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Meet Suzanne Hadfield Semsch author of Turn on No-Bridge Road, The Lees of Menokin and The Sound of Caissons
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/5709/1/Meet-Suzanne-Hadfield-Semsch-author-of-Turn-on-No-Bridge-Road-The-Lees-of-Menokin-and-The-Sound-of-Caissons/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on December 29, 2012
 


Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Suzanne Hadfield Semsch author of Turn on No-Bridge Road. Suzanne is also the author of The Lees of Menokin and The Sound of Caissons




                                    


Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest today Suzanne Hadfield Semsch author of Turn on No-Bridge Road. Suzanne is also the author of The Lees of Menokin and The Sound of Caissons. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and is a mother, grandmother, gardener and the happy owner of two cats.

Good day Suzanne and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:

How did you get started in writing? What keeps you going?

Suzanne:  

I've been writing poems and short stories as long as I can remember, but never with serious thought of doing anything with them.  When I was inspired a number of years ago by my discovery of the ruin of a home built by a signer of the Declaration of Independence, I began what turned out to be two years of research before publishing The Lees of Menokin, a biographical novel about Francis Lightfoot Lee and his wife Rebecca.  That was the beginning of my serious writing.  I went on to write a novel drawn from my life experience as wife and daughter of U.S. Army officers, which I titled The Sound of Caissons. 

After 2-3 years of failing to find either agent or publisher, I put both manuscripts away until 2008 when, encouraged by a friend and the surge and acceptance of self-publishing, I rewrote both novels and joined the world of indie publishers.  I need no encouragement to keep on writing—it has become my life!

Norm:

What has been the best part about being published?

Suzanne:

It's very exciting and immensely rewarding to hold that first proof copy in your hands and see the cover you have helped create, and open it to see pages of your own words in print.  I really can't describe the thrill.  Although Turn on No-Bridge Road was my third novel, I am every bit as excited about it as I was with the first and second.

Norm:

Is your work improvisational or do you have a set plan when you write your books?

Suzanne:  

I would have to say it's a bit of both.  I try to get a clear picture of the time and place, a general plot, and the main characters first.  Then my characters have always just taken over.  I let them begin talking and soon things are moving right along.  Sometimes this isn't so easy, but there is always rewriting, and we all do plenty of that before we're satisfied.

Norm:

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

Suzanne:  

My environment was instrumental in the writing of both the The Lees of Menokin and Turn on No-Bridge Road, having lived for many years in Virginia's Northern Neck (the setting for both) after my husband's retirement from the military.  As for The Sound of Caissons (my personal favorite of the three novels), obviously I couldn't have written it had I not lived in many of the places described; had a father who was an artilleryman, a husband who was in intelligence, an infantryman for a brother-in-law, and Army friends to turn to when it came to wars and various battles I used in the narrative.  Of course, much of the story is based on a fictional version of some of my own experiences or memories.  It was all put together with a healthy dose of imagination.

Norm:

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Suzanne:  

I had no idea how attached an author can become to the fictional characters he/she has created!  As I approached the end of each book I found I didn't want it to end.  It's difficult to give up the people who've shared your days (and many nights) for a year or more.  Maybe that's why I've decided to write the sequel to No-Bridge -- same people, same place, different story -- no need to invent them, just move them along into another adventure.

Norm:

What served as the primary inspiration for Turn on No-Bridge Road and how did you go about creating the character of Clarice (Claire) Sutton?

Suzanne:  

When I first decided to write a totally fictional Northern Neck story (as opposed to the biographical fiction of Menokin), the home of one of our friends came immediately to mind.  It's historic (said to have been lived in by one of the Washingtons) and sits on a high ridge above the Rappahannock River.  I had a vague idea about the restoration of an old house by a member of its original family.  I think Clarisse just evolved as the story got moving; I remember having to go back several times to "reinvent"  her as she began to show personality.  

Norm:

What was the most difficult part of writing Turn on No-Bridge Road?

Suzanne;  

Besides keeping the genealogy straight, it was deciding how and where to end it!  I got stuck when I arrived at Part Two, and did a lot of rewriting from there to the conclusion, which was not anticipated when I started the novel. My editor was a tremendous help during this period where I developed a rare case of "writer's block".  When she called Claire a wimp, that got my attention and set me back on track!

Norm:

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book Turn on No-Bridge Road?

Suzanne:  

You know it's impossible to read over something you've written and not see something you could change or make better!  But basically, I have no great urge to make changes in this story.

Norm:

Are the characters in Turn on No-Bridge Road based on people you know or have encountered or are they strictly fictional?

Suzanne:  

Claire's physical appearance is based on that of one of my nieces; her personality is fictional.  Miller Dawson was inspired by someone I knew long ago, and very much admired and trusted; here, it was not so much his appearance but his mannerisms and background that I brought to the story.  I'd say the other characters are based on bits and pieces of many people I've met or known.

Norm:

Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)

Suzanne:  

I'm five chapters into Timothy Darling & the Girl in the Sailboat, a sequel to No-Bridge.  Here, Claire and Nick's son, Tim, is the main protagonist.  I published the first chapter several months ago on my BLOG

No doubt there'll be some changes but you'll get an idea of the story if you follow my  BLOG

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?

Suzanne:  

My author page on Amazon can be found at AMAZON

You can sign up to get an email alerting you to new posts, leave a comment, read about all my books, and order a book from Amazon, or buy an autographed copy directly from me.  Please visit.

Norm:

As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Suzanne:  

The only other question I can think of is "How do I like being an indie author?"  And that is probably way too complicated to answer in this format.  I've written a great deal about this in various blog posts, as I struggled to find a balance and thread my way through the maze of self-publishing and self-marketing!  Thank you for the opportunity to speak out about Turn on No-Bridge Road.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of Turn on No-Bridge Road

Follow Here To Purchase Turn on No-Bridge Road

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