Renee Writes

Author Spotlight: Clara’s Return by Suzanna J. Linton


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Suzanna J. Linton with the second book in her Stories of Lorst series, Clara’s Return. Clara, the main character of the book, has agreed to an interview, which I’ll be sharing later, but first let’s learn more about the author.

Suzanna J. Linton grew up in the swamps of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she was fed a steady diet of books, tall tales, and catfish. She started writing poetry from an early age before transitioning to fiction. While in high school, she was introduced to the Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Animorphs. From those Suzanna gained a deep desire to write about tough women heroes.

In 2002, she attended the summer program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts of Humanities and graduated from Francis Marion University in 2007. She has three books published and her latest novel is Clara’s Return. Suzanna continues to live in South Carolina with her husband, their two dogs, and a cat. They don’t own the cat; the cat owns them.

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About the Book

Clara, lost and disillusioned from the civil war, hopes to discover answers about her lineage and abilities in the quiet village of Bluebell, where she once lived before being sold into slavery. However, as she and the Captain of the Royal Guard make their journey, a new threat to the kingdom arises in the form of a traitor.

Patiently brewing since the fall of the sorceror-king Marduk, there are careful plans now coming to fruition. Riots break out, a giant is sighted, and double agents quietly take their places. King Emmerich’s struggles with his new role and his ever-present nightmares leave him feeling inadequate to the task. What he needs most is Clara.

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Keep reading for an interview with Clara from Clara’s Return:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I was born in a small village called Bluebell in the Larkspur Mountains. I lived there with my parents until my mother sold me into slavery. I was, I think, in my ninth or tenth year. I don’t remember a lot about the village. What I do remember was nice.

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

I was very close to my Da. He drank too much but he loved me. He told me funny stories. My mother… Why are you even asking about this? It’s not important.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Going to services at our local temple. There was a very beautiful statue of the Mother there.

If you could compare yourself to someone from another novel, who would it be? What are your similarities and differences?

*stares at author*
*author nudges Clara*
All right! I suppose I’m similar to this person called Lessa from the Dragonriders of Pern series. My author thinks we have similar personalities. But I’m not like that woman because I’m not crazy enough to ride a dragon.

Who is your enemy?

My enemy is anyone who threatens Emmerich. Currently, it’s a man named Remus. But that’s also a little more complicated and I really don’t want to talk about it.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

I don’t fit in it. I’m a Seer. People either are in awe of me or they fear me. I serve in King Emmerich’s Court but I’ve left there for a quest of my own. In my world, I live in a kingdom called Lorst. We are at odds with our neighbors to the east, the kingdom of Tier. We have the sea to our west, mountains to the north, and plains that become deserts to the south.

What are your goals?

I would like to understand myself, my gifts. I want to know where I came from. I want to know why I am what I am.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about life?

That it doesn’t kill you to trust someone.

What is the strangest situation you’ve ever found yourself in?

I found myself cowering in a cave while a giant walked by. Is that strange enough?

That’s definitely strange. What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?

A sorcerer-king named Marduk. He had no conscience and he was insane. That makes for a very large obstacle.

Where is the best place to visit in your world?

The Larkspur Mountains are the best. They are not stifling hot like Bertrand in the summer, which lies on a plain. There are beautiful flowers and the mountains themselves are lovely. And there are few things like watching it snow there and listening to the silence.

If you could meet someone from another novel, who would it be?

There’s a novel in our world about a man who defeats a giant sea monster. I wouldn’t mind meeting him. But you mean in my author’s world, don’t you? I suppose I would like to meet a woman named Mercy Thompson. She fixes these things called “cars” and I would like to know how to do that. It looks like magic but it isn’t really.

Do you have a secret you’ve never told anyone? Would you tell us?

Yes. *pauses* No.

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?

The first novel I ever read on my own. I stole it from Castle Dwervin before we left and I carry it with me wherever I go.

What was the most exciting adventure you’ve ever been on?

The quest I’m on now is currently my most exciting adventure. If I make it through it, I may go on another one.

What do you regret most in your life?

I regret–Well, I’m tempted to say I regret not acting on the vision that warned me I was about to be sold into slavery. However, if I hadn’t been, then I probably would have continued living in Bluebell and never met Emmerich again. I don’t have anything else I may want to regret. Regret is useless.

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