Guest Post (2): Susanne Dunlap

 *gasp* What is this, a two? Yes, you read that correctly. Susanne Dunlap was kind enough to do a guest post for my little ol' blog last year nearing the release of Anastasia's Secret, which was over a year ago from today. Today she's back -- and to sound cliche, better than ever! -- with her upcoming historical YA novel In the Shadow of the Lamp (releases April 12th).

Very Click-able links: {website} • {amazon} • {goodreads} • {book depository}

Without further ado, I'll turn it over to Susanne for her personal take on a centuries-old concept and its role in her new book:


I’ll confess, I’m a pretty straight-up, one-man-at-a-time kind of woman. For me, the feelings I need to experience in a real relationship are so intense and all-engulfing that I can’t imagine feeling them for more than one person at a time.

That said, I have definitely experienced moments when the shades of my affection and love have been distinctly gray, when it’s hard to sort out what’s real, what’s important, and what’s lasting. That’s the way I experienced Molly’s feelings in this novel. The two men she becomes close to are so individual, and fulfill such different emotional needs for her, that she cannot make a decision when faced with both of them.

She’s young, of course. And she is far away from home, away from everything she knows. The “far away” of her 19th-century life is so much more drastic than going away to college, say—the equivalent journey a modern-day 17-year-old might take. No one’s watching out for her, except the other nurses, who all have their own struggles and trials. It’s up to her to decide what’s right, and how she feels. 

I’m pretty sure that if I had been in Molly’s shoes, with exactly those circumstances, I would have felt just as she did, and been every bit as confused. I like to think I would also be as brave and honorable, but that’s the privilege of being an author: creating characters that push the boundaries and explore feelings and face trials and overcome them in a way that I would never have to. 

Yet when it comes down to it, how can someone love two different people in the same way? Getting involved with two people at the same time is fraught with hazards. If they don’t know about each other, lying and deceit becomes a fact of life. If you really care about both of them, then you can add guilt to the mix, because who wants to risk hurting people you love? 

Molly loves both Will and Dr. Maclean. But does she love them in the same way, with the same degree of passion? Or does she only think she does, and has she simply not figured out what she wants?

I don’t think I have the answer. That’s another magical thing about being an author. Your characters take on lives of their own, and seem to act without asking you what they should do.

I’m really looking forward to hearing what readers think about Molly and her coming of age, and the two men who love her. It’s an exciting thing, to launch a story into the world.


Thank you, Susanne! Are you intrigued by these two dashing young men? Whose side are you on? Check back tomorrow for a chance to find out (aka giveaway)...