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May 13, 2014 / mike54martin

Telling Our Stories: Why Canadian Fiction is Important

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I am a writer and the author of a mystery series set in Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. I guess I could have set the stories in any part of the world that I choose. Sometimes in the middle of winter I regret not placing my characters in Cuba or Costa Rica, anywhere warm. Then I could go and visit them to do my research.
But I was born in Newfoundland, and if I set my stories in some exotic location, I wouldn’t be able to talk about Newfoundland and I wouldn’t be able to explore different places and communities in my home province. I wouldn’t be able to talk about fish and brewis or partridgeberry jam. I wouldn’t be able to tell my readers that the town of Wabana on Bell Island, home of one of the largest underground iron ore mines in the world, was an old Beothuk name for “place where the light shines first.”
I certainly wouldn’t be able to talk about the Beothuk Indians, that’s for sure. And that’s a shame because that First Nation was wiped out long, long ago in a combination of disease, distrust and displacement by the Europeans who came to the little island in the North Atlantic. And I couldn’t talk about the challenges facing that small province today as it struggles to find its way past the glory days of the fishery and into the brave and sometimes scary world and economy of the future.
When I began my fiction writing career it was suggested to me that I situate my stories in an international venue and not in Canada, because our American friends wouldn’t read anything that was situated in Canada. Heaven forbid that I would actually set my stories in Newfoundland, no one even knew where that was. I ignored that advice, and I don’t think it was at my peril either. Sure, I may have been able to make a few more bucks but that’s not the point of being a writer. At least for me.
I am certainly no martyr because I decided to situate my stories in Newfoundland. I’m actually quite pleased and proud of that fact. I have stayed true to myself and my craft and I get to write which is always a privilege that I am grateful for. I am also grateful to the people who have read my books, especially those who have told me about that experience, what they liked best, and what they wanted to see more of and less of in the next book. They always assumed there would be another one. That makes me very happy and makes me want to write even more books.

You can follow my latest blog at

http://www.beneaththesurface.co
Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. The third book in this series, Beneath the Surface, is just being released and is available now for order from

Chapters.ca at:
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/beneath-the-surface/9781927481882-item.html?ikwid=beneath+the+surface%2c+mike+martin&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

 

Follow the Sgt Windflower Mysteries on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore?ref=hl

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