I enjoy celebrating Canada Day as it is my new homeland. We are lucky to have a deck overlooking part of the parade route so can sit in comfort and watch it drive past. Canada is a young country, becoming the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. This is in direct contrast to my former homeland, Britain which was founded a lot earlier.
United Kingdom = England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Kingdom of England was founded in 927 AD and The Kingdom of Wales was founded in 1283. They joined together in 1536 so Britain was founded in 1536. The Kingdom of Scotland was founded in 843 AD.
I do miss the history and pageantry as well as the ancient sites, historical houses and castles but have been fortunate to have traveled quite a lot of the province’s of Alberta and British Columbia by way of road trips. When I first came to Canada, I had no real sense of the vastness of the continent until someone showed me this view of the whole of Britain easily fitting into Alberta. This is just one province of ten!
I have seen wildlife and plants I would never have observed, spectacular scenery and many objects purportedly to be the largest! Here are some of them.
I also ‘discovered’ a passion for writing in Canada, which may never have been part of my life elsewhere. It was a happy accident walking into that first sharing meeting of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County in 2009. Not only do I have something that interests and absorbs me but it has also given me some incredible friendships. I am making up for ‘lost’ time publishing (to date) seven books, with several in the pipeline but it is the process of creating that engages me and having the opportunity to share my stories.
Here’s to many more years discovering this country, writing stories and enjoying family and friends.
As writers we are also avid readers, not only for pleasure but for research for our story line, be it historical, geographical or even the specifics of a particular genre.
What books do you keep for sentimental reasons? Is it a childhood story book, your first writing craft textbook or something else.
I’m not talking about our burgeoning bookcase horde but particular books that you love for the memories they evoke.
I have several older books (although some were lost when I immigrated to Canada unfortunately). Grey Rabbit as you can see from the impression dates was first published in 1948. The Hiawatha book was a prize for a national art competition, my first grand prize. And the last book is about my birth place.
Why not share your oldest and most loved books in the comments?
I haven’t written a novel in quite some time, but I’ll tell you about my favourite novel, The Dwelling. It was my third book, and was published around 2006 by Simon & Schuster in the US, and by Random House Canada here in Canada. It was also published in the UK and Germany. It’s a classic haunted house novel, and I actually wrote it just after moving into my own little house, the first house I owned all on my own. The process of house hunting got me to thinking about all the lives that pass through a single house, and how pieces of those lives are likely left behind. I was also going through a divorce at the time, and the whole thing was very challenging–haunting, you could say. These things combined and before I knew it, I was telling the story of a house through the eyes of four very different people.
How did you come up with the title?
I didn’t! You know, I have never titled a book. Someone always changes my title at the level above me, ha ha. The Dwelling, for instance, was called The Dwellan by me. Dwellen is an old English word that means “to refuse to leave,” which I thought was appropriate. Simon & Schuster felt that it would be too oblique for readers and so altered it to be called The Dwelling. I was sad about that title change … “dwellan” seemed so appropriate.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We’re all haunted by something.
How much of the book is realistic?
All the human emotion in the book is real. The whole thing is real, if you believe in ghosts!
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
That’s a mix. I think the writer always leaves something of themselves on the page at the end of the day, and certainly the middle story about the Mother and Son has shades of my own struggles during my divorce. The character of Ritchie is a writer. The Realtor, Glenn Darnley has just been widowed–she “lost” her husband–and certainly a divorce leaves you grieving. The character of the wife, Becca, in the first story is a very ambitious woman trying to be successful in a man’s world, and her troubled husband Dan is an artist. All of these people have shades of me in their characterizations. However, all of those characters are their own people, too, made up out of all the people I have ever interacted with, throughout my whole life.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
I’m fairly active on social media! I’m Susie Moloney on Facebook, @Susiemoloney on Twitter, and @susie.moloney on Instagram … please friend, follow, and like!
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
All my books have been “one-offs” as they say. As far as a new book goes … never say never. I have moved almost entirely on to film and television these days, however. In fact my very first full-length feature has recently been shot, Bright Hill Road. You can look for that sometime in the next year or so, and of course if you do follow me on social media, I give shamelessly regularly updates!
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I’ve always had–and always will have–a special place in my heart for Glenn Darnley, the widow realtor in that novel, The Dwelling. She was born at a time when there was a deep sadness in me, and she took that on like a champ. Writing her story helped me to get passed that sadness. Go, Glenn!
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I’m a horror writer through and through! Although I do occasionally write straight short fiction, and for many years I wrote a humour column. I also write funny essays. A laugh and a shriek are not far apart!
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I’m a planner. But I do allow a story to take me somewhere else if it seems like it needs to. I’m flexible, but I always know the ending of my story.
What is your best marketing tip?
Stay in touch with people! Social media is great for that.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
It’s a great tool. You can reach so many people! But it’s a lot of work to build a platform, and if you’re going to use social media as a promotional tool, you have to do that work, whether you want to or not!
What do you enjoy most about writing?
There is something absolutely magical about being able to absorb yourself entirely in the life of another human being–real or made up. To design their world, their thoughts, their relationships, is total trip! You’re literally making up a life and making it true! The idea that a well-told story can absorb someone else is a gift, too, this realization that someone who isn’t me can pick up my story or book and devote hours of their time to reading it because they are absorbed is probably the greatest honour I’ve ever had.
Susie Moloney is the author of Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, The Dwelling, The Thirteen, and Things Withered, stories, a collection of short fiction. Published all over the world, in multiple languages, she continues to write, although these days, she writes horror film and television. Watch for the upcoming Bright Hill Road!
As you can see I have been bust enjoying our road trip and did not schedule this post, so apologies for being late today. As writers we gain inspiration in numerous ways, so the question today is. What has been the most inspirational or fact finding trip you have taken?
The photo is of money from around the world found in a small hamlet pub on our trip this week.
Last week’s question: Where would you go for the perfect writing retreat?
Pamela Allegretto The island of Capri at the top of Anacapri.
Bren Leyland Oxford. Or a room that overlooks a green space or garden.
Mandy Eve-Barnett It will come as no surprise that I would choose Rome or beside an ocean.
Today’s question is: What is your motivation for writing more?
My reply is that I have so many stories tumbling around in my head, I have to keep writing to get them all out. Many of you know I only began ‘writing’ when I came to Canada so I’m now making up for ‘lost’ time! I have always been creative but for whatever reason I had never written ‘stories’ before for the explicit reason of allowing other people to read them.
What is your reason – leave a comment below.
Last week’s question: Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
I’ve done that. Some of my best ideas come to me in dreams. If I was a thriller or suspense writer, I’d have even more writing material. My brain likes to frighten me at night.