Every crime novel begins with a disquieting event, whether in the news or observed, that ferments in the author’s imagination, sometimes, for years before appearing on the pages. The germ of the idea for Shallow End, fourth in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, came from my earlier years working as a special education teacher.
Why do people love mysteries?
Of course, any answer to this is speculation only. We want to understand, and cannot, so we fall back on speculative reasoning - which allows us at least a small step forward towards comprehension. Much like the mystery novel itself.
As the author of young adult novels that tackle gritty and difficult subject matter, I am often asked why I write what I do. What I think fuels my desire to write about these topics more than anything is the idea that life can be challenging, and reading about real issues is important. We need to know that we are not alone in our struggles, and that no matter how dire things may seem, there will be brighter days ahead. I hope that when the characters in my novels dream beyond their current circumstance, it inspires the reader to do the same.
The concept for Missing Piece, the final book of my Spell Crossed trilogy, wound up radiating through not only the plot and the characters but the form the novel took and the process of writing it.
Two of the main characters, Xemion and Tharfen, have previously had a collision in the frictionless borough of Shissilill. As a result, they have each come away with a piece of the other magically embedded in them. Much of the action of the book tells the tale of how Tharfen goes about trying to recover her missing piece.
On National Authors’ Day, we’d like to thank authors for transporting us to new and old worlds with their writing. Thanks to them, our imaginations are given wings to fly on adventures without us ever having to leave the comfort of our reading nooks."The way they can weave words into such vivid imagery and make us feel so connected to the characters and places they write about will always amaze me."
When people ask me how I came to write a novel — And Then the Sky Exploded — about the bomb that was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and the devastation that followed, I have to be honest and admit I’m not really sure.
Recently I attended a book signing event with Crime Writers of Canada, and someone in the audience asked the group, “Do you need to do a formal writing program to learn to write?”
But fifteen years is a long time for a writer to spend with the same characters in the same place. I wanted to travel. I wanted to meet new people. So I put him, his long-suffering wife, and his loyal colleagues on the shelf, left the complex, subtly hued city of Ottawa, and set off into the wilderness, both literally and figuratively.
My desolate mind cannot erase
The darkness within…it’s God’s disgrace
There’s not much left but a splintered soul
Why won’t my psyche let me be whole…
—Bradley, age 19, fictional patient at a psychiatric ward