by Susan Mathis
I grew up just twenty minutes from the Thousand Islands—the setting for all my stories—in upstate New York. Actually, half of the 1,864 islands are in NY and the other half in Ontario, Canada. I spent every summer and more exploring the beautiful region. I’ve stayed on several of the islands and camped and rented cottages there. So, after I wrote my debut novel about the largest island, Wolfe Island, I was hooked. There are so many fascinating stories to tell.
All my novels are based on a specific place in the Thousand Islands and are the true stories of the owners of that island. So, my plot is generally true. Then I overlay the storyline of the fictional servants to create the story. This makes my stories a bit more challenging, but I love a good challenge.
Each summer I take a Thousand Islands Book Tour to the islands where I meet with fans, friends, and family. I’ve stayed in Singer Castle, Casa Blanca, and other places that are the settings of my book. I’ve talked with the owners of the islands, local historians, and researched in the Thousand Islands archives.
This past summer I was there for the annual Cape Vincent French Festival that celebrates the French heritage in the Thousand Islands region. I enjoyed the parade with my brothers and was walking down the street when a young woman came running down the middle of the road behind me hollering my name.
Passersby stopped and gawked. Alarm bells rang in my head. My brother took a protective stance.
I turned and the girl pulled a pile of my books out of her backpack and thrust them toward me. “Please. Would you sign my books? I love your stories!”
No, she wasn’t a stalker or an over-eager journalist. She was simply a reader who wanted to meet me and have me autograph my books.
I was honored. I was blessed. After I signed her books, I bought her a lemonade and we chatted for a long while. My visit with her was a highlight of my trip, and a sweet memory I cherish.
My latest story, Rachel’s Reunion, has just come out. I’ll look forward to signing her copy next summer.
Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has nine in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Peyton’s Promise, and Rachel’s Reunion. She just finished writing book ten, Mary’s Moment. She is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.