HOSTING SUZANNE MARION
1. Tell us a few things about yourself, Suzanne.
My home is in Houston, Texas, where I live with my husband
Stuart and our two large dogs, Laura and Diana. We have three
grown sons, three wonderful daughters-in-law, and seven
grandchildren. I’m a singer, pianist, and retired teacher of singing
and piano. My small business is composing personalized lullabies
and play songs for babies and children, and recording them on
CDs with the babies’ photos; they are presented in an album with
the printed music and lyrics for all the songs included. My web
site is www.lullabiesbysuzanne.com. For many years I have
played regularly as pianist in a chamber music group with two
violinists, a violist and a cellist. I also enjoy accompanying singers,
instrumentalists and choruses.
2. What is your favourite book?
Deciding upon my favorite book is a big challenge. Since early
childhood I have loved to read, so I have many favorites. I
particularly love history, biography, travel, anything about music,
and novels. One of my all-time favorite novels is ‘Ramona’ by
Helen Hunt Jackson. It isn’t often I re-read a book, but I have read
that one several times. The novels and stories of Willa Cather are
always fascinating to me, and I always wish she had written lots
more. I’m a real pushover for excellent writing. ‘Kristin
Lavransdatter’, the trilogy by Sigrid Undset, is another great
3. Who is your favorite author?
Again, it’s very hard to say, there are many that I greatly admire.
Willa Cather, as mentioned above, is one of my most-admired. Leo
Tolstoy is among my favorites, I only wish I could read his works
in the original language. Barbara Tuchman’s historical works are
remarkable. There are so many authors that I admire that it would
be hard to mention them all. The very act of completing a book is
something to be much admired, and if it’s a good book…that is
really special and rare.
4. What inspired you to write for children?
At last, an easy question — what inspired me to want to write for
children? This question has seven answers, my grandchildren. It
has been fun writing stories for them about their interests, and
such a delight to find that they have enjoyed them, and other
children seem to enjoy them as well.
5. Tell us a bit about your writing projects, Suzanne.
Right now I have two current writing projects. One has a time
constraint, so I am busily accumulating materials for my research.
I have been asked to write a history of the Houston Tuesday
Musical Club, Houston’s oldest arts organization, to be presented
at the club’s centennial celebration on March 20, 2011. It is a
fascinating project, especially since it involves so many people that
I know and admire.
The second project is a commission for a third children’s book.
This commission came from a childhood friend, and it comes with
two stipulations with which I will gladly comply. It must be about
a dog, and have something to do with opera. The marvellous
artist, Marj Hales, with whom I have produced two earlier
children’s books, is on board for this project. Marj paints animals
beautifully, and she particularly loves dogs. I look forward already
to seeing her paintings.
6. When is your new book coming out Suzanne? Tell us a bit about
Marj and I have two books out now, ‘Too Too Many Tutus’ and
‘Donner the Western Dragon: A Hero’s Tale’. ‘Tutus’ came out Feb.
24, 2009; and Donner came out Nov. 27, 2009. The two mentioned
above haven’t been written yet.
7. What would you like the reader to take away from the book
In regard to the most recent book, ‘Donner’ — I hope that children
will learn from it that it’s all right to be different, that success can
come from just being true to oneself, and doing the right thing.
8. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I may not be the best person to offer tips to aspiring writers, but
since you ask…I will give the same tip that I give to myself every
day: just do something every day. Just get started. Often the rest
will follow. Persistence is a great quality. Even a small amount of
work at a time can eventually add up. The same thing works for
writing that works for practising music. Maybe it works for most
9. Any last words?
Once again, thank you for your kindness in interviewing me. It is
good to be able to spread the word about our books. We believe
that children will enjoy them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today
Suzanne. I really enjoyed getting to know you and your work
better. You sure are a busy lady! I can’t wait to read your new