On A Bookish Word or Two, we have a guest post from Mike Martin, author of SAFE HARBOUR. Enjoy!
Why Sgt. Windflower Books are set in Grand Bank, Newfoundland
Somehow, before I’d even written the first Sgt. Windflower Mystery, I knew that the story would be set in Newfoundland, where I was born. I had no idea what kind of book it would be and certainly no clues about characters or plot development. But I knew that even though I hadn’t lived there for twenty-five years, I wanted to have the story set in Newfoundland.
If you’ve ever visited there, you know the appeal of Canada’s newest province. It is relatively small, lightly populated and very friendly. I thought that my book (I didn’t know it would be a series) would be set in St. John’s, the capital city. That’s my hometown and a place I know well. But while Sgt. Windflower does visit St. John’s occasionally, almost all of the series is set in the small community of Grand Bank on the southeast coast of the island.
Why? As Windflower might quote from Shakespeare: ‘Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered’. My partner, Joan was not from Newfoundland, I was pretty sure of that. But as I got to know her more I found out that her father was. From Grand Bank. We started visiting Grand Bank during the summers and eventually she bought and lovingly restored her grandfather’s original house in Grand Bank. We started visiting more and soon were spending the month of August there.
One night, in Grand Bank, in the fog, Sgt. Windflower came to me and started telling me his story. Where he was from, what he was doing in Grand Bank. I started writing his story down and now I am getting ready to release Book 10 in the series, Safe Harbour.
As the stories unfolded, Newfoundland itself became a character and I was able to add a little bit of the food, geography, culture and history into every book. So, too, has the weather, which if you’ve been there, you can understand why. It’s often foggy and damp, almost always windy and sometimes it’s sunny and fine. All in the same day. The old saying about the weather in Newfoundland is that if you don’t like it, don’t worry. It’ll change in the next 10 minutes.
The newest book in the series, Safe Harbour, is the first book that’s not set in Grand Bank. It’s set in St. John’s. And I have to tell you how much fun it was to write about Bowring Park, Signal Hill and Marine Drive, just outside of town. Still my hometown, after all these years. I hope you can come and visit. There’s always another seat at the table in Sgt. Windflower Mysteries.
About Mike Martin
Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:
About Safe Harbour
Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city. But he still manages to enjoy all of the good things in life. His family, old and new friends, and the love of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome back to St. Windflower Mysteries.