The Dundurn Blog

Besides all the mistakes I make, what I most have in common with my character Stephen Noble in The Artsy Mistake Mystery is that I walk dogs a lot. Usually it’s my Jackapoo Mortie that I stroll with between the scenes that I write, but sometimes it’s my granddog Worf and any guest dogs, like Holly the Bichonpoo. I walk through our neighbourhood, which means I know the dogs and their owners in my community. At least I know the dogs’ names—Spike, Diesel, Akita, Princess, Bailey, Niko etc. —what they like to eat and whether they like to play.

Circumstances surrounding any writing about Glenn Gould these days can best be explained if I point to what happened one Saturday afternoon years back in St. Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale, the ever-morphing suburb where I grew up. For a pre-Christmas event for children to help explain the meaning of the season, a parishioner known to play a little piano was asked to provide accompaniment on few hymns.

Evangeline, Pelagie, and La Sagouine are all Acadian symbols — fictional characters who represent the history and culture of the Acadian people. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Antonine Maillet wrote about Acadian characters, inspired by the true story of the Acadian people of eastern Canada. This rich literary tradition of telling the Acadian story has not often included actual historical characters. Until now!

All of us writers have voices in our heads.  I’m fairly sure of this.  In my novel, Thin Places, Declan is used to having the traditional imaginary male friends that have stayed with him since childhood. But now he is hearing the voice of a girl, an Irish girl. And he is certain it is not coming from his imagination.

Rebecca is real. Soon he not only hears her but he sees her as well — even though no one else can. His life is going nowhere at home and he knows he must solve this riddle of this girl in his head. He must go to Ireland and find her.