Shannon K. had switched rail cars in order to read a novel in proper solitude. She left her winter boots and her suitcase at her assigned seat. It was an overnight train from Montreal to Halifax. She was so engrossed in the book that when the train un-coupled she didn't realize she was no longer headed to Nova Scotia. She arrived with no boots or money or anything except her book. A kindly woman gave her plastic grocery bags for her feet.
If you could be any occupation other than an author, what would you be and why?
I always wanted to be in musical theatre. I guess my father thought I would starve to death. After 25 years in a paying job, I began writing books which I believe might be a more impoverished career than singing and dancing on Broadway. I should write another book about a showgirl, and live vicariously through my main character.
Do you ever laugh or cry while reading your own books? Explain!
Yes!! If I find the parts of the book that are meant to be funny or evocative or heart-breaking and they still effect me after 8 full edits and countless readings then I know other readers will feel the same emotional tug.
What is the last children’s book you read? Why did you read it?
I re-read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because I am fascinated by C.S. Lewis's re-conversion from Christianity to Atheism and back to Christianity. I wanted to understand the metaphors and symbolism that were clearly a part of the book, but were unrecognizable to be as a much younger reader. I was looking for clues to his understanding of faith.
If your latest book (or any book) was made into a movie, who would play the main character?
Asa Butterfield would be Lawrence. (He was the star of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
Drew Barrymore would play Aunt Muttney
Who wrote your favorite book, the one you have read over and over again? What makes this book your favorite?
I have read Flannery O'Connor's Complete Short Stories many times. What I love about Flannery's character studies are that she rarely solves the dilemma for the protagonist, yet she always opens a door. We, as readers, can decide the future. Her stories may seem grim, or even dis-heartening but that is because she wants the reader to use their own subjective history to create endings for each character.
Learn more about Susan at: susandohertyhannaford.com
C.M. Huddleston's Five Star Review:
A Secret Music captures a world of wealth, mental illness, and a dysfunctional family during the Great Depression in Canada. Moreover it is the story of a boy who must deal with all those factors while training to become a concert pianist. I found the beginning of the book to be slow, almost difficult to follow; however, as the story developed and the characters grew, I kept turning the pages, enjoying each, and followed the well-written prose to the beautiful ending. Susan Doherty Hannaford’s book enlightens its reader. I believe it will one day be a literature favorite of teachers who are willing to make their students (high school and above) think as well as read.