Interview with Suzanne McKenna Link

What first inspired you to tell Toby and Claudia’s story?
For many years I’d had the idea of my main character, Toby Faye, in my head. The story I envisioned telling back then was a ‘Caine and Abel’ tale of sorts—a young guy coping with abuse at the hands of his brother. As I wrote it, it evolved, and I love the way it did.
You skillfully alternate chapters between telling the story from Claudia and Toby’s perspectives. How did you decide on this sparring first-person narrative style?
Funny thing is, I never intended to write Toby’s POV. That came during a writing exercise that suggested telling a scene from another character perspective. I assumed as a woman, it’d be easier to write a female protagonist’s viewpoint, but telling the story from Toby’s POV was great fun. Writing his dry wit, and his dark despair too, came easily. His side of the story had to stay. Claudia, the series’ female protagonist, was more challenging for me—not because I didn’t understand her. Her character is linear and makes sense to me, but in being true to her character, I made her more unyielding than most women believe they would actually be in her situation. Readers have responded to her with mixed reviews. Some adore her confidence. Others call her selfish. I call her a driven, Type A personality with staunch principles.
What is the most important theme or message that you want readers to take from your novels?
I hope readers will be moved and inspired by the stories. I’m an advocate of personal growth, and I intentionally wrote to reflect that. Toby and Claudia face some disconcerting truths about themselves and their past. I believe the stories most powerful message comes from seeing the two of them become more self-aware. They realize if they keep doing what they’ve always done, the end result will be much the same. And they won’t ever truly be happy. They need to make some hard choices to change, and follow through. I want my readers to come away from my stories stirred up, to believe that no matter what situation they consider themselves ‘locked into,’ there’s always a way out.
Published 2018-04-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Saving Toby
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 118,380. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Despite Claudia's attempt to stay away from the troubled Toby Faye, his blue-gray eyes expose a need she cannot ignore.