-montigny/1114304816?ean=2940044263338
Muse It Up Publishing:
Please tell us about yourself.
I grew up in the Fraser Valley in a small town called Chilliwack. That’d be in Canada, on the west coast. I was a piano girl and so studied music in university. When I finished my master’s degree, I beat the pavement in Vancouver, finding work as a composer and pianist. But alas, I soon discovered the life of a free-lance musician wasn’t the life for me. So I drifted into music education and taught in the Vancouver School Board for years and years. That’s where I discovered I was a pretty good storyteller. And that’s how I began writing.
What genre do you write in and why?
I tend to gravitate to Middle Grade and Young Adult. Most of my books have a paranormal element to them. I love characters that can see the future or who have something really different about them. And the best part is my stories are clean as a whistle. No profanities or other naughty things. Only good wholesome storytelling.
Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
I’m currently promoting the first of my Shadow of the Unicorn series – The Legacy of Azaria. In it, a young clairvoyant dinosaur, named Darius, warns the unicorns of a great change that will take place. When the great fireball strikes the earth, their world is transformed into a desolate and barren land. They survive, only to be exploited by the humans for the healing power of their horns. Azaria, with the help of Darius, must lead the unicorns to safety. If you’d like to see my booktrailer, here is the link.
What do you hope your readers will take away from this book? When I write, I don’t just weave a story. I teach. In The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy of Azaria, I show firsthand how cruel people can become when greed leads their lives. And I make the bad guys get what they’ve got coming to them.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it? Have you seen Saving Mr. Banks? It’s the story of how the author of Mary Poppins simply didn’t want to sign her rights to her book to Disney. It was because too much of herself and her life lived inside those books. When I saw the movie, I left the theatre with a crumpled face and in tears. I know exactly how she felt. So much of me lives in my stories.
How did you decide how your characters should look?
I didn’t. You see, all unicorns are white with black hooves. Some of them have brown eyes, and some blue. Some are bigger, some smaller. So instead of focusing on their looks, I developed their characters. I have to be honest in saying, rarely do I adopt the image authors portray of their characters. If I see a Madgy as that nasty girl I once knew in grade four, she’s going to have long brown hair even if the author says she’s blond.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Well, I’ve gotta say, I think it was the last chapter. It was so very sad. Plus I did something unusual in that I changed the point of view from Azaria to Darius. It worked. But just don’t say I didn’t warn you – you will cry. Have a tissue handy.
Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?
Yes, it did. The story takes place at the end of the last ice age, twelve thousand years ago. I had to research what civilization was like back then. Did they have doors? Were they stone-aged people, etc. I also researched the destruction of Krakatoa Island when its volcano blew up. I needed to see exactly how the earth reacted to such a cataclysmic event.
Describe your writing space.
I’ve got the loveliest writing space – a wooden desk beside a fireplace.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Muse It Up Publishing. I still remember when I opened up their site, and there was this banner of a giant, blazing white Pegasus. I knew right away they were it. After all, I was writing about unicorns.
Do you ever have writer’s block?
Rarely. If anything, I just wish I could write as fast as the ideas come. It seems to take me forever to write a novel because I keep rewriting it all the time until I think it’s darned near perfect. If I get short of ideas, it’s time to move onto another story. It means I’ve said all I can about that topic.
What are your current projects? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. I’m nearly finished Book 2 of The Shadow of the Unicorn series. It’s called: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Deception. This happens sixty years into the future of Book 1 when a corrupt leader has changed the Legacy of Azaria to suit his own greed for power. He’s a cruel leader, and Ulysees must fight to find the truth. And the best part? They meet up with Darius again. And there’s another natural disaster, but I won’t tell you what.
I’m also rewriting a wonderful story about Kira, a child prodigy in classical violin growing up in the small town of Hope, B.C. Her father has just passed away. When Kate McDonough, the mysterious red-headed fiddler bewitches the town with her Celtic music, only Kira seems to know who has been vandalizing the town leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
I like to be taken away from this world into another. If it’s too real, I get bored pretty quick. Hence fantasy, science fiction, etc.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
I hate profanities and promiscuity. Need I say more?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a husband and two boys who take up all my time. They’re wonderful boys, but I oftentimes compare them to the Itchy and Scratchy Show. They fight and fight, and fight and fight and fight – lol. Actually, they are the loves of my life. We also have a bichon frise puppy who keeps us in stitches.