Atlantic Books Today – Holiday 2014


Embed or link this publication


Holiday 2014 issue of Atlantic Books Today magazine

Popular Pages

p. 1

Atlantic Books today Free Free 75 books featured inside! Book News Reviews Excerpts 12 The history issue follow the Royal newfoundland Regiment for young readers Inspiring gift ideas Cookbook Authors + History picks Nova scotia’s tragic past share Festive fare The Book of Negroes Contests INSIDE 2 Holiday 2014 No. 77 Publications Mail Agreement 40038836


p. 2

A gif t for every reader on your list! F or the baby boomer Haligonian! F or the fiction lover! Burden of Desire & Portrait of Julia Robert MacNeil Burden - $19.95pa Portrait $29.95hc Under Sealed Orders Mystery, betrayal, and murder — an early 20th century love story set in rural New Brunswick. Robert MacNeil’s novel set during the Halifax Explosion is finally back in print! Images and memories of growing up in Halifax in the 40s and 50s, A Halifax Boyhood Malcolm Macleod $24.95 Hockey’s first black professional coach, born and raised in Windsor, NS. They Called Me Chocolate Rocket: The Life and Times of John Paris Jr. John Paris Jr. $22.95 F or the hockey fan! H.A. Cody, intro by Ted Jones $16.95 F or the history buff! How Halifax, Victoria and the Royal Navy stood in the way of U.S. expansionism, 1814–1917 F or the home chef! Recipes from the Maritimes’ best chefs adapted for home cooking. Canada’s Bastions of Empire Bryan Elson $29.95 Lobster & Chowder Trail Elaine Elliot & Virginia Lee Lobster: $16.95 Chowder: $16.95 Happy Holidays from F ormac Publishing! 2 www.formac .c a


p. 3

Contents Holiday 2014 Seventeen pages highlighting diverse voices and different views of our region’s past page 29 Special history supplement 34 On the Cover 34 The Book of Negroes comes to the small screen Cast and crew recall their time on the set of the TV adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s celebrated novel, plus a visit to the press featured in the miniseries Up front 7 Editor’s message My year of regional reading Current affairs 8 Noted Atlantic Canadian authors win big 10 Chad’s view 11 Perspective Vision and verve on the East Coast Journalist Jacques Poitras faces Atlantic Canada’s most secretive family 13 Author Buzz 13 Proust questionnaire Get to know the multitalented Bette MacDonald 14 Inside the author’s studio YA author Kathleen Peacock explains her notebook addiction 16 Profile 20 Atlantic Books today Presents Ann-Marie MacDonald on her new novel Adult Onset Young Readers Free Books for the Holidays Atlantic 18 Reviews Lisa Doucet highlights new picture books and novels for young readers 20 Feature Tattletales Books in Dartmouth, NS, celebrates a milestone anniversary contests inside! 4 Your gift-giving guide for 2014 Books with this symbol can also be found in Atlantic Books for the Holidays—available now at! Cover photo: Courtesy of Roundstone Communications This page (from top): Courtesy of Roundstone Communications, Murdock Smith, Joseph Muise Atlantic Books Today 3


p. 4



p. 5

Contents Features 22 Behind the Scenes Flanker Press celebrates 20 years Book Bites 56 Excerpts What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise –and Collapse– of Nova Scotia’s NDP Government; No Turning Back: Surviving the Linehan Family Tragedy; Any Mummers ‘Lowed In? Christmas Mummering Traditions in Newfoundland and Labrador Joseph Muise 24 The 12 Books of Christmas Finish your holiday shopping with this list of books sure to please everyone on your list History 29 Special history supplement Seventeen pages highlighting diverse voices and different views of our region’s past 60 Regional reads Atlantic Canada has an abundance of Christmas traditions to share and stories to tell Reviews 46 Book reviews Atlantic Canadian fiction, poetry, nonfiction, cookbooks and more Contests and more 7 Book Club Bonanza 61 Readers survey Help us improve Atlantic Books Today in 2015 Food 51 Feature Atlantic Canadian cookbook authors share their holiday favourites 62 The Great Book Giveaway 51 Just in time for Christmas! Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador wouldn’t be complete without the mummers! Using archival records, historic photographs, oral histories, and personal interviews with those who have kept the tradition alive, Dale Jarvis tells the story of the jannies themselves. Welcome to the colourful world of Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador, a holiday that is not complete without a little bit of mischief and foolishness! ISBN 978-1-77117-373-5 $19.95, Paperback Sydney Frost, a young Nova Scotian, was working in St. John’s at The Bank of Nova Scotia when the First World War began in August 1914. He joined the Newfoundland Regiment on August 21, 1914, the first night that volunteers were accepted. His memoir is by far the most complete account of World War I by any member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. ISBN 978-1-77117-385-8 $34.95, Hardcover From the awardwinning author of Afterimage, a lyrical and laughout-loud story of hopeless love and hard-won acceptance. A story of one teen’s journey through the restorative justice system, the angry victims of a senseless crime, and the mediator who brings them together. check us out on Phone 709-739-4477 Toll-free 1-866-739-4420 BE MORE DRAMATIC READ A PLAY Atlantic Books Today 5


p. 6

Connect with us! AtlanticBooksToday @abtmagazine Cantwells’ Way: A Natural History of the Cape Spear Lightstation James E. Candow 9781552666722 $22.95 “This is the most concise history of early lightstations in Newfoundland and Labrador, not just Cape Spear, that I have read so as sumptuous and filling as one of Mrs. Cantwell’s Jiggs dinners, with dumplings and all.” – Don Johnson, author of Smoke and Mirrors Atlantic Books today Atlantic Books Today is published by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (, which gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Opinions expressed in articles in Atlantic Books Today do not necessarily re­ flect the views and opinions of the Board of the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association. PUBLISHER Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and ADVERTISING SALES Carolyn Guy EDITOR Kim Hart Macneill DESIGN Joseph Muise Printed in Canada. This is issue number 77 Holiday 2014. Atlantic Books Today is published three times a year. All issues are numbered in sequence. Total Atlantic-wide circulation: 80,000. ISSN 1192-3652 One-year subscriptions to Atlantic Books Today are available for $15 ($17.25 including HST). Please make cheques payable to the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association and mail to address below or contact apma.admin@ for subscription inquiries. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40038836 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Atlantic Books Today 1484 Carlton Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3B7 Phone (902) 420.0711 Fax (902) 423.4302 @abtmagazine Visitor: My Life in Canada Anthony Stewart 9781552666869 $21.95 As a Black Canadian, the Canada that Anthony Stewart sees is different from the idealized Canada of Tim Hortons commercials, Hockey Night in Canada and countless other imaginings. It’s a Canada that takes credit for a level of open-mindedness that far exceeds its reality. FERNWOOD PUBLISHING Reading, naturally. Complete Book Manufacturing Ron Such T. 902.684.0888 6


p. 7

Editor’s Note Editor’s note I’ve always believed that New Year’s resolutions are a bit cliché. If you’ll bear with me for just a few sentences, I’ll tell you why I’m about to make one. But first a confession: I didn’t read enough Atlantic Canadian books this year. The number wasn’t zero, but it wasn’t so high that I’d be proud to write it here. I’m happy to say that both Linda Little’s historical novel Grist and Megan Gail Cole’s short story collection Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome (which you’ll find reviewed on page 47) have brightened my evenings and weekends in the last few months, along with books by Ann-Marie MacDonald (profiled on page 17), John Boileau and others. But it doesn’t feel like enough. That’s why, as we head into 2015, I’m declaring here and now that this will be my year to read regionally, and I invite you to join me. Beginning in early January, I’ll read 26 Atlantic Canadianpublished or authored books over the next year and review each one on I hope you’ll check in to see what I’m reading, and that you’ll join me by making your own commitment to read locally. Please let us know which local books you’re choosing this year in the comments section of our website, on Facebook and Twitter. Happy holidays, Kim Hart Macneill, Editor Bonanza! The 3-Rs Book Club from St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia were our first winners.Your club could be next! Calling all book clubs! Want to see your book club featured on our website and in our newsletter? Fill out this ballot (or enter online at for your chance! The winning book club will also receive these great gifts: • We’ll bring the food and wine or send you a $100 Sobeys gift card! • AND we will come to your next meeting (either in person or via Skype) to tell you about the hottest new Atlantic Canadian books! • AND you’ll win a set of Atlantic Canadian books for the group! The information below will not be used for any purpose other than contacting the winning entry. Name: Phone (with area code): The name of your book club: Street/mailing address: City/town, province, postal code: Your favourite book from an Atlantic Canadian author: How many members in your book club? E-mail: Yes, please send the Atlantic Books Today newsletter to my inbox. I understand that my consent may be withdrawn by contacting Atlantic Books Today at Mail this form by January 16, 2015 to Atlantic Books Today Book Club Bonanza, 1484 Carlton Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3B7 Book Club How often do you meet? Atlantic Books Today 7


p. 8

Current Affairs noted Prizes and awards Atlantic Canadian authors earned plenty of awards this fall Flanker & ASNL to launch a book on World Autism Day 2015 East Coast Literary Award winners Flanker Press and the Autism Society, Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL) will partner to publish a collection of stories about autism next year. The book will feature essays by Dr. Joyce Churchill, the parent of a child with autism and co-founder of the ASNL; Michael McCreary, a teenage stand-up comedian living with Aspergers syndrome; Sen. Jim Munson, a vocal autism advocate; and others. Flanker will donate all royalties from the book and all web sales from the April 2, 2015 launch day to ASNL. The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia announced the winners of the 2014 East Coast Literary Awards in September. Stephen Kimber took home the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award ($2,000 prize) for What Lies Across the Water (Fernwood Publishing); Don Domanski won the JM Abraham Poetry Award ($2,000 prize) for Bite Down Little Whisper (Brick Books); and William Kowalski earned the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award ($25,000 prize) for The Hundred Hearts (Dundurn). Chris Benjamin The Canada Council for the Arts announced the Governor General’s Literary Awards short list in October, which featured several current and former Atlantic Canadian authors. St. John’s resident Michael Crummey’s much-lauded Sweetland (Doubleday Canada) is on the English language Fiction short list, as is Juliet Was a Surprise (Hamish Hamilton) by Bill Gaston, a former Nova Scotia resident. The English language Non-fiction short list features former Newfoundand and Labrador resident Michael Harris for The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection (HarperCollins Publishers) and former Nova Scotia resident Maria Mutch for Know the Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours (Knopf Canada). The Children’s Literature (Text) short list includes Pottersfield Press publisher Lesley Choyce, from East Lawrencetown, NS, for his young adult novel Jeremy Stone (Red Deer Press). Georgette LeBlanc of Pointe-de-l’Église, NS, made the French-language Poetry short list with her book Prudent (Les Éditions Perce-Neige). The winners will be announced after our press date. Visit for an update. GG’s short list features Crummey, Choyce and poet LeBlanc 8


p. 9

Current Affairs noted Sellout crowd celebrates No Turning Back Over 500 people came out to celebrate the launch of Ida Linehan Young’s memoir No Turning Back: Surviving the Linehan Family Tragedy (Creative Book Publishing) on Sept. 7, turning the road leading to the North Harbour NL Community Centre into a parking lot.This intimate community on the Avalon Peninsula was the scene of the tragic house fire that changed the Linehan family, and the community, forever. In her book, Linehan Young speaks of the incredible support that the community offered to her family as they struggled to rebuild their lives. That support was more than evident at the launch. Record-breaking book sales of 852 copies left the author speechless and overwhelmed as she signed books for over four hours. Her friends and family provided food and music for the afternoon, hosting a true Newfoundland kitchen party. Read an excerpt from the book on page 57. B ROCK RECIPES: For the cook on your list... THE BEST FOOD FROM MY NEWFOUNDLAND KITCHEN From creator Barry C. Parsons’ home kitchen to yours – some of the most popular dishes Parsons has ever posted, plus a healthy serving of brand new fare as well! $24.95 ISBN 978-1-55081-555-9 WOW WOW AND HAW HAW A beautiful hardcover adaptation of the Celtic legend, How The Fox Lost His Fleas. Murray’s playful rhyme and repetition, set against a backdrop of Pittman’s lush paintings, make Wow Wow and Haw Haw an instant classic. $19.95 ISBN 978-1-55081-462-0 W W W. B R E A K WAT E R B O O K S Courtesy of Creative Book Publishing In October, the Quebec Writers' Federation announced its awards short list, which featured two Nova Scotia-published authors. Anna Leventhal’s darkly humorous short fiction collection, Sweet Affliction (Invisible Publishing), made the Concordia University First Book Prize short list, and Gillian Sze’s poetic travelogue, Peeling Rambutan (Gaspereau Press), is on the AM Klein Prize for Poetry short list.The 16th annual QWF Awards take place in Montreal on Nov.18.The winners will be announced after our press date.Visit for an update. Nova Scotia-published books shortlisted for QWF awards Atlantic Books Today says bon voyage This will be the last regular issue of Atlantic Books Today for our in-house designer, website wrangler and photographer Joseph Muise. We wish him the best and we’ll miss him! MAKE THE BEST OOKS GIFTS For the child in us all... .COM Atlantic Books Today 9


p. 10

Current Affairs chad's view The tides they are a-changing for Atlantic publishers by Chad Pelley In his last regular column with us, Chad Pelley reflects on the vision and verve of Atlantic Canadian publishers Invisible Books launch your career in a big way? Yes, and they’ve proven it. Pedlar Press in St. John's has achieved its reputable status by eschewing considerations of “saleability” when acquiring a authors appearing country-wide requires a driven publicity staff with verve, vision and passion. Like the crew at Breakwater Books in St. John's or Goose Lane Editions in Fredericton, NB, who have charmed their way into the good books of festival directors nation wide and editors at Canada’s powerhouse publications like Quill & Quire, the Globe and Mail and the National Post. Thanks to its massive population, and the fact that most national media outlets are situated there, Toronto will always be the heart of the book industry, and books published there will by proxy be on the radars of more readers and editors. But it’s nice to see so many Atlantic publishers with their gloves on, fighting that geographical reality. The internet is certainly helping their efforts by making the world a whole lot smaller and more connected. Undoubtedly, the shareability of links through social T here is a theme of history running through this issue of Atlantic Books Today, so what better time to reflect on and celebrate Atlantic Canadian publishing? Because there was a time when most Atlantic-published books had their readership and acclaim anchored to our eastern shores, but that time has sailed. One long-standing and notable feature of our publishing scene is the absence of international houses on our soil, like Random House, Penguin or HarperCollins, whose biggest books of the year, the ones they really push, are by authors from the UK, USA or India. By contrast, virtually every Atlantic publisher is independent, publishing almost exclusively Canadian authors and, particularly, writers local to their provinces. But how much do authors benefit from signing book deals with our hometown houses, in terms of readership and acclaim? It’s a fair question, because you can write a brilliant book, but, if no one knows it exists, how can they buy it? If success with awards is one way to measure how well Atlantic publishers are doing, then Halifax-based Invisible Publishing is worth a mention. Invisible is relatively young, but a proven source for hip new CanLit (Anna Quon, Dani Couture, Andrew Hood), and its steady momentum culminated in a Giller Prize longlisting last year, for Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s How to Get Along with Women. She’s since signed an impressive international book deal for her forthcoming novel, The Devil You Know (HarperCollins Publishers). So, can publishing with book – it focuses 100% on literary merit and originality in hope that those qualities will shine through for readers. This selection process is working: Pedlar is no stranger to award short lists and trophies, even those as esteemed as the Governor General or the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. In 2011, Pedlar won in 2 of 3 categories for the ReLit Awards, and Souvankham Thammavongsa won this year’s Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Equally important in the evaluation of a publisher is whether or not they’re “in” with media and festival organizers. How else are we to reach readers in other provinces? Getting books reviewed and Toronto will always be the heart of the book industry, but it’s nice to see so many Atlantic publishers with their gloves on. media has played a big role in helping Atlantic publishers reach a wider audience with their authors’ books – a phenomenon only five or six-years-old that may have finally given us a level playing ground. ■ Chad Pelley’s fiction has been recognized with more than 10 awards. He is the editor of The Overcast: Newfoundland's Arts & Culture Newspaper. 10


p. 11

Current Affairs PerSpective Joseph Muise Being a former employee of the Irving media empire gave this journalist a unique view on the powerful family, but only legwork would land him the story by Jacques Poitras Inside Atlantic Canada’s Most Secretive Family T he old billionaire studied me, his eyes twinkling. “You’re a journalist,” he said. “You’ve worked for the company. How do you perceive it, our position in the newspapers?” J.K. Irving, Canada’s third-richest man at 85-years-old, was conducting a little market research. “The newspapers, what should they be doing that they’re not doing?” he asked later. “We’ve got to get something out of this.” Surprised, I lamented the decline of long, in-depth serious features, like the ones I wrote when I worked for one of Irving’s newspapers, the Telegraph-Journal, in the 1990s. I ought to have expected this turning of the tables, because the Irvings don’t like scrutiny. “This is not something we do, interviews on this subject,” J.K.’s son Jim told me at the outset. Indeed, the dilemma is at the very heart of my book, Irving vs. Irving: Canada’s Feuding Billionaires and the Stories They Won’t Tell (Viking Canada): how does the owner of a news company, an enterprise dedicated to revealing facts, allow it to reveal facts about itself – and himself ? The Irving media ownership wouldn’t be so compelling an issue if the family were not also New Brunswick’s biggest private sector employer. The forestry operations employ thousands of people; the oil refinery in Saint John accounts for more than half the dollar value of the province’s exports. Such a large corporate presence certainly warrants journalistic examination, yet the Irvings remain opaque. Atlantic Books Today 11


p. 12

Current Affairs PerSpective The thick family court files from the 1980 divorce between Arthur Irving and his first wife, Joan Carlisle, revealed one curiosity: Irving Oil owned many of the items in their home, including paintings, furniture, cars and rugs. Still, a surprising number of people who have worked for, or dealt with, the family were candid and insightful in on-the-record interviews. And many unreported facts hide in plain sight. The thick family court files from the 1980 divorce between Arthur Irving and his first wife, Joan Carlisle, revealed one curiosity: Irving Oil owned many of the items in their home, including paintings, furniture, cars and rugs. But on the breaking up of the Irving empire, the most consequential business story in New Brunswick in the last decade, first-hand information was hard to come by. Those who knew bits and pieces of the story would only speak anonymously. In Bermuda, a court action to carve up the offshore trust K.C. Irving established in his will was sealed from public view. There were clues: a spin-off case in Bermuda, a battle between Arthur Irving and his son Kenneth over Arthur’s share of the trust, was available, and told a Shakespearean story of father versus son. New Brunswick’s corporate registry documented the moment in 2005 when Arthur and his brother Jack handed the family newspaper company to their older sibling, J.K., to run on his own. Statistics Canada’s Inter-Corporate Ownership database provided valuable clues on how the industrialists were reorganizing their various subsidiaries. But the Irvings themselves were not forthcoming on the split. “It’s nobody’s damned business, okay?” J.K. said when I pressed for details, the only time I saw him visibly angry. His anger passed quickly, and he turned philosophical, talking about how a good newspaper can be a unifying force. “The province requires something to bind it together, you know?” he said. “You can get separated so damn fast in a lot of things.” When we were finished, I turned off my recorder and gathered my notes. But J.K. had one last thing to add. “You should come back, work for us,” he said, his eyes twinkling again. “Write some of those long, in-depth features.” And I wondered in passing who was scrutinizing whom. ■ Matt Carter Jacques Poitras is the provincial affairs reporter for CBC News in New Brunswick and the author of four books, including Irving vs. Irving: Canada’s Feuding Billionaires and the Stories They Won’t Tell. 12


p. 13

Author Buzz Interview Bette MacDonald Comedian and Gemini-winning actor Bette MacDonald has delighted audiences for over 20 years. Her beloved character, Mary Morrison, a kerchief-wearing, handbag-carrying Caper, has left viewers rolling in the aisles nearly as long. MacDonald’s new book, Mary Morrison’s Cape Breton Christmas (Nimbus Publishing), is a treasury of all things holiday, including advice for coping with family, gift-giving dos and don’ts and her favourite seasonal recipes. If you could be someone else for a day who would it be? I would be a famous opera singer performing Tosca at the Met with Bryn Terfel in A quality you desire in a partner: The same, a sense of humour. And kindness. the role of Scarpia and Jonas Kaufman playing Mario. What do you appreciate most about Where you would most like to live? your friends? New York. Specifically, anywhere within I appreciate loyalty and discretion (no one needs to know what we get up to.) walking distance of Lincoln Center. And, of course, a sense of humour. Favourite Animal: Dog. We have two, Roxie and Sam. Your worst quality: Their good looks make up for their lack I am too impulsive. I often find myself having to undo things. Also, I’m indeci- of good manners. sive. Or am I? Yes, I am. Your favourite poet(s): Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Tennyson, Your favourite occupation: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Fortunately, I’m doing it, writing and Cohen and so on… performing. What do you consider your best quality? My sense of humour. What is your idea of happiness? Being with family and close friends, being alone in my office writing or being anywhere with my husband, Maynard. Favourite colour: It changes. Right now it’s orange. Favourite author(s): Ed Macdonald, Alistair MacLeod, Shakespeare, Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie, Harold Bloom, Alice Munro, Stephen Fry... and on and on... Proust questionnaire Murdock Smith Your favourite food & drink: Anything in the high carb family. Also, I recently had a Manhattan and quickly realized that one is enough. I like many kinds of food but it’s the company that makes or breaks any meal. A natural talent you’d like to possess: I would love to be a musician who can play all kinds of music so I could be in Symphony Nova Scotia and in a jazz combo. Sweet. How you want to die: Well, I don’t. But if I must, I would like to die of happiness just after learning that I have been cast to play Mrs. Lovett on Broadway with Bryn Terfel as Sweeney Todd. That way, I get the part but I don’t have to learn the lines. Favourite or personal motto: One of the most sensible and lovely things I’ve ever read is by Stephen Fry, it ends with, “...all the big words–virtue, justice, truth – are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.” ■ Your favourite fictional heroes: Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Floria Tosca, Don Giovanni and Your present state of mind: Happy. Grateful. Excited about what’s next. Falstaff, among others. Atlantic Books Today 13


p. 14

The d l r o w is her o i d u t s K Words Colleen Kitts-Goguen Photos Cam Goguen orld filled w a s d n fi r e This writ d ghosts n a s e lv o w e fé with wer a bustling ca f o le t s u h e amid th athleen Peacock knows how to be alone in a crowd. When she dons her white headphones she shuts out the clanging of the industrialsized espresso machine at this downtown Fredericton, NB, coffee shop, the baristas calling out orders (“a large americano and a medium macchiato – is that to go or for here?”) and the jarring sounds of metal chairs rudely scraping the tiled floor. With Snow Patrol or Matthew Good playing in her ears, Peacock disappears into another world, one where teenage werewolves struggle to find acceptance in a world that wants them dead, or at the very least quarantined. Peacock, 35, is the author of the Hemlock trilogy, a series of young adult novels about the deep and complicated bonds between four high school friends, one of whom is dead and the other a werewolf. The third novel in the series, Willowgrove, will be released in January 2015 by Katherine Tegan Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Publisher’s Weekly has said Hemlock is “loaded with werewolves both creepy and hot. Mac’s smart and believable voice will leave readers looking forward to more.” Mac and her friends Amy, Kyle, and Jason were fleshed out in a busy coffee shop just like the one where Peacock sits today, sipping her smoothie (“I don’t actually like coffee”) and poring over her notes. She prefers to work in public spaces, at least when she’s getting started on a book. “I’m a big outliner. I used to try and write by winging it and I found that when I wrote by the seat of my pants I tended to forget that stories needed to have a beginning, a middle and an end,” she smiles. “And I found that when I started planning things out it was a lot easier. What I normally end up doing in coffee shops is just 14


p. 15

Author Buzz inside the author’s studio Peacock disappears into another world, one where teenage werewolves struggle to find acceptance in a world that wants them dead. next book, which contains an element of time travel, though has nothing to do with werewolves. Organization will be key to keeping the decades straight when she sits down to write. By then, she says she may have her new apartment unpacked, including the giant white boards, just like in Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment in the “Big Bang Theory,” which happens to be one of her favourite TV shows. “I come from an IT background and I’m a little bit of a geek. I like to see it big on the wall. I’m very visual.” Once the organization is done Peacock will generally flip open her laptop to start laying down sentences and working through chapters. That work is done largely at home, which is fine with her. She says she doesn’t need a special place to write. “I look at those pictures you see sometimes of writers’ studios, like Neil Gaiman has his writing gazebo. In theory it’s beautiful but I don’t know how often I would actually use something like that. If money were no object I would probably get some really nice floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and maybe a few more pieces of original artwork, but I can’t see myself building that writing gazebo.” ■ Colleen Kitts-Goguen is a writer and broadcaster in Fredericton. She also handles non-fiction acquisitions for Goose Lane Editions. The third book in Kathleen Peacock’s young adult series Willowgrove will hit the shelves Jan. 6, 2015. Books one and two, Hemlock and Thornhill, are available in paperback. taking notebooks and jotting down plot points and ideas.” Two notebooks are splayed open on the small round table in front of her. One is blue-striped and pocket-sized, for jotting things down on the go. The other is a hardcover spiral-bound notebook, about the size of journal. The pages are littered with colourful sticky notes. She never knows when an idea will strike. “I’m kind of like a notebook addict,” she says. “I buy notebooks the way other women buy shoes.” Peacock recently moved to Fredericton, NB, for a new job. She’s now publicity manager at Goose Lane Editions, which is where we met. Originally from Campbellton, NB, she spent about a decade in the IT industry, most of that time in Saint John, working in graphic design. She had always harboured a secret desire to be a writer, a desire fulfilled when her first book, Hemlock, was picked up by a prominent US publisher. She still remembers the day back in 2010 when she called her parents, now living in Bathurst, NB, to give them the news. “I told my dad and he dropped the phone and I could hear him in the background running to get my mom! They are huge supporters of my writing and have always been.” That first book turned into a series, now complete. She’s working on her Atlantic Books Today 15



no comments yet