Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Protagonist Named 'Place'

Where is the best place  you have ever vacationed? Has this made its way into your book?

First, apologies for this late posting! I remembered last night, then forgot this morning, then remembered this afternoon. I totally blame it on the current chaos in my life.

Now a few words on Place:

When I lived and worked in northern BC, we used to go for long drives. This was pretty well our entertainment, exploring the area far and wide. Not really a vacation, but as close as it got for me then. The places we went have left their mark on me, no question, and have worked their way into my first novel in the series. Cold Girl takes place in the Hazeltons, about an hour north from Smithers, where we lived. Most of our day-trips took us in this direction. Diverting off the highway from there, we found remote roads, not a soul in sight. Wildflower meadows, sapling woods, a sinewy river barrelling through the landscape. Cold Girl would be a far different story without that spectacular and lonely land stamped in my mind's eye.
Following Cold Girl, my protagonists moved to my old stomping grounds, the Lower Mainland -- Vancouver, North Van, West Van, Deep Cove... (coming soon, Undertow!!) Geographically, there’s a new urban/ocean/rain forest feel to the stories, though I believe the aura of northern solitude has dogged my characters right down the freeway to their new home.

I have come to realize that Place is an omnipresent protagonist, one that must be paid attention to, and rounded out just like all the other characters in a piece of fiction. This is not hard work at all -- in fact it’s pure pleasure. A writer has a duty to just stand on the seawall and open her eyes and ears. And sniff from time to time too :)
This was a good question. Thank you for reading!

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