Writing Local

We hear a lot these days about supporting all things local and I have to say I’m a big supporter of that idea. And I even try to support local authors because, being an author, I know how difficult it can sometimes be to get any attention for our books.

Being a writer, “supporting local” has another meaning for me. When I set my first novel Bitter, Sweet here in my own little community it was important to me to set a book locally to let readers know that books don’t always have to have some exotic setting, that sometimes our own backyard can be the perfect backdrop for the right story. I’ve continued to use local name places in my books and some of the local “lingo.” My latest book, Cammie Takes Flight is set, for the most part, at the Halifax School for the Blind and uses other local name places. There also a connection to the Ideal Maternity Home in East Chester which was shrouded in controversy and it’s alleged that babies at the home were neglected and even starved to death. I found that to be quite disturbing  yet it’ also a piece of our history here in Nova Scotia. And, like all things that happened in the past, it isn’t going away.

Most people in Nova Scotia are familiar with the Ideal Maternity Home that was in operation more than half a century ago. While it might not ring a bell for everyone, the story of the Butterbox Babies usually does. I’ve read quite a few articles and books on the subject while writing Cammie Takes Flight and I’m not at all sure I’ve put the subject to rest. New articles keep cropping up. Here’s one from last December. What went on at the home was tragic and, as you can see from the article, is still very much an issue today for many of the survivors who are still looking to find their roots.

Some people will admit to not liking history but I’ve always been a big fan. The past has always seemed relevant to me, a piece of who were are. Perhaps there are things to be learned from looking at the past, trying to understand what life was once like and, hopefully, doing better in the future.

So, for now, I’ll continue my writing journey by doing what I’ve pretty much done right from the start—writing stories set in Nova Scotia with local characters that, hopefully, the rest of the world can relate to. Who knows, maybe years down the road, someone will pick up one of my books and they’ll get a small glimpse of the past and maybe, just maybe, that small glimpse will open up a whole new world for them. My backyard might very well be an exotic setting for them.

 

There’s an awesome review of HERE of Cammie Takes Flight on Reading With a Pencil. It’s always a thrill when someone you don’t know has wonderful things to say about your book,

Author Darlene Foster will be a guest on my blog next time. Darlene’s got a new book about to be launched in September. I hope you’ll drop in for a visit.

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10 Comments

  1. Hello and long time no talk to. 🙂 *Waves* I love history too, especially of small and often forgotten (or never widely known about) places, and I support/write local. No wonder I enjoyed your posts! 😉

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    • It has been awhile! So glad you dropped in. You’ve been busy on the publishing/writing front. So happy for your success, Ev!

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  2. Great review – I think teachers use “Resource Links” to find material for use in their classrooms. One thing about “writing local,” is that we can always find universal experiences that speak to people everywhere; readers can relate to Cammie’s struggles even if they weren’t alive in the 1950s. See you Sunday!

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  3. Judi

     /  July 25, 2017

    As you know your books are the only ones that I read any more…Sorry, authors, but I’m a craft gal. But I love that your books have local names and places in them. To me it makes them come to life…Love Ya!!!

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    • Thanks Judi! I know I can always count on you. 😀 And reading a book every three or four years will do you good. 😉 xoxo

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  4. I love that your books take place in Nova Scotia which I think is a very interesting place and quite exotic for a prairie girl! That is such an awesome review too. I hope we see more of your local stories which bring history to life!

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    • I was thinking of you as I wrote this post–how curious it is that you write about all sorts of places and I find that fascinating! I love that you have so many different settings for your books and I admire the way you share your experience travelling with your readers! I have scheduled you post for August 3rd.

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  5. Hi, Laura. I finally got to read your book yesterday, start to finish. I’d started it not long after your launch, but got interrupted with other busy stuff, so this time I started over and didn’t want to put it down until I finished it. You certainly have a way with words! I’ll be reviewing Cammie Takes Flight as soon as I can.

    I knew a lady who was a “butterbox baby”. She never mentioned it to me, but her husband told me once with tears in his eyes. He said when he met her she was the prettiest little thing and the best day of his life was when he married her. They were married for 65 years.

    Another great post, Laura.

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    • Thanks so much, Lynn! And thanks for offering to write a review.You are so generous. I really appreciate it. It’s nice to know that someone is reading and enjoying my book!

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