A little bit about Susan...
Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys. Irish Meadows, her debut historical romance won the Fiction from the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Authors chapter of RWA.
Susan lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She loves red wine and chocolate, is not partial to snow even though she’s Canadian, and is ecstatic on the rare occasions she has the house to herself. Learn more about Susan and her books at www.susanannemason.com.
Connect with Susan...
Website: www.susanannemason.com (new revised site will be launched by the end of the week)
Blog: http://suemasonsblog.blogspot.ca/ (my blog be incorporated into the new website)
Purchase: Love's Faithful Promise
Get to know Susan...
I first started writing when I was in Grade 6, so about the age of 12, on the advice of my teacher, who noticed my love of stories. After several years, I did complete one horrible manuscript which I was brave enough to send to a publisher and received a very polite rejection. I set writing aside for many years and somewhere around my 40th birthday I started to get the urge to write again. I started scribbling in notebooks whenever I had a few spare moments and 2 years later had a finished book — one that is so bad that it will remain unpublished! But the love of writing had come back to life and so I joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter where I learned a great deal AND met people like me who had characters and plots living in their heads!
Let’s talk about your writing life. How long did you write before you got published?
It took over ten years before I finally got my first contract. I hope this doesn’t discourage anyone because I’ve found that every writer has a unique journey. I had a lot to learn about the mechanics of writing and slowly figured out what worked and what didn’t. My biggest challenge was the plot. I would run out of things for the characters to do! So once I learned to become a plotter, things improved greatly for me!
What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”?
My best advice is to enter writing contests. Getting feedback from judges really helped me figure out where I was going wrong in my stories, and what I was doing right. In the end, my first historical romance with Bethany House came about directly from a contest win. Once my writing got better, I targeted contests with judges who were editors from the publishing houses I was hoping to publish with, and in this case it worked! So keeping learning and improving your craft because you never know what contest might be the ticket to a contract!
Are there any books or resources you could recommend to younger writers looking to grow in their craft?
I would recommend anything by Susan May Warren and her company My Book Therapy. She is a great writer and has really honed teaching the craft. I recently attended a workshop with her and Rachel Hauk at the annual ACFW Writers conference in Nashville. Her methods of plotting the story using the character’s background is fabulous. It really helps get to the crux of the story you’re trying to tell.
I would also highly recommend the Seekerville blog. It’s packed with great writing information and author interviews!
Tell us a little bit about your book.
Love’s Faithful Promise is the third book in the Courage to Dream Series. This story takes place in 1922 Long Island, New York and focuses on Deirdre, the youngest member of the O’Leary family and her journey to find her place in the world. She is forced to set aside her dream of becoming a doctor to help look after her mother who has suffered a stroke. A Canadian doctor specializing in physical therapy comes to Irish Meadows to work with Mrs. O’Leary and Deirdre finds herself wanting to help the emotionally scarred widower and his young daughter. Soon she will be faced with the choice between medical school and a future with Dr. Clayborne.
Part of the fun in writing this book was making the hero a Canadian and doing research in the city of Toronto. I have been to the city many times but never with such a focus on its history. So that was interesting. The best part was exploring old City Hall which is now used as a courthouse. The architecture and the interior have been largely preserved as they were in the early 1900s so it really felt like stepping back in time — except for the security and metal detectors at the entrance!
The challenge in writing this book was of course the research. Finding out about physical therapy in 1922, as well as trying to find out anything about court custody battles for children at this time. Luckily I found a few such cases in the law archives of the Toronto Reference Library and used it as a basis for part of my storyline!
I truly hope you’ll love Deirdre and Matthew’s journey to love!
Emilie here: Thank you so much for being my guest Susan! I saw you at the conference but never was able to stop and formally meet you! Next year perhaps? And you have a fantastic middle name...*cough* mine is Anne as well *cough* (hehe). I've heard wonderful things about this whole series and am so excited to introduce this book (and book 1 & book 2) here as well!
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