The Inside Scoop!
Susan Anne Mason
and her historical romance
A Worthy Heart
I grew up in… Brampton, Ontario, Canada—a city outside Toronto.
I was inspired to write my first published novel by… Well, it wasn’t published, but my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Guistini, was the first person to tell me I should write a book. I did finish one in my teens and got my first rejection!
The books that have most influenced my life are… As a child—Anne of Green Gables, and the Nancy Drew mysteries. As an adult—Nora Roberts got me interested in reading romance again once my kids were older and I had some time to read. Then Julie Lessman’s “A Passion Most Pure” got me hooked on Christian Fiction!
My biggest challenge when writing is… The plot. I can figure out the characters fairly easily, their strengths and flaws, their fears and motivations. But coming up with a plausible plot is usually a challenge!
One of my favourite authors is… Julie Lessman. She delves deep into the character’s motivation and emotions while keeping the action going. Her characters struggle with their faith but always triumph in the end.
If I wasn’t a writer, I would be… a secretary (like I am in my day job!) Or an editor for a publishing house.
The superhero talent I would love to have is… incredible strength. And martial arts skills! (Who doesn’t love May on the Agents of Shield!)
Will Maggie Listen to the Warnings of Those She Trusts Most or the Leadings of Her Heart?
The answer to Maggie Montgomery’s dream of seeing America has arrived at just the right time. Not only will she be reunited with her beloved brother Rylan, but she’ll finally be able to escape Neill Fitzgerald and his increasingly unwanted attentions. She’s intent on never returning to Ireland, hoping to build her future in the land of opportunity and perhaps find the love of her life.
While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man she thinks is a stable hand. Only when her brother demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she learn he’s Rylan’s brother-in-law, recently released from prison. Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her stubborn heart conform to her brother’s request.
Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family. Now a free man, Adam’s only desire is to earn back his family’s trust. Falling in love with the newly arrived Maggie, however, was never in his plans. Despite everyone’s efforts to keep them apart, the two develop a bond it seems nothing can break–but they soon discover the past isn’t easy to overcome.
My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives… Uplifting, courageous, romantic, angst-filled and hopeful.
My main character is… Maggie Montgomery is Rylan’s little sister from Ireland. She’s a dark-haired beauty with a quick tongue and an independent streak. She plays the pipe organ and the piano and wants to stay in America to pursue independence and find her soul-mate.
My main character resembles… a young Jane Seymour, like in the movie “Somewhere in Time”.
A previously unknown fact about this novel is… The real source of Adam O’Leary’s angst is… Well, I can’t give away Adam’s secrets, now can I? LOL! You’ll have to read to find out!
My story’s spiritual theme is… that we are all worthy in God’s eyes.
While writing this novel I learned… quite a bit about fire-fighting in the early 1900’s. The most interesting thing was the system of alarm bells they used in New York to summon the firetrucks. I’m sure many of you might remember the fire alarm boxes on the street corners that someone would pull in the event of a fire. That would initiate a series of bells and by counting the numbers, the fire fighters would know which street corner the fire was near. My husband and I visited the NYC Fire Museum when we were there last May and spoke with a fireman who told us all about it first-hand!
The title was chosen by… technically by the publisher. But they chose it from a list of alternate titles I gave them. The original title was “A Worthy Heritage” but they felt it wasn’t romantic enough! I think “A Worthy Heart” is a much better fit!
As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are… Believe it or not, the kissing scenes! It’s hard to keep each kiss fresh without repeating the same old descriptions! Though it’s fun trying!
The story I’m currently working on is… Book 3 in the Courage to Dream series entitled “Love’s Faithful Promise”. This book jumps ahead 8 years to 1922 and deals with the younger O’Leary siblings—Deirdre and Connor—and their love stories. Love’s Faithful Promise comes out later in 2016.
You may not know this about me, but I… majored in French in University and worked as a French translator for several years at Northern Telecom.
If I could be a character in any novel, I would want to be… Maria Von Trapp (if only I could sing!)