Thursday 6 June 2024

The Devil's Violin: Myllysilta's History

So my newest novel has hit the shelves, both literal and virtual. THE DEVIL'S VIOLIN: MYLLYSILTA'S HISTORY is available in Thunder Bay at Entershine Bookshop on Bay Street. It's also available on Amazon, here.

This book grew out of my first published novel, SILENCES: A NOVEL OF THE 1918 FINNISH CIVIL WAR. Although it happens in the same world (what my wife calls "the Jussiverse") of SILENCES, it's not necessary to have read SILENCES before cracking open THE DEVIL'S VIOLIN.

While researching SILENCES, I spent a lot of time looking at photos of war and its consequences--definitely the stuff of nightmares. Although SILENCES focuses on Jussi Mantere, I knew his response to the war's violence and futility wasn't the only response possible. 

And so I began to wonder what motivated Antti Myllysilta, known in Port Arthur in 1955 as Andrew Millbridge. He and Jussi had "met" late in 1917, just as the Finnish Civil War was brewing. Their life paths continued to intersect. 

But Myllysilta was different, with different initial experiences that set him on a different path. Once there, he continued to make choices that let him have many successes as well as failures. 

Although Myllysilta/Millbridge was sometimes a challenge to be fond of, several of his friends and relatives were enjoyable to write and revise--in general, to spend time with.  

Naturally, now that it's published I still see a few flaws, some of which we'll correct for future printings. Alas, imperfections are inevitable, no matter how many proofs we dissect and read carefully.  

All in all, I'm happy it's out and on the shelves. I can't wait to hear what readers think of it. And now I can start bugging my wife (and publisher and editor) about the next book.