I asked her to share with us what her inspiration for The Winter Sea was.
My Inspiration for The Winter Sea
by Susanna Kearsley
Thanks for inviting me here, Lori. You’ll have to forgive me if I ramble on a bit in my answer to your question, but the inspiration for my novels never seems to come from just one source. Usually a few things happen separately that somehow come together in my mind, like atoms connecting to form a new molecule.
In the case of The Winter Sea, the first thing happened nearly twenty years ago, when I was browsing in a favorite bookstore in Toronto and I came across a non-fiction book called Playing the Scottish Card, by historian John S. Gibson, all about the Franco-Jacobite invasion attempt of 1708. I’d never heard about this little bit of history, and since Scotland and the Jacobites are one of my “things,” I bought the book and took it home to add to my TBR pile.
Fast forward fifteen years or so. I finally took the book by Mr. Gibson down and read it, and was fascinated by the whole adventure and the reasons it had failed. And one day while I was reading it, I happened to be talking to my father on the phone, and we were talking about the book that I’d just finished writing, Every Secret Thing, which was a thriller with a body count that made my father sigh and say, “I wish one day you’d write another book like Mariana.”
And the moment that he spoke the words, the atoms came together. Mariana is the story, told in two times, of a woman who buys an old house in the English countryside and finds her own life getting tangled up with the life of a woman who lived there in the 17th century. So that particular atom – the dual-time story structure – came together all at once with the idea of genetic memory and the story of the Jacobite intrigues in northeast Scotland, and just like that, I had my inspiration for The Winter Sea.
It needed all three parts to make it happen…but I like to let my father take the credit.
THE WINTER SEA BY SUSANNA KEARSLEY – IN STORES DECEMBER 2010
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth—the ultimate betrayal—that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her…
About the Author
After studying politics and international development at University, Susanna Kearsley worked as a museum curator before turning her hand to writing. Winner of the UK’s Catherine Cookson Fiction prize, Susanna Kearsley’s writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne DuMaurier, and Diana Gabaldon. Her books have been translated into several languages, selected for the Mystery Guild, condensed for Reader's Digest, and optioned for film. The Winter Sea was a finalist for both a RITA award and the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and is a nominee for Best Historical Fiction in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario. For more information, please visit http://www.susannakearsley.com/.
And now for a GIVEAWAY! The lovely Danielle Jackson at Sourcebooks has offered a brand new copy of The Winter Sea to TWO lucky readers! If you love historical fiction books, especially those with dual time storylines, you don't want to miss out!
To enter, simply leave me a comment with your email address and let me know what inspires you to write (if you're a writer) or read.
I love to write and to read. Reading wise, my first criteria is the storyline - - does it intrigue me? Is it something I have interest in? Does reading the description on the book jacket cause me to shut out everything else around me? And on a purely shallow note, if the book itself is particularly gorgeous or stunning, that may garner a read from me.
Writing wise, I can get inspired by snippets of conversation I overhear, a story on the news or recalling a dream, as well as hearing a particular piece of music or even being in the shower (I have long said I do my best thinking in the shower sometimes).
How about you?
U.S. and Canada only (my apologies to our overseas friends) and no P.O. boxes.
NO EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOUR ENTRY = NO ENTRY!
Contest to end on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 11:59 P.M. PST and the lucky winners drawn by randomizer.org on Monday, December 20, 2010.