Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Welcome Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn

  1. Today, I’m interviewing Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, the first of a trilogy. Her novel is the pick of the week at Amazon and a top seller at Muse It Up Publishing. Leave a comment here and you might win a free eBook of The Shadow of the Unicorn!
 Here’s the back cover blurb:
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.

       2.  How did you pick the genre you write in?
I was an elementary music teacher for over 20 years. One day, I had five minutes left at the end of class and so asked the kids, “Do you want to hear a story?” Hands shot up. And so I ducked down behind the piano with lots of noise-making gadgets and I made up a tale on the spot about a mysterious creature in a small town that was killing folks. They loved it. After that, I had to tell stories at the end of every class. But not just that class, all of my classes. It got to the point where kids would stop my on the playground and ask for them. So how did I pick the genre I write in? I didn’t. The kids did.

  1. What drew you to the subject of The Shadow of the Unicorn?
It’s based on a novella I wrote in grade six. I was a horse aficionado. I lived and breathed horses but never got one. Unicorns were just another type of horse in my mind.

  1. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?
It was called The Legend of the Unicorn. My mother talked about getting my unicorn novella published but I didn’t think it was good enough. It was full of misspelled words, repetitions, and had punctuation problems. But when you got to the end of it, you really felt for the characters. I think that’s why I always kept it with me all my life. It came to every apartment I ever lived in.

  1. How many rejections have you received?
I was very fortunate in that I only got two rejections before being accepted.

  1. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?
I picked Muse It Up Publishing because when I opened up the website, there was this wonderful banner of a Pegasus. I thought, “Now these are the people who will love my unicorns.”
  1. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
Did you ever get bored and where (so I can change it).

  1. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know?
Okay, complete honesty here. If you know me personally, you’ll be privy to this, but on-line you can’t possibly tell. I have a lazy eye and oh my, but that has caused me so much trouble all my life. As a teacher, the kids were often confused, not knowing to whom I was talking. As a teenager, I was given a really mean nickname by a nasty boy. It spread. When I was really little, I couldn’t understand why there was a crescent moon in my vision. It was my brain cancelling out most of what my left eye saw. Anyway, that’s it. That’s my embarrassing thing.

  1. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
Well, I’d have to say it’s that I’m good at carrying people away to another world. I paint a picture in people’s minds with sights, sounds, and smells. I’m told too that I’m good at writing suspense.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about your book?
The character Darius. He’s a psychic dinosaur who survives the asteroid because he has a destiny to help the unicorns survive. He’s a wonderful, selfless creature, sensitive, and very vulnerable.

  1. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Painting the picture. Going back and improving it.

  1. What was the hardest scene to write?
For me, action scenes are the hardest to write. I’m not really someone who likes a lot of action and so have to work really hard at this.

  1. I’ve noticed half of your proceeds goes to the Third World Eye Care Society. How did you come to that decision?
As I said earlier, I have all sorts of vision problems. I even had cataracts in my forties. Then last summer, I developed a mysterious affliction. I was in Ireland and realized that I couldn’t read the tourist signs. My vision was washed out at the focal point. It got worse and worse until I could only read the newspaper with a magnifying glass.
I was immediately whisked off to all sorts of specialists and all for free. Eventually the problem mostly cleared up enough that I can read the paper again. But it got me to thinking that there are all sorts of people in third world countries who can’t even afford glasses. After talking to my ophthalmologist, I decided to give partial proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of doctors who travel to underdeveloped nations carrying thousands of pairs of glasses and performing surgery for free.
There is a particularly moving video of a young woman who was legally blind all her life until TWECS came. All she needed was a strong pair of glasses to claim back her life. You can see it at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151125187091883 Guaranteed it’ll make you cry.
I also collect glasses when I do school visits. I do a raffle. Anyone who brings in used eyeglasses gets their name put in a draw to win a Shadow of the Unicorn t-shirt.

  1. So what’s next for you? What are you working on now?
The second of the Shadow of the Unicorn series. In this story, a corrupt leader makes life miserable for the unicorns and even creates a false god to frighten them into submission. Of course, the unicorns are discovered again by the humans, endangering them. But the best part of all, is they find Darius again!

  1. Where can we find Shadow of the Unicorn?
You can find it at Muse It Up Publishing where it’s one of the top ten sellers!

At Amazon where it’s the pick of the week.

And at Kobo.

And if you want to see the booktrailer, here’s the link.