Susan Anne Mason describes her writing style as “romance sprinkled with faith.” She loves incorporating inspirational messages of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness into her characters’ journeys. Love’s Faithful Promise is her third historical novel in the Courage to Dream series. Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest sponsored by the Mid-American Romance Authors chapter of RWA, as well as the Christian Retailing BEST award.
Susan lives outside Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, two children, and their cat. She loves red wine and chocolate, is not partial to snow even though she’s Canadian, and is ecstatic on the rare occasions she has the house to herself.
My collection is complete! And I am delighted to have Susan Anne Mason here with me to chat about book 3 of the Courage to Dream trilogy. I have so say, I was so happy to read this book, but a little sad that the series was coming to an end. Hop over to my review for more on that.
Love’s Faithful Promise is published by Bethany House Publishers
Release date: Sept. 13, 2016
Q: This is the final book in the ‘Courage to Dream’ series. How do you feel as an author saying goodbye to these characters we have grown to love? And which character will you miss the most?
Susan: The last book was indeed a bittersweet experience. I had great fun writing Matthew and Deirdre’s love story, but it was sad knowing my time with the O’Learys was at an end. I wanted to get the ending right and wrap up everyone’s stories. Overall I was quite satisfied with the way everything came together. I hope my readers will be too!
I think the character I’ll miss the most is Rylan Montgomery. He came out of nowhere, and his quirky sense of humor totally captivated me. That and his huge heart, of course.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in writing this final installment of the O’Leary family story?
Susan: The first challenge was researching several elements that were key to the story: First, the start of physiotherapy in Toronto, and second, whether or not there were child custody battles back in 1922. I found quite a bit of information about physiotherapy, which became more prominent at that time due to the wounded soldiers from WWI. These men needed help to overcome their disabilities to be able to function back in the real world. Still, I had to imagine the actual techniques the doctors might have used. The issue of child custody proved to be a much more obscure topic to find information about. I even stumped a few librarians at the Toronto Research Library, but did manage to discover about five custody battles and glean enough info to make Matthew’s trial seem real.
The other challenge was making the ‘girl-posing-as-a-boy’ plot line not seem too cliché. From the reactions I’ve seen so far, I hope I managed to make it a fun alternative story.
Melony: I loved that part! You totally pulled it off Susan. You can read my review here
Q: When you began writing Irish Meadows, did you have the ending in sight? Or did that happen along the way?
Susan: Absolutely not. I really didn’t expect it to become a series. When David Long, my editor at Bethany House, asked me if I had any ideas for a possible 2nd or 3rd book, I said “Well I had thought I might do one about the oldest brother.” But that was as far as it went. And when they offered me a 3 book contract, I realized I’d have to come up with a third story about one of the other O’Learys. I couldn’t even begin to figure out what would happen in Book 3 until I’d finished A Worthy Heart and started brainstorming ideas for Deirdre’s story.
Q: What is next for you?
Susan: A couple of new things are in the works. Firstly, my debut book with Gilead Publishing, called A Most Noble Heir, will be coming out in February 2017. It’s set in Victorian England and is the story of a stable boy who learns he’s actually of noble blood and has to learn the ways of the aristocracy.
And I am just beginning a new series for Bethany House called The Canadian Crossings. The basic premise is that three strangers meet on a ship from England coming to Canada. Each has their own unique reason for making such a long trip. I’m hoping that these books, though tied together through setting and through a few recurring characters, will be completely stand-alone so that readers won’t feel they have to read Book 1, Book 2 and then Book 3.
Q: Is there anything you would like to include?
Susan: There is! For any lovers of contemporary romance out there, I also have a contemporary story just released through White Rose Publishing, called Redeemed Hearts: Vice-principal Aidan North is determined to open a youth center for local teens. Rumblings of gang activity invading the small town makes Aidan’s project even more urgent. As much as he wants to ignore the captivating Chloe Martin, he needs her energy and enthusiasm to make the youth center a success. Aidan is uncomfortable with his attraction to Chloe, since she is clearly a woman of secrets. Lies got Aidan into trouble at his previous position, and he refuses to let history repeat itself. Can Aidan forgive Chloe’s transgressions and trust her with his heart?
Oh that sounds awesome! (*adds to TBR pile)
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