Susanna Kearsley


Susanna Kearsley’s modern gothic novels blend adventure, history, romance and suspense. A former museum curator, she won the U.K.'s Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize for her novel Mariana, and her thriller Every Secret Thing was shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. Her book The Winter Sea, a time-slip novel dealing with a little-known true event in Jacobite history, was a finalist for both the U.K.'s Romantic Novel of the Year Award and a RITA® award, and won this year's RT Bookreviews Reviewer's Choice Award for Historical Fiction. She lives in Ontario with her husband and two young children.

Susanna Kearsley

SiWC Workshops

Sunday 9:30am

Setting is more than just background. The places you choose for your story can shape and drive plot, mold your characters, limit their actions, and deepen your themes. By exploring the various uses of setting, along with techniques for describing the places you’ve been to and those you can’t visit, you’ll learn how to choose the right settings, and how to evoke them with details that engage your readers’ own imaginations, bringing your stories to more vivid life. 

Saturday 10:30am

When your books are marketed to women with covers most men would hesitate to buy, even if they don't feature half-naked people, how do you bring the focus to the great story inside? Can you build a readership that's not just female, or do you even want to try? Join this panel for a discussion of the rewards and pitfalls of writing books primarily for women.

Saturday 3:30pm

In our annual bestseller panel, moderator Donald Maass leads our panel through an exploration of life in the big leagues. Our guess is they're not above writing in their pajamas if they feel like it. But wonder how life has changed since the publisher started putting "bestseller" on the covers of their books or what added challenges come writing the next book after a big success? Come find out!

Friday 3:30pm

Whether you’re tackling a timeslip or time-travel novel, a book within a book, a dual storyline, or simply a series of flashbacks, the technical challenges of interleaving two sets of main characters, two plots, and two story arcs stay the same: how do you switch back and forth without losing the readers' interest, or being confusing, or losing the right sense of pacing; and how do you bind both the stories together to strengthen your themes? We’ll take a look at different ways to make this work, by dodging the possible pitfalls and making full use of the range of rewards that this much bigger canvas can offer a story.