Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oh Canada - the Beauty and the Mystery

With the final editing of Tumbled Graves, I've fallen behind in reaching my weekly writing quota so this weekend is finding me at the keyboard. I worked last evening after work and will soon be back at it after a couple of cups of coffee and a walk around the garden. I'm at 64,000 words, aiming for 90, deadline for submission is September 1st.

One thing I've been meaning to mention to you -- websites have been popping up with 'free' downloads of my books as well as many other authors' books. While this might be tempting, the sites are not legitimate and are only after accessing your personal information. Never click on the download link! I've reported some to my publicist, and they've sent a letter warning the site to come down, but after one site comes down, another pops up. They're like mushrooms after the rain. No current author with a publishing house that I know of will have their books as free downloads. I think we need to spread the word.

I read a post on Facebook from an American author asking her friends if she should write a book set in Canada. Would anybody buy the book? This is a reoccuring issue at panels and even in discussions amongst Canadian mystery authors. I had an agent who advised me to set my first adult mystery in the U.S. and so In Winter's Grip is set mainly in Minnesota although also Ottawa. I'd point out that the town I invented, Duved Cove, is close to Lake Superior and not far from the Canadian border, displaying my ambivilance about the need to go outside my own country. Since this book, I've set all my books in Canada, moving closer to home to Ottawa, Kingston and towns and cities in Southern Ontario and into Quebec - my stomping grounds.

My good friend Frank Bowick took the photo of the trees used on this cover -
Frank took the photo in Algonquin Park in Ontario.
And my thoughts on setting books in Canada? I think the interest in our literature will increase much like the upsurge in Canadian music. When I was younger, Canadian musicians that 'made it' on the world stage were few and far between. Ann Murray and Paul Anka come to mind. Not many others. Now, Canadian musicians are  respected around the world with many solid careers and wide audiences. I also look at  the Scandinavian countries and the popularity for their murder mysteries, which seemed to happen overnight; however, you can bet that their authors weren' questioning whether they should be writing about their own country all those years before being 'discovered' by the rest of the world.

So, I think we have to keep writing about the country we know and love, and take every opportunity to promote our work to readers outside our country - that's where our Canadian readers can make a huge contribution - recommend books you enjoy to friends and on social media. I know that some of my readers have sent copies of my books to friends in other countries. Every new reader keeps us writing. I was on a panel with four American authors at Malice Domestic this spring and was pleasantly surprised to hear the moderator refer to Canada as an exotic setting, showing once again that one person's fish eggs are another's caviar.

Setting for a murder in Cold Mourning on the Rideau River.
Near Picton, Ontario - many mysterious nooks and crannies across the country!

No comments:

Post a Comment