The Next Big Thing

Hope all you Halloweeners aren’t still suffering from a sugar high, this morning! Was it a busy night for you? We had maybe a quarter of the number of Trick-Or-Treaters come by last night compared to when my kids were little – just a little over 50. Now, I have tons of candy left over because I’m always afraid we’ll run out like the very first Halloween in our house, before we had kids of our own. We had no idea how many kids would actually come knocking at the door! To be truthful, I knew we’d have candy left-over to satisfy my sweet tooth! lol

Well, Scary October is over. NaNoWriMo is just beginning. For those of you who are attempting it this year, I wish you a lot of luck. I’m still not ready to do a big push and start something new or work on my main WIP, yet – still lots of research to do and many unfinished works I probably should work on. I might challenge myself to a daily writing goal, so I’m at least working to finish SOMETHING!

To that end, I have been tagged by Ravena Guron in ‘The Next Big Thing’, where I get to talk about my WIP. Give me a moment while I decide which one I’ll talk about . . . Okay, I’ll talk about the next book of my Red River Adventure series. Last week, I did the ‘Look Challenge‘ on the same piece and wrote a character interview with the lead character and her mother, so I will continue with that theme and answer the questions.

1. What is the working title of your book?


2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

In keeping with the theme of my previous two books, I wanted my character to meet an important historical figure.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Time Travel

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Adam Beach as Bear, John Hannah as Ian McNally, Gerard Butler as Duncan MacRae, and Selena Gomez as Kristen

Michelle gives her talisman necklace to her daughter on her 16th birthday.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Kristen Bear attempts the withershins using her mother’s talisman and finds herself immersed in conflict during Louis Riel’s reign as leader of the Provisional Government.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m hoping my current publisher will pick it up when it’s finished.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?

The first draft is not complete. I’ve only got five chapters written, so far. To see the intro as it stands, check out My Unfinished Work page by clicking the tab above. It will be the first one. I will warn you, if you haven’t read the first two books, the snippet includes info that could be considered spoilers.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Any time travel story will have elements of mine in it, but I just finished reading Mary Harelkin Bishop’s Tunnels of Time, which is a time travel tale set in Moose Jaw, another Canadian city.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Actually, I was the inspiration for the ‘withershins’ part of the story because I tried it as a teen. It came up as a short story idea when my writer’s group and I were brainstorming plots for another chapbook (self-published anthology). Then, when my neighbour started digging into her family tree and uncovered a secret her mom didn’t want her to find, she gave me the plot – the reason Michelle was pulled back in time in the first book. The second book was a continuation with a twist – Owl’s apparent hanging. In the third book, I wanted to showcase Louis Riel. I didn’t want Michelle to try the withershins, but came up with the idea that her daughter should attempt it, instead.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There will be adventure, of course, as well as a peek at life back in 1869/70, the birth of the province of Manitoba and a candid look at the Métis leader who fought for the rights of his people – Louis Riel. In addition, Kristen will learn more about her heritage and grow to appreciate the times spent with her family.

Instead of naming specific bloggers to nominate, I challenge any of YOU, who have a WIP you’d like to showcase. Simply copy the questions above, answer them on your blog, and send me the link. I will send folks your way by listing those links in upcoming posts. It never hurts to get a little free publicity! 🙂

A discussion with Riel

Along with all the research I have been doing, there are photos and sketches that move me to write. One such photo is the commonly used photo of Louis Riel, leader of the Red River Rebellion. The novel I am currently working on is set at this time in Manitoba’s history. My character, Kristen Bear, has used the talisman from her mother, Michelle, and found herself in the middle of this conflict. She runs into her mother’s acquaintance, Harriet Sinclair, who is now married to Dr. William Cowan. Dr. Cowan was the Governor’s right-hand man. Since Governor MacTavish was not very well at the time, Dr. Cowan was greatly involved in dealing with Riel and trying to resolve the situation to the best of his abilities. This morning, I decided to write the scene where Kristen sees Riel for the first time. It might be edited considerably between now and publication, but thought you might be interested in the first draft, anyway:

Louis Riel, circa 1873 (courtesy Provincial Archives of Manitoba/N-5733).


I glanced across the room. When I saw him, I felt a thrill in the pit of my stomach at seeing the man in the flesh. I recognized him from the countless images I’d seen from history books. After all, we even had a holiday in February named after the man. Louis Riel reminded me of the husband of one of my parents’ friends and I always wondered whether there was a genealogical link to the man or whether they looked similar because they were both Métis.

As he talked with Dr. Cowan, his thick black curls bobbed with every animated gesture. The French in him was evident by the way he waved his hands emphatically as he spoke. His dark eyes sparked with passion at whatever subject he was speaking about. From my vantage point by the stairs, I could not hear their conversation, but I imagined it had something to do with the current upheaval in the settlement. I inched closer, sidestepping a woman in a hooped skirt and a gentleman wearing a dark blue suit with a black satin waistcoat.

“…your men should not detain him,” Dr. Cowan was saying. “I realize there has been some confusion with the takeover of the Company and our current regime here at Red River but that does not give you the right for hostile actions against the man they have sent to replace Governor MacTavish.”

“The Commité does not wish the Governor to be replaced,” Riel said in heavily accented English. “We believe he performs his duties here quite satisfactorily and refuse to acknowledge the Canadian Government’s bid to impose their will without discussion.”

“While I agree there should have been a better way to present their position, I believe the government has only the best interests of the colony at heart.”

“Then why the need to survey lands that have been farmed by us for decades?” Riel countered. “If they wanted to know about ownership, could they not simply have asked us?”

“I am sure that was simply a misunderstanding, sir,” Dr. Cowan said.

Riel’s mouth drew into a thin line beneath his moustache and the dimple in his chin became more pronounced.

“It is obvious you will not listen to reason at this time,” Riel said. “Perhaps we should table this discussion until tomorrow.”

Dr. Cowan nodded. His eyes darted about the room until they rested on me. He smiled and raised his hand, calling me over to him.

“Monsieur Riel, may I present to you Miss Bear, who is visiting with us. She has come a long way, retracing the steps of her mother, who apparently visited the settlement many years ago.”

“It is indeed a pleasure,” Riel said, gallantly taking my hand and pressing his lips to the back of it. “You have the look of Métis about you. Am I correct?”

“You are, sir,” I replied. “My father is Saulteaux and my mother a combination of English, French and Saulteaux.”

“Are you aware of the current state of affairs here?” Riel asked.

“I am,” I replied.

“And what is your opinion?”

“I fear the violence that might occur if things are not resolved in a rational manner,” I said.

I wanted to tell him to back off before someone got killed. I wanted to tell him there were more peaceful solutions than warring against the current government. I wanted to tell him everything that I knew about the rebellion that was brewing, but I couldn’t because it might change the course of history – and not necessarily for the better. Mom had warned me what could happen if I did something to change events in the past. Someone might die that was not supposed to. I did not want to be responsible for that, even though I knew the man before me would be hanged for his actions. The whole thing gave me a splitting headache, so I excused myself and went up to the room that Harriet Senior had prepared for me.