Interview with Suzanne Zewan & Giveaway of Shadow by the Bridge

Good morning, dear readers! Today I am so excited to be hosting an interview with Suzanne Zewan, author of Shadow by the Bridge! Shadow by the Bridge is a historical mystery based on real life events that happned in Linden, New York in the 1900s. It's a fabulous book, so be sure to enter to win a copy at the end of this post.

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Shadow by the Bridge?

I have been an educator for 23 years. My career in education started in the inner city of Rochester, NY. Two years later, I landed my dream job teaching Marketing/Fashion Merchandising where I utilized my experience working in retail management in Boston, MA. When the fashion program closed, I became a work experience coordinator at the career and technical center.

About 6 years into my teaching career, my inner desire to write began to gnaw at me more than ever before. It was then that I ended up sharing my desire with an English teacher who I worked with, and she encouraged me to just start writing. To learn more, I started taking some courses at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY where I began to connect with other writers who were working on the craft.

How did you hear about the Linden murders that inspired the book?

Not long after I began to work on the writing craft, I was having a conversation with a secretary at work about Western New York’s local history. The secretary told me about the Linden murders. I thought the unsolved murders sounded like an intriguing story.

What inspired you to write Shadow by the Bridge?

When I began working on the writing craft, I didn’t have a lot of experience formulating stories on my own, at least that were worth reading, so I was looking for an idea for a story. And when I heard about the Linden murders, I knew immediately that was the story I was looking for.

What type of research did you do for the book?

The first step, I read the non-fiction book The Linden Murders Unsolved by Bill Brown to learn exactly what happened between the years 1917 and 1924.

The next step, I spent many hours at the Genesee County History Department reading the court documents, newspaper articles, and viewing photographs of the crime scenes.

I also spent a lot of time researching the time period to ensure I was being historically accurate.

What was the hardest scene to write?

I would have to say the triple murder scene was the hardest scene to write because it was so emotionally charged. I’ll never forget how I felt the two weeks I spent writing those two chapters. It was upsetting, nerve wracking, and intense. To make sure I was describing the murder scene accurately, I even visited the Genesee County History Department once again to view the photos.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene near the bridge when Fritz kisses Valerie for the first time. It was sweet, and I think everyone can relate to their first love and their first kiss.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Shadow by the Bridge?

The ideas of love, survival, and resilience.

In the end, life must go on, but realizing that our experiences change us.

How much of Shadow by the Bridge is fiction and how much is based on fact?

The setting and the events of the crimes are all based on fact. All the characters are based on the people who resided in Linden at the time, but Fritz Reynolds and his family are all fictional characters. I did change their names of the residents of Linden because they are my fictionalized version of them. Although, through my research, I did come across information about them, so I did use some of the information to develop my idea of them.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think I always knew. As a young girl, I always wrote in a journal. Then when I read, the Flowers in the Attic series, I knew that someday I would write a novel.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?

Writing is hard… And I tend to get distracted by other types of art mediums that do not seem as hard or time consuming. Sometimes, I even tell myself that I quit writing. However, it doesn't last long, and the next thing I know, I am inspired by something and then next thing I know, I am formulating another story in my mind.

Have you been able to overcome it?

My imagination seems to force me to go back along with the compelling feeling to write.

Who are your writing inspirations?

V.C. Andrews, Jennifer Donnelly, and Willa Cather.

What was the first historical novel you read?

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, which was also based on an actual murder that happened in the early 1900s.

What is the last historical novel you read?

A Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters.

If there was a soundtrack for your novel, what songs might we find on it?

Being that I like to keep to the authenticity of the time period, I would say music that was popular back then. I know that it was a lot of Jazz. However, the music would have to fit the mood of the scenes.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I’ve been to 36 states in the US.

I met Ozzy Osbourne in my early twenties.

I’ve always been intrigued by the unexplained and the paranormal.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I write in more than one genre. However, I’m drawn to historical fiction because I view the “olden days” as a simpler time when the world was so much less complicated.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I’m drawn to the Victorian Era.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

My family and I do a lot of traveling. I also make jewelry, and I am thinking about blending painting and photography with a process I recently came up with that was inspired by a famous photographer and the work of a painter located in Asheville, NC.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I am working on a young adult paranormal thriller. I hope to finish the draft in the next month or two. However, I just read an amazing story in our Daily News, and it grabbed me like the story of the Linden murders did. As I read the article, I could feel the woman's emotions of what she must have gone through as a young girl. I am planning to contact her. So I might have to finish the draft of my paranormal thriller and table it for a little while which was totally not my plan. But I fell in love with the woman's story!

Oh wow, that sounds like an exciting new project! Thanks so much for spending time with us today!

Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan

Publication Date: November 1, 2017
No Frills Buffalo
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780998881188

Genre: Historical Mystery

11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet of Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider, and worshiped at the Baptist church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Suzanne is coordinator at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. She has a M.A. in English and Creative Writing and a M.S.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Other publications include a poem in Jigsaw (2014), a short story and two poems in Jigsaw (2016), and a short story in Amaranth Review (2016).

For more information, please visit Suzanne Zewan's website. You can also find Suzanne on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 19
Feature at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Thursday, February 22
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, February 27
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, March 1
Excerpt at What is That Book About

Saturday, March 3
Interview & Excerpt at T's Stuff

Wednesday, March 7
Review & Excerpt at WS Momma Readers Nook

Friday, March 9
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, March 13
Excerpt at My Reading Corner

Thursday, March 15
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Tuesday, March 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, March 22
Excerpt at Buried Under Books

Friday, March 23
Review at Broken Teepee

Monday, March 26
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 28
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, March 30
Review & Excerpt at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, March 31
Review at Cup of Sensibility


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of Shadow by the Bridge to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Shadow by the Bridge

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique