Today, I’d like to welcome Suzanne de Montigny to my guest blog. She has written a powerful middle grade novel called The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, the perfect book for a tweeny horse lover. Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of her e-book.
So pray tell, Suzanne, in an era of vampires, lichens, and Harry Potter, what possessed you to write about unicorns?
It’s a long story. I wrote my first unicorn novella as a class project in grade six. It was supposed to be a couple of pages, but I got carried away and wrote six chapters. I got an A on the project, and for some reason or other, always kept that little novella in my belongings, moving it with me to university, and everywhere else after that. Then, several years later, in my forties, I found an old, dusty and box while cleaning the basement. Inside, I found the first four chapters of a rewrite of that novella I had done during my teens. Laughing, I threw it in the recycling box. A couple of days later, I was overcome by curiosity. Fishing it out of the blue box, where it had been rained upon, I dried it out. When I read it, I was utterly fascinated. “A psychic dinosaur?” I exclaimed. Then, a week later, I began writing it, and two weeks later, I was finished the first draft.
So you’re saying it took you 41 years to publish this book?
Well, from the time I started writing it at eleven, to November of last year when it was released, that’s about forty-one years.
Tell us a little bit about the book.
A young unicorn, Azaria, in intrigued when he meets Darius the seer who lapses into spells, having visions of impending disaster. When an asteroid smashes into the earth, it changes the unicorns’ paradise into a bleak world of fierce storms and famines, diminishing their herds. Looking for answers, they travel back to the dinosaur’s valley only to discover the giant creatures didn’t fare well and that Darius was the last of his kind. They take on the task of bringing him up as one of their own, but when the humans arrive, Darius flees in terror. Ishmael, the human leader, captures one of the herds and exploits the healing power of their horns. Unfit for healing humans, the unicorns are threatened with extinction until Azaria finds Darius again and learns a secret…
Which character do you like the best and why?
I love Darius the seer with all my heart because he is so selfless. He knows he has a destiny and sacrifices everything to fulfill it. I love Azaria too because he goes against the grain standing up against his peers to do what’s right.
Will there be other unicorn books?
Yes, I’m working on the second of the series. I’m not telling what happens except that they find Darius again and that there’s another natural disaster.
What other project are you working on?
My YA novel, A Town Bewitched, has been submitted, and I’m waiting for a response. It’s a story about a child prodigy in classical violin and her best friend, a girl adopted into a white family from China, growing up in the small town of Hope, British Columbia. When a mysterious fiddler bewitches the town with her Celtic music, only Kira suspects who has been vandalising the town leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card.
Wow! A creepy fiddler. That’s unusual. How did you ever come up with an idea like that?
My boys and I went to a fiddling camp one summer, and came back absolutely on fire about fiddling. We just couldn’t stop playing, we were so enthusiastic. My eldest son was so inspired, he began busking on Granville Island in Vancouver. So around Christmas time, I thought, “What if what happened to us happened to an entire town, except there was something wrong with the fiddler.” And voila! The birth of a YA paranormal.
I bet I can guess – she’s a bird vampire.
Nope. And she’s not a unicorn either.
Has anyone ever guessed?
I’ve noticed you have a charity attached to your novel. Do you want to tell us what that’s all about?
Last summer, I noticed, to my horror, that I couldn’t read tourist signs. The letters were washed out. I thought it was a side effect of the laser surgery I’d had ten years before, and didn’t think anything of it. But it got worse, and soon I was in the office of one of B.C.’s top ophthalmologist’s office. He couldn’t find anything wrong, yet there I was, unable to read the newspaper without a magnifying glass. I gave up writing for a whole month until my edits came back from Shadow. I discovered I could work on my computer if I blew the letters up to huge proportions. It was about this time I thought, “Look at the amazing treatment I have received for my eyes, yet there are millions of people in third world countries who can’t even afford glasses.” Hence, I decided to donate half of all my proceeds to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to underdeveloped nations bringing thousands of pairs of glasses and performing eye surgery for free. I don’t know if my vision will ever be restored, but I believe everything happens for a reason and this is mine.
That’s too bad about your eyes, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.
So where is your book available?
It’s available at Amazon.com, museituppublishing.com, ibooks.com, smashwords.com, and omnilit.com
Here are some direct links:
Tinyurl.com/unicorntale and Tinyurl.com/museunicorn
And if you’d like to see the booktrailer, you can find it here:
Well thanks for coming.
Thanks for hosting me. And don’t forget to leave a comment to win a copy of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.
Suzanne de Montigny
THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN: The Legacy