Interview with Suzanna J. Linton, author of Clara's Return

12:30 AM

Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Suzanna J. Linton on the release of her latest book, Clara's Return! Let's welcome her on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!

1. What inspired you to write Clara's Return?

The first inkling of inspiration came when I was trying to finish the first book, Clara. I wanted to wrap up the book neatly, slap a bow on it, and call it a draft. But the story resisted me and I realized that Clara’s story wasn’t finished. There was more for her to do and discover. 

2. Can you give the readers an idea about what they should expect in the book?

They should expect a slightly darker world. In the first book, I glossed over the brutality of war and the mental cost of it. In this second book, I tried to delve a little more into it. I tried to show how people can be both noble and immature, both compassionate and cruel.

3. Do you decide the character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you write?

It’s a little bit of both. I have an idea of how a certain person is, how they sound, and how they react. The character grows during the writing, though, and I think that’s important. It opens the door to surprising both the writer and the reader.

4. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Clara's Return?

I did research on long distance travel with horses and such, as well as weather patterns and terrain. The book takes place, partially, in mountains and I wanted to make sure I got the feel of the season correct. I also did research into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. And then there’s all the little boring stuff that gets researched during the writing, like flowers and animals that inhabit mountains.

5. If you had to pick one favorite character from the book, who would you pick and why?

I would choose Jarrett because he would be so easy to get along with, compared to everyone else in the story! And he has such a strong honor and moral code, with a dash of humor. That’s the kind of person I enjoy spending time with and it’s a lot like my husband, now that I think about it.

6. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.

My biggest challenge is in the ending. I worry I’m not ending at the right place, if maybe I could say a little more. I worry that the ending is too perfect or not good enough. Fight scenes are another challenge for me. My father was a boxer, so I know the basics of fighting. I’ve been in a few tussles. But I’ve never been in a life or death struggle and I’m not an experienced or even very competent fighter. So, writing it in a way that makes sense and is thrilling is very difficult for me.

7. What is your writing routine like? 

I write in the afternoon. That’s a habit I developed from when I worked a part time job and I was normally scheduled in the mornings. Now that I work from home full time, I keep to the afternoon writing time. I begin by reading what I wrote the day before and, if I made notes on where I wanted to go next, I look at those. Then, I begin to write! If I’m having trouble concentrating, I make myself a pot of tea or I go do something else for a bit. But, generally, I don’t stop until I’ve either hit my word count for the day or my established “quitting time” rolls around.

8. Do you have any rejection stories to share?

When I was trying to get an agent, it was rejection after rejection. I hung the letters like they were badges of honor. After a while, though, I got tired of seeing them. When I decided to self-publish, some of those letters started to fall off the wall on their own. I took it as a sign that I was doing the right thing and took down the rest of them myself.

9. What's next?

I’m torn between working on editing the The Bookwyrm Series into a single novella or just throwing myself into writing the next book in the Lands of Sun and Stone Series. I keep telling people the next book is coming out in 2017 but I need to write the darn thing first!

10. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?

Never give up on your dreams. Dreams don’t become reality if we don’t work hard for their realization.

Clara's Return

by Suzanna J. Linton

Published: May 13th 2016
Publisher: Independent
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Clara, lost and disillusioned from a hard-fought war, hopes to discover some answers about her lineage and abilities in the quiet village of Bluebell, where she once lived before being sold into slavery.

However, as she and the Captain of the Royal Guard make their journey, a new threat to the kingdom arises in the form of a traitor.

This new threat has been patiently brewing since the fall of the sorceror-king Marduk and careful plans are now coming to fruition. Emmerich’s struggles with his new role as king and his ever-present nightmares leave him feeling inadequate to the task. What he needs most is Clara.

But how can she help from so far away? And how can she help if she does not even know who she is?

Buy the book

About the author

Suzanna J. Linton was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in rural Orangeburg County. At age eight, she tried to read The Secret Garden by herself. After following her mother around for a day, asking questions about the Yorkshire accent, she gave up, but that didn't deter her in developing a deep appreciation for books and the worlds to which they open. A few years later, she wrote her first poem, which eventually led her to writing fiction.

In 2002, she attended the summer program at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, where she refined her poetry and wrote her first decent short story. In 2003, Suzanna began attending Francis Marion University, where she graduated with a Bachelor's in English.

Today, she continues to live in South Carolina with her husband and their assorted pets.

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