Writer Wednesday: guest Susanna Kearsley and giveaway

From Thea:  I was so happy when author Susanna Kearsley agreed to come visit my blog this week, and I love the subject of her post, which was very timely for me as I just finished up two projects of my own.  I completely identify with what she describes.

Here is Susanna’s bio: 

Susanna Kearsley was working as a museum curator when, after years of writing first chapters, she finally finished her first book on a dare from her sister. Her second novel, Mariana, won the U.K.’s Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize in 1993. Since then, her books have been published in twenty countries and optioned for film, and last year her book The Winter Sea spent five weeks on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Susanna lives in Ontario, Canada. where she balances her daily work schedule with being a stay-at-home mother of two.

Susanna is offering a giveaway with her visit, and details follow toward the end of her post.


I am bereft.

Last Tuesday, I hit “send” on my computer and the manuscript of my new book went sailing off to London, England, where it’s in the hands now of my editor.

I won’t lie—a large part of me was very, very happy to hit “send”, because this latest book, THE FIREBIRD, was written to a deadline, and having not had an actual deadline since 1997, I’d completely forgotten about the Stress. The entire month of May was a blur for me, writing nonstop, eating cold cereal out of the box, feeding my family cold cereal out of the box, and even resorting to locking myself in a hotel room for a long weekend to blast through some difficult chapters. And with all that, it still took a few extra days and an all-nighter pulled in New York to get down to “The End”.

So hitting the “send” button filled me with great satisfaction.

But now, as I wander around with my coffee, the house seems too quiet. I feel like I’ve had these incredible house guests, and now they’ve gone home and I miss them. For nearly two years, I’ve spent hours and hours each day with my characters, some of whom started their lives in an earlier book, THE WINTER SEA, so I’ve had them around even longer. It seems very strange now to not spend my days with them, sharing their lives and emotions.

This short time between books is when I’m supposed to enjoy having nothing to do—to catch up on my own pleasure reading, or sit and watch videos, because I’ll soon be beginning a new book, with new people in it.

But still, I’m bereft. Just as I always watch the door when I’m expecting guests, I find myself checking my email more often than usual, waiting for my editor to send my new book back to me to be revised, so I can have my characters alive again around me.

Are there characters you have a hard time letting go of, when you read (or write) them?

One winner will receive a signed copy of my book THE ROSE GARDEN, in which the heroine, Eva, finds herself missing the people she’s come to know, also—a bit of a problem, since they lived 300 years earlier.

Here’s an excerpt:

Following Claire through the door to the kitchen I heard a knife’s blade striking on the cutting board and thought at first, Oh, Fergal’s cooking something, and for that brief moment following, while my mind adjusted to the modern room instead, I felt a bit off-balance. Out of step.

It seemed so much harder this time to fit back in the slot I belonged in. Especially here in the kitchen, where I spent so much of my time in the past, I found things didn’t feel right. I missed seeing Fergal’s black scowl and quick smile, and Jack rocking his chair on two legs with his back to the wall and his eyes full of mischief, and Daniel…I really missed Daniel.


As with all of my Writer Wednesday guests, Susanna’s giveaway will end at 12 noon MDT on Friday, June 15th!

6 Responses

  1. Amanda Grinstead says:

    Good question! I had a hard time letting go of Dumbledore when he died in the Harry Potter series. In terms of characters that lived but I was saddened to let them go when the series ended–I’d have to say Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games trilogy. ^.^

  2. Anna Beth Mekus says:

    I love Elizabeth Peters. I fell mildly in love with her character Ramses, from the Amelia Peabody series, whom readers get to know from infancy through adulthood. That much time with a character over the period of 17 books, one would think I would be able to let go, but I keep holding out for just one more story.

  3. bn100 says:

    Interesting question. I don’t have a hard time letting go of characters.

  4. Jessica Wimberly says:

    I will have a hard time letting of Illium from Nalini Singh’s Archangel series when his book comes out. I just want him all to myself.

  5. JessS says:

    I always have a hard time letting go of characters I love, even if their story has ended pretty perfectly.
    The Rose Garden sounds really good, and I love the cover!!

  6. Julie says:

    I definitely have had a hard time letting go sometimes. This tends to happen when an author writes characters and settings vividly enough that I can see their stories unfold like a movie reel.