Okay, I'm a history geek. No, a history nerd. Trivia turns my crank. My mind is a vast storehouse of miscellaneous and utterly useless facts. In other words, I'm a Jeopardy natural.
So, it's time to indulge my affinity for the arcane in the form of a contest. The following are seven answers, Jeopardy style, to questions related to the Halifax Explosion. The first person to supply the corresponding, properly phrased questions, and subscribe to my new newsletter (see the sidebar link) will receive a twenty-five dollar Amazon gift card. All other entrants who subscribe to the newsletter before the contest ends will be included in a draw for a print copy of Shattered when it becomes available, which should be before the end of October.
Some of these facts will be known to locals, but not all. They can be found on this blog, by a quick Google search, or in the historical note at the end of Shattered. Good luck!
Remember to phrase your responses in the form of a question. Here we go:
1. On this date, the Halifax Explosion occured.
2. A shattered watch in the Explosion exhibit at Halifax's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is stopped at this hour, when the Explosion occured.
3. The Explosion was caused by a collision between these two ships.
4. Knowing that the city was in danger, I stayed at my telegraph station to send a warning message to an incoming train. I lost my life as a result.
5. This U.S. state quickly came to Halifax's aid after the Explosion, and is still acknowledged with a Christmas gift each year.
6. The North End Halifax neighbourhood hardest hit by the Explosion, got its name from this American city.
7. The neighbourhood that was built in the devastated part of Halifax bears this name, because of the material used in its construction.
I received my cover for Shattered from Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs last week. Here it is. All I can say is squee! I think she captured the mood of the story very well and produced an elegant, classy design.
So, I’m going to be self-publishing this one. The print book block is ready to go, and I’m waiting to get the formatted e-book files back from Lucinda Campbell, who’s doing them for me. Then it’ll be time to take a deep breath and upload them.
I feel a bit like I did at eight when I snuck up the ladder of the high diving board at the pool when no one was watching, and jumped. There’s a sea of what-ifs below me. What if the book doesn’t sell? What if I end up feeling that, by opting out of the months or years of querying and waiting that goes with searching for a Big Six publisher, I’ve sold my story short? What about the companion book I’ve already started writing, and the two others I have planned?
Yesterday, a very high-profile Harlequin editor visited my chapter of RWA, spoke to us and heard pitches. She was kind enough to read the first chapter of Shattered, and had some very positive things to say about it. She called it ‘a page-turner,’ but was very direct in telling me during my pitch session that the story wasn’t suitable for Harlequin. Am I jumping the gun in believing that it isn’t suitable for other Big Six publishers either?
I guess I’ll never know. Finding out would mean risking months during which the publishing industry will continue to shift, opening new doors and closing others. Months in which I could have been selling books and building a readership. Taking the route I’ve chosen simply involves different risks. I’ve had enough feedback to be confident that I have a good story to sell, with an attractive cover. I have a writing community to turn to for input on marketing. All that’s left is to take the leap and have faith that what’s meant to be, will be.
Sort of like falling in love. We all need to take a leap of faith now and then. I guess that’s what romance is all about.
I'm a teacher, an amateur musician and, for over thirty years, a writer. I fell in love with words at a very early age, and the affair has been life-long.
Glimpses of the past spark my imagination. There's an archaeologist buried in me somewhere. I'm currently working on a series following the McShannon family as they put down roots and find love in the old world and the new, against the background of the American Civil War. Along with this series, I'm writing a story set at the time of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. I'm really enjoying delving into the history in my own backyard.
I write for children as well as adults. When I'm not writing I garden, play guitar and spend time with my DH, our cat Emily, and our dogs Chance and Echo, the most spoiled Duck Tolling Retrievers on the planet. I live in Nova Scotia, in my opinion the most beautiful place in the world.