Fiction

Category: Fiction

Bringing the Funny

Posted on May 30 by Mark Sampson in Fiction

Being an author almost always means being a reader first. Before I set out on any new writing project — whether it’s the lengthy drudge of a novel, or the more abbreviated jaunt into a short story or poem — I become very cognizant of, and even go back and reread, major works written in a similar vein that came before.

Bird’s Eye View is the unforgettable story of an idealistic young farm girl from Saskatchewan who is working as a newspaper reporter at the outbreak of World War Two. When her town becomes a British Commonwealth Air Training Base, Rose Jolliffe is fired with patriotism and wangles her way overseas, where she joins the air force and becomes an aerial photographic interpreter.

"Something has come to pass, you think, something more important than a mere flight over the ravine." Gwendolyn MacEwen, “Fragments from a Childhood”

This sentiment is the epigraph to my new YA novel, The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden. Many thanks to the author's family for kindly permitting me to use it. 

Gwendolyn MacEwen was an award-winning poet who died much too young at 47. I often walk through her Toronto park on Lowther Street and say hello to her statue. 

It was February, 2011. I was sitting at my desk (writing, what else?), and noticed a new email message with the subject line: Congratulations, Philippa!

I almost dismissed it as junk mail, until I noticed the “from” address. Since it was from my publisher, I opened it. My publisher was pleased to tell me that my first book, The Gargoyle in My Yard, had been nominated for a Diamond Willow award, one of the Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards, and she hoped that it would be the first of many.

WHAT???

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