Suzanne McKenna Link is an independent author whose storytelling is fueled by an inquisitive nature to understand the balance between intimacy and pride within personal relationships. She especially enjoys writing realistic fictional tales of the trials and tribulations of young adults.
Suzanne works for a local family of newspapers that covers events on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She resides in the town of Sayville, New York, where her stories take place, with her husband and children (both the 2 legged and 4 legged varieties).
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.