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. We have conducted an interview with her.
Why did you write about Clara? What is so special about her and her journey?
I wrote about Clara because I wanted to tell a story about a female hero who wasn’t always likeable or wasn’t out looking for romance. I wanted to write a female hero in search of her voice (in the first novel, that’s both literal and figurative) and one who wants to discover the answers to things rather than being handed them. I wanted to write about a woman who fights for what and who she loves and believes in.
What is the story’s setting?
For the novels, I created a fictional world. And in that fictional world is a kingdom called Lorst. In that kingdom, the story takes place. Lorst has an ocean on the west with mountain terrain to the north and east. The country becomes plains further to the south. The world in which I set Clara’s story is reminiscent of European medieval times but with a few twists.
How challenging is writing the sequel to the story?
It was very challenging at first because I wasn’t entirely certain of what I wanted Clara to discover in the sequel. I wasn’t entirely clear on her ending. Once I found a plot I like and felt comfortable in her head again, the story flowed.
Which new character and what kind of plot will be added to the upcoming book?
I don’t want to say too much of that because it would spoil the book! I will say that there is a new villain and we meet figures from Clara’s past that are only mentioned in passing in the first book. We get to know Lord Bruin and General Asher better. They were only side characters in the first book but in the sequel, they play more central roles. Bruin was a lot of fun to write, in fact, because he’s a scholar with a mischievous streak.
What kind of contest is going on pertaining to your book launch? How to participate?
Right now, I’m running a giveaway for a signed copy of the first novel, Clara, as well as two scented candles inspired by the books. The scents are lilac and sandalwood for one and the other is pine and firewood. People can sign up for the giveaway on this website. The giveaway ends April 16.
As we get closer to the release of Clara’s Return, I’ll have more giveaways. I highly recommend people sign up for my newsletter so they can get advanced notice and special entries into contests.
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