#ICYMI, Joel A. Sutherland and I did some scary speaking at the Telling Tales virtual festival in October:
#ICYMI we had a lovely book launch for The Detective and the Spy:
Thank you to everyone who attended!
Back when I was first researching Jewel of the Thames (almost a decade ago now!) I would visit the reference library in Toronto to find books on the Booth maps. Charles Booth’s maps are part of his Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London (1886-1903) series and are SO awesome for visualising London as it existed for Holmes and Watson. At today’s Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium, one of my favourite pastiche authors, Bonnie MacBird, pointed out that the Booth Maps have been reinterpreted into an online form! A fantastic resource I had to share as soon I learned they were available digitally:
I’m hosting the YA/Kids Tent again this year, so please join me TOMORROW on YOUTUBE as I talk to some of Canada’s most exciting children’s authors:
There are some cool elements to writing historical fiction, like names and time markers and larger historical events. But it can also be constraining when you take your artistic license and change things. In the case of Portia Adams for example, I decided to make 221B an upstairs apartment to a house that was at 221 Baker Street (deviating from Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon of Holmes & Watson living at 221B the house). I liked the idea that housing had changed between 1895 and the 1930s when Portia got to London.
In the case of The Laura Secord Chronicles, I’m finding it expedient to marry Elizabeth Ingersoll (Laura’s younger sister) off before Laura. It helps my story and the tension in the first few chapters if Laura has a foil who is on the path to a traditional family life.
There will be more deviations I’m sure, but I like my fans to know that these are mindful choices I’m making, they’re not mistakes. Sometimes the muse drives you in a direction that is not exact in it’s historical details. Ideally, it doesn’t take people out of the story.
Sometimes your research brings up odd things – like a PDF of a whole book that someone scanned titled HistoricOntario – by G.E. Moore that has a bunch of really useful info about the Queenston area. Check it out!
I’ve started a new story – which in the midst of this pandemic is a minor miracle for me. I’ve had no trouble writing journalism and creating news content, but up until recently, my fiction muse had been hiding in the corner, driven there by the anxious news all around me.
I’m happy to say that I’m back to writing a bit of fiction, this time a story about Canadian hero Laura Secord. Not sure what this will become, but as usual, I’m tracking my progress and research here!
Based on some research I’m keeping in mind, here are some main characters:
And here are some major timeline things to keep in mind: