Wednesday 14 March 2018

SILENCES: Questions to Consider

Shuniah House Books asked me to come up with questions for readers to consider after reading SILENCES. The list of questions is linked here and on their website.

It's always interesting to know what a reader sees, as opposed to what the writer sees. In interviews, you often see writers talk about "being immersed" in the books they're writing, or "living with" their characters.

Historical fiction is a little different. I can get in a car and go 20 kilometres to town without much forethought, where the same trip for Jussi, with Viola or Perho pulling his cart, would take far more time and require preparation.

Even the Port Arthur of 1955 is gone--subsumed into Thunder Bay, its streets renamed and re-routed, the bush where Jimmy plays developed into parks.

For those reasons, I don't quite "live with" my characters, though I still think of Jimmy when I make toast.

Nevertheless, characters speak in my ear. I can look out my window in the early 21st century, and while my physical eyes see snow-covered birches, my mind's eye sees again the destruction of Tampere or a box holding shoes and boots.

So I hope the questions help you consider some of the questions I lived with while writing SILENCES. And if you have other questions, please be in touch!