I’ve been reading a lot of books and articles on forensics lately as research for the next book, ‘Body In The Bush‘, which I’ve already told you a little about. One of my research sources is D.P Lyle, best-selling and prize-winning author with a great deal of medical knowledge and experience in his background. It’s always interesting to read his blog, which you can find here, and yesterday was no exception. A peek into what makes any writer craft their words as they do is a special treat, and even more so if we can see how place affects those words. D.P’s post yesterday was about how the South has influenced his writing, and it got me thinking about Anais, and how growing up in Northern Ontario might have shaped her. How did fishing and playing in bear-country mould her into a person so different that she never fit in with her peers in Ottawa? Did it change how she sees the rest of the world? Which then led me to ponder how Anais is different from Kinsey Millhone or Sept Savoie. Granted neither of them have to worry about bears eating their evidence, but does the land…the starkness of the bush…shape an investigator? Can the differences between Canada and the rest of the world shape how a detective sees a crime scene?
After asking myself those questions, I came to the conclusion that we are all shaped by our environment and experiences. What makes a Canadian murder mystery stand out as uniquely…ours? It goes far beyond having our lead detective stop for Tim Hortons or eating a Coffee Crisp chocolate bar. I read quite a few mysteries set in other countries, and there’s usually a fair amount of learning new terms involved. Along the way, I learn a bit more about the culture of the environment where the book is set.
I want my readers to come away from my books feeling as though they’ve chased through the woods with Anais. When she reels in a trout, I want my readers to feel that rod in their hand too. I want them to come away with an understanding of the Canadian bush that they didn’t have before they met Anais. But for that to happen, readers will need some perspective. So to that end, I’ll spend the next handful of posts explaining some of the terms and objects that are uniquely Canadian. What shapes our world, what defines us. How will those things tie into ‘Body In The Bush‘? Hang around and find out!
So, no matter where you’re from, tell me about something that you enjoy there that we don’t have here? What makes your country stand out in the world? Is there a special food item, or unique terminology? Shout out in the comments section and shine a light on your part of the world.