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Author Chat with Susan Anne Mason

22 Feb

 

Susan and booksWe welcome author Susan Anne Mason to the Quid Pro Quills. Susan writes historical novels including Irish Meadows and A Worthy Heart. They are the first two books in her Courage to Dream series. I recently reviewed A Worthy Heart.

QPQ: Having a bit o’ Irish blood meself, I’m enjoying this series immensely. What prompted you to center on the Irish in New York at the beginning of the 20th century?

SM: I always wanted to write a family saga because I enjoy reading them so much, and as I was researching my own family’s history. I discovered that my father’s side of the family came from Ireland and settled in Brooklyn around the turn of the century. So that became the seed that grew. My ancestors, like many immigrants, weren’t well off when they arrived. I wanted to portray the patriarch of my story, James Leary, as having clawed his way up from poverty to achieve a good measure of success. Because it’s always more fun to read about the rich, isn’t it?

QPQ: Adam O’Leary … wow. What a difference a book can make! How did you recreate Irish Meadow’s bad boy into A Worthy Heart’s hero?

SM: This was indeed a challenge! To be honest, at first I didn’t like Adam O’Leary much! That’s why I moved him ‘offstage’ in Irish Meadows. I didn’t know much about him, only that he would end up in prison. But the more I delved into Adam’s character, the more I understood what drove him, and I began to see his potential as a hero! (I can’t give away Adam’s secrets. You’ll have to read to find out!) But it was certainly fun reforming him, and helping him heal from his childhood wounds — with a little help from Maggie Montgomery!

QPQ: Maggie Montgomery is an instantly likeable heroine who has no intention of returning to Ireland. Historically, how common was this for Irish relatives visiting their American relations?

SM: To be honest, I have no idea. I know that during the Irish Potato Famine, a huge influx of Irish immigrants came over to Canada and the United States, which I’m sure resulted in a lot of their families coming to join them. In my own family, my uncle married a sweet Irish girl who came to Canada for a visit and when the two fell in love, she quickly moved to Canada. Her sister and her widowed mother also came over from Ireland and all of them eventually ended up living in California (with another rather large Irish population!)

QPQ: I mentioned in my book review of Irish Meadows that you didn’t bury the Catholic roots of these characters. We see that too often in historicals dealing with the Irish, and I don’t understand that since it was such an intricate part of who they were. Yes, the Christian in-fighting in Ireland was horrible, but it happened. Was there any push-back from your publisher regarding that?

SM: Interesting question because when I was first shopping Irish Meadows to potential agents and publishers, I received a lot of negative feedback about the fact that the characters were Catholic. I believe one person said that a story with a priest would never get published. Thankfully Dave Long at Bethany House didn’t hold that opinion. I only got one mild suggestion to make sure that anything “Catholic” in the book was accurate because if we got it wrong, the readers would surely let us know!!

QPQ: Aurora Hastings, she’s the quintessential “poor little rich girl” isn’t she? You’re dragging that dear young woman through the emotional mud in the first two books. Dare we hope she’ll reach a happily-ever-after at some point? Soon?

SM: The lovely Aurora reached her happily ever after at the end of A Worthy Heart. I’m afraid you’ll have to imagine the rest, because we don’t see her again in the next book. The third and final book in the series is called Love’s Faithful Promise, which mostly centers on the youngest O’Leary, Deirdre and her tug-of-war with the handsome Canadian doctor, Matthew Clayborne, as they work together to help Mrs. O’Leary overcome a health crisis. In this book, which takes place for the most part back at Irish Meadows, we see Gil and Brianna and their children, as well as some appearances from Colleen and Rylan and a cameo by Maggie!

Susan small author photoQPQ: Where can readers connect with you on the web?

SM: Readers can find out more about me and my books on my website: http://www.susanannemason.com/

My author page on Facebook

I LOVE Pinterest!

My Twitter handle is: @samason.

QPQ: Thank you for visiting and sharing some behind-the-scenes information about your books. I’m looking forward to Love’s Faithful Promise already!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Author Chat

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Author Chat with Susan Anne Mason

  1. Candice Sue Patterson

    February 22, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Thanks for chatting with us, Susan! These books are on my to read list. Bethany House did a great job with the covers!

    Like

     
  2. Pegg Thomas

    February 22, 2016 at 9:27 am

    I agree with Candice on the covers, they are stunning! And I’ve enjoyed both books, waiting for the next one!

    Like

     
  3. Jericha Kingston

    February 22, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Welcome to the Quid Pro Quills, Susan! I want to relax with these stories THE DAY spring break arrives!! 🙂

    Like

     
  4. Susan Anne Mason

    February 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Hi everyone! Thanks so much for having me here today! I must say these interview questions are some of the best I’ve had to answer! So much fun! If you want a peak at the new cover for Book 3, head on over to my author FB page at : https://www.facebook.com/susan.anne.mason.333/
    Cheers,
    Susan

    Like

     
    • Pegg Thomas

      February 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Oh, wow! That’s the best cover yet! Whoever is doing those covers for you is really good. You should bake them a box full of cookies. 😉

      Like

       
  5. Annie JC

    February 23, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Great interview. I’m excited to read this series! Awesome storyline and great covers!

    Like

     
  6. Susan Anne Mason

    February 24, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Hi Pegg and guests! I so agree that the covers are great. I wish I knew who was doing them at BH. All I know is it’s the art department. They’re definitely doing a great job!

    Like

     

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