Saturday, 18 May 2013

Suzanne de Montigny -The Shadow of the Unicorn

I’m delighted to welcome to my garden, children’s writer, and fellow MuseItUp author, 

Suzanne de Montigny

During Children’s Book Week 13th– 19th May, Suzanne is offering her novel free, via Mother, Daughter and Sons Book Review.  

Cover Designer: Marion Sipe

The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy 

 Click here for Free Download  

Now Suzanne, allow us a peak inside an author’s imagination.

What is the most interesting thing about you that has helped you grow as a writer?

I guess it’s that I’m perseverant. When I get bitten by something, I simply can’t let it go until I’ve got it right. To give you an idea, I learned to play the violin with my children when they began Suzuki. This soon turned to fiddling. Because I have a big music background and advanced quickly, I also got nasty tendonitis in two places. Didn’t stop me. I carried on right through the tendonitis – until I injured my shoulder sleeping on small European beds. Have I stopped? No, but I’m going on for physio twice a week.

If a reader you know could enter your books and become one of the  characters, which one do you think that would most likely be? 

I think it depends on who they are. A girl might like to be one of the unicorn twins Jemmi or Cassi. A boy might prefer Azaria since he’s the hero. I can’t imagine that anyone would be Darius because he suffers so much and has to face difficult destiny of terrible loneliness. But what is more likely to happen is that a person enters my story out of the blue. I’ll be sitting around writing, then there they are, talking and doing things without ever being invited in. They totally take over. It can be anyone from one of the neighbours, to one of my husband’s employees, to someone I hated while growing up

Why is your book unique.

Haha! I had a review a couple of months back that said The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy was one of the strangest books they’d ever read, but that they liked it. I mean, what can possibly be stranger than unicorns, dinosaurs, and humans all at the same time, plus an asteroid? But it works and quite well. So far all my reviews have been 4s and 5s.

With no limitations at all – a blank page

a)     Where would you live for the duration of writing your next novel.  Why?

Ew, I love this question! I oftentimes dream of this very thing. Hmm, let’s see. Okay, New York – right across from Central Park. I went to New York a couple of years ago and fell in love with the place. It had changed dramatically since I had been nearly 30 years earlier. And now that I’ve seen The Great Gatsby, I’m even more in love with it. I can just see myself stepping out for lunch in one of those Kosher restaurants, eating matza balls, that sort of thing. But I’m not sure I could stay out of the museums…oh, and did I mention Carnegie Hall? Oh dear, I feel a story coming on.

b)    What hazardous situation would you place yourself in for the sake of researching your story? 

Well, you’ll probably think I’m a sissy, but I’m not sure I’d put myself in any hazardous situation. But I’d like to spend time in Cape Breton, in Canada because I have a novel screaming to get out that takes place there, plus everyone I know who’s from Cape Breton longs for ‘down home’, so it must be a great place. I just love my country, Canada. There’s so much natural beauty here and cool air.

c)     Who would you have as your most challenging villain

I think Ishmael in The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy is as nasty as it gets. He’s totally possessed with that little hard substance called gold and will get it no matter what, but at the same time, you understand his thinking because we all have a bit of Ishmael in us since we live in a materialistic society. Fortunately, people are more aware now of animal rights today and aren’t ready to knock off an animal as easily as fifty years ago just for its horn.

 If you could live any time in history, which one would you chose to be the writer you really want to be. Would this era be much different from your writing experience now?

Definitely the 1800s, but it would be tough on me since I’m used to social media and word processors. When I was going to university, no one had computers yet. I wrote everything out by hand. I’d have my rough draft, my first good draft, then my second good draft. It definitely limits me not having technology. People say that writing by hand frees up your mind. Not so with me. Since I play piano, I can type almost as fast as I think. Writing by hand is difficult for me because it really slows me down, not to mention my hand writing is really awful. I can’t begin to tell you how many teachers couldn’t make out a note I sent to them.

 Who is your target audience?

My target audience is kids 9 – 12, but I have a fairly big audience with adults too because of the nature of the book. It’s a book that teaches. I do school visits. I had one last week, and three this week. They’re fun to do since I was a teacher for over 20 years and am very comfortable with kids. Afterward, I post the pictures on my FB page and my website so the kids can see themselves the minute they get home from school.

Thank you Suzanne, I wish you much success with your enchanting Middle Graders novel.

            Thanks, Wendy. It was a pleasure.

Watch the book trailer video of The Legend of the Unicorn: Legacy.

If you miss out on the free book,

The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy

is available from

Half of all Suzanne's proceeds goes to the


Tina said...

What a fun interview with the author! I'm really excited to read this book and then to share it with my daughter. Thanks so much!

Mia said...

How great that the money also goes to a great cause!

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

And a great cause it is, Mia. On the Third World Eye Care Society's website, there's a poignant video of a 20-year-old girl who has been legally blind all her life because she needed a -20 prescription. TWECS gave that to her and now she can go on with her life. The video is really sad because she keeps crying and so does the woman fitting her with the glasses. I show this to every class I visit and in turn, they bring me used eyeglasses.

Edith Parzefall said...

Great interview, Wendy and Suzanne. Of course, you're a sissy, Suzanne, but hey, for a free copy of your book, you're excused. ;-) Got my copy.

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

Awesome, Edith!

Erin Albert said...

Great job, ladies!! :)

S. Willett said...

I've read The Shadow of the Unicorn and reviewed it. The strength of the characters pulled the reader in. I think it's cool that you're sharing through school visits.

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

Thanks, Sharon. It's a lot of fun talking to the kids.

Renee C. said...

This was very generous of Suzanne. I nabbed myself a copy and can't wait to read it! Thanks for linking your post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. :)