Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Interview with Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy

I start today's post with a heavy heart. Actor/writer/director, Harold Ramis, an emblematic figure from my childhood, has died. He was a comedic giant and the best Egon Spengler that ever was.
                                       RIP Harold Ramis. "We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it."

Some lighter news: I am busting through this novel. Just finished Chapter 11... approx. 16,000 words in. Feels so good to be moving along with this. Currently struggling with a potential dilemma, though... to prologue or not to prologue? Is it totally necessary? Can I get by without it? There is information that I desperately want the reader to have... but, I'm weighing the pros and cons of giving away too much up front against letting it develop more organically later on. More to come on this front soon!!!

Okay, on to our third interview!  I was lucky enough to speak with Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.
-Hi Suzanne!  You are the author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy. Is this your first novel?
SUZANNE: It is indeed.
-Where did the inspiration for this book come from? 
SUZANNE: It was based on a novel I wrote in grade six. It was supposed to be just a story, but I got carried away and wrote a six-chapter novella. I always kept this little book because I knew that somehow it was special. And it was. After my father died, I was stricken with hyperscribia, the intense need to write, and so began my unicorn stories.

-Could you share how you came to find a fit with MuseItUp Publishing?
SUZANNE: When I felt my novel was ready for publication, I sent it to two agents who rejected it. Then, on the advice of a friend, I checked out the Muse. On their website, they had this magical banner of a giant Pegasus. When I saw that, I knew I had found the right home for my book.

-Do you have any tricks/helpful hints in querying potential agents/publishers?
SUZANNE: Keep it short, concise, and to the point. Don’t bore them. One page, three paragraphs. And your synopsis must be only one page. Make life easier for the publisher.

-How difficult is it to create a new world, totally from scratch? Is there a lot more planning involved with writing a novel like this?
SUZANNE: I don’t plan anything. I just know a few things that will happen, and then I start writing whatever pops into my head. Mind you, I really suffer afterwards trying to make sense of it all. Sometimes I write myself into a corner, and then have to retrace my steps to change things so it will all work.
-When a new writer has a finished MS and decides it's time to try and get it published, what advice can you give them?
SUZANNE: Let it sit for a long time, a few months, and then go back and read it again. Fix it up, and then let it sit again. Your subconscious will keep working on it whether you are sitting at your computer or not. Then have several people read it and tell you what doesn’t work.
-How difficult is it to write something new, that hasn't already been done and played out over and over again?
SUZANNE: I don’t care if it’s been written before. Perhaps my telling will be more interesting than the last, or perhaps mine will teach something the others didn’t.

-Was there an author and/or book that you read growing up that has influenced how or what you write today?
SUZANNE: C.S. Lewis, I guess. I also loved everything by Lucy Maude Montgomery. And of course, Clifford the Big Red Dog.
-Can you share any stories (good or bad) of people/fans responding to your book?
SUZANNE: The most entertaining review I’ve ever had was a woman who said it was the weirdest book she ever read, but that she really liked it. Another woman found me on my website and told me the ending just killed her and to please keep on writing.
-What audience is your book geared toward?
SUZANNE: It’s really geared toward middle grade readers – 9-12 years old, but it’s been hailed a story young adults and adults will love. My son, 13, started reading it last night and is totally hooked.
-You're stuck on an island for the rest of your life with one book, one person, and one song playing continuously. Which book, which person, and which song?
SUZANNE: How depressing. Okay, some sort of survival guide, my husband, and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.
-Thoughts on the Kool-Aid Man?
-If you throw a cat out a car window, does it become kitty litter?
SUZANNE: Awwww. I’m an animal lover. I’d never throw a kitty out the window. (Pouting)
-Ok.  Serious question.  Have you ever read any of the books in the Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan ('cause I freaking love those books)?
SUZANNE: Nope. Guess I’d better check them out.

-Anything else you want us to know about your book?  Why should we go out and buy it? 
SUZANNE: It’s a fast and intense read. Guaranteed you’ll cry at the end.

Here's a brief teaser from The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy:
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.

Where Can I Buy This Book?:


Barnes and Noble:



Muse It Up Publishing:

Coming soon from Suzanne de Montigny:
I’ve nearly completed book 2 of The Shadow of the Unicorn series. It’s entitled The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Deception. In this story, Azaria’s Legacy has been altered by a corrupt leader by creating a false God. Ulysees and his friend Teo must search for the truth. I’ve also got a YA novel near ready about a child prodigy in classical violin growing up in a small town. When Kate McDonough, the red-haired fiddler, bewitches the town with her mysterious Celtic music, only Kira seems to know who has been vandalizing the town leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card.
                                                                                   Suzanne De Montigny
Thanks, Suzanne!!!
More author interviews coming soon and further insight into my own adventure. Keep checking back!!!
Follow me on Twitter: @RimerTom


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  2. Hyperscribia! - Love it!

    Impressive progress, Tom! My thoughts on prologues: include just enough to set the tone and create an atmosphere, steer clear of info-dumping.

  3. Thanks, Erin! It's definitely what I'm attempting to do.