By now, everyone is salivating in anticipation of today’s interview with Suzanne Selfors. Her fairy-tale romance, The Sweetest Spell, is a marvelous re-telling of King Midas, Rumpelstiltskin and The Ugly Duckling all rolled into one delicious chocolate covered treat. (See my review for details). If you want a chance to win a copy of Suzanne’s fairy tale, head on over to Book Lovers Inc, there’s a contest to win a copy of her book going on until Sept. 29.
Now if you want a chance for some delicious, delectable chocolate, to celebrate Suzanne’s book about the magic of chocolate, read on!
Marlene: Suzanne, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Suzanne: I’m the mother of two—my son just left for his first year of college. I started writing my first novel when I was 39. I’m the fifth generation of my family to live on my little island. I love dogs. Oh, and chocolate.
Suzanne: Well, I also write for younger kids and those books tend to be much more fantastical in nature. This idea was bouncing around in my head, to retell the King Midas story. I toyed with the idea of using a contemporary setting, but I’ve always wanted to write a fairy tale. So I took the leap.
Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Suzanne: Before I start a new novel, I always know the beginning of the story and the ending. But the journey between is the adventure. For me, trying to chart the story before it’s written is a waste of time and honestly, kills the joy.
I typically write at my favorite coffeehouse where there’s just enough white noise and great music to keep me going. Plus they provide great coffee and the dark chocolate sticks. I can’t write at home. I get distracted by all the stuff that needs to be done.
Marlene: What can we expect of The Sweetest Spell?
Suzanne: An entertaining, fast-paced, romantic tale. A girl to cheer for, a boy to fall in love with. And all the fairy-tale elements we’ve come to love—a faraway kingdom, a prince, a cruel queen, a hero who must grapple with her destiny.
And some deeper meaning, too. I wanted to explore the theme of greed. What a perfect time to do this, since we are surrounded by a culture of greed. I ask the question, what would you do if you had nothing and suddenly had everything, but at great cost to those you love?
Marlene: Would you like to share your favorite scene from the book with us?
Suzanne: I love the scene where we first meet the arrogant but dashing Griffin Boar. He’s the neighbor boy who’s spent his life ignoring our hero, Emmeline Thistle. He falls off his horse because he’s staring at himself in a mirror while riding.
Marlene: Why did you pick chocolate as the precious delicacy for the book? Why not something else? (Not that chocolate isn’t precious…)
Suzanne: So as I said earlier, I wanted to retell the King Midas story. Midas was the guy who touched everything and it turned to gold. He became very rich but in the end was miserable because he couldn’t touch those he loved without killing them. I started writing but soon discovered that I felt very little passion for the story. Gold wasn’t doing it for me. I was bored.
Then one night, when my daughter and I went on a rampage, searching every inch of our house for a morsel of chocolate and finding NOTHING!, I realized, chocolate is all about desire, longing, passion. So that’s when I decided to give Emmeline the magical gift of making chocolate.
Marlene: What’s your favorite food…?
Suzanne: Well, I eat dark chocolate most every day. It’s a true addiction. And I love blueberries. I pick them in the summer and keep bags of them in the freezer.
Marlene: What was the first moment you know you wanted to write?
Suzanne: I’ve been creating stories my whole life but I didn’t attempt a novel until the morning my daughter got onto the school bus to begin first grade. It was that morning, I was 39 and facing my 40th birthday, feeling my mortality and it struck me like a lightning bolt. I need to do this thing. I need to write and try to get published.
Suzanne: My book? Well, of course I recommend The Sweetest Spell because it will appeal to all ages.
Someone else’s book? There’s this book called A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich. He turns history into story. I recommend it to everyone.
Marlene: What’s next on your schedule? Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share?
Suzanne: I’m busy, that’s for sure. In November the 3rd book in the Smells Like Dog trilogy releases. It’s called Smells Like Pirates. Then in 2013, I have two new series releasing, one for Little,Brown, the other for Harper Collins. These are all for younger readers.
Marlene: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Suzanne: First and foremost, they are fun. Entertainment is my goal. Funny and filled with hope.
Marlene: Speaking of precious substances, coffee or tea?
Suzanne: Oh, coffee. Espresso. One shot with nonfat milk. Daily.
In celebration of the magic of chocolate in The Sweetest Spell, Suzanne is giving a chocolate gift to one lucky commenter (US only). All you have to do is fill in the rafflecopter form and answer Suzanne’s question:
What’s your favorite kind of chocolate? This can be your favorite chocolate dessert, or whether you like dark chocolate or milk chocolate better.