On the eve of the launch of Suzanne de Montigny’s tween/teen novel, A Town Bewitched, we’re interviewing her on how the novel came about.
1. Suzanne, how did you create your characters? Did you have a specific process?
I had no process. Characters just walked into my novels. Sometimes they bore a strong resemblance to someone I knew, and oftentimes they were a combination of people I’ve known in the past. But as they developed themselves, they began doing all sorts of things I never anticipated.
2. Did your characters come before the plot? Did you sketch out your plot or did you let the characters develop the route to the end?
I’m a total pantser, meaning when I begin a story, I know a few things that will happen along the way, but everything in between just comes along as I write. Do my characters come before the plot? Nope, they just barge right through the door. Sometimes I’m able to push a few back out again, but some of them are just too strong. Thank goodness.
3. Did you know how the story would end before you began? In a general way or a specific one?
More or less, but in a general way. However, I had no idea how creepy Kate McDonough, the fiddler, would become. Or how naughty Kira would be. Surprise twists happened along the way. But I sure loved how my characters resolved their problems at the end.
4. Did you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
A little of both, I guess. In a Town Bewitched, the story decided to happen in Hope, B.C. Then strange things took place. I imagined this old Victorian house that looked a wedding cake. Then, when I actually visited Hope, I found it. And the elementary school and high school turned out to be where I imagined them too.
5. Where did you do your research? On-line or from books?
People, internet, the news, documentaries, visiting Hope.