A thoroughly enjoyable read. Location - West Coast FN land, presenting skilled characters in jobs and situations with explanations just outside my knowledge (so, stretching my awareness)in parlance that satisfied my need for both internal and external dialogue. Paleontology, team dynamics, aging and illness, a strong female protagonist with interesting and arresting side-players.~ goodreads
What do you think readers will find most notable about The Find?
Something very distinctive is that it’s a page-turner and a serious book at the same time – as one reader said, “part mystery, part thriller and part love story.” It’s also a novel of ideas.
Did researching and writing this book teach you anything or influence your thinking in any way?
One of the wonderful things about writing is the people you meet during your research. Genetic testing is an important strand in the book. When I first thought about genetic testing, I assumed, as most people do, that knowledge is necessarily a good thing, and that if I was in Anna’s position, I would want to find out what lay ahead of me. That assumption certainly shifted as I explored the topic. I met people who had wrestled with the choice to know about their medical futures, and I spent time with the professionals who worked with them, helping them to make the decision, bringing them the test result, and supporting them afterwards. To know or not to know (and when) turned out to be a very complex, nuanced decision, which each person comes to in their own way, at that time. I was deeply moved – and inspired – by the integrity, kindness and bravery of the people I met.
What would you most like readers to tell others about this book?
That it’s a great read and also made them think and feel.
Can you suggest one question readers might find interesting to discuss, concerning you, your writing in general, or this book?
Well, both in general and in this book, my characters tend to have a lot to deal with. I often write about difficult subjects, but at the same time, my vision is very optimistic. I feel that anything can and does happen, and my novels are about the possibilities that emerge from the most difficult situations… But that’s just what I think. How does it seem to you?
How can readers help you promote this book?
Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. If you liked The Find, please tell all your friends, give a copy as a gift, and write a review on amazon.ca.
Do you enjoy hearing from readers?
I love to hear what readers make of a book. I live in a small, island community and receive a great deal of feedback from locals about my books. I might be buying my groceries or swimming laps and someone will come over to me and give me their reaction. One strand of the The Find deals with the relationship between Anna and the much younger Scott, and this is something many readers seem to feel strongly about, especially mature women readers who are – or would like to be – with a younger man. One such reader was very angry with me for the way it turns out, between Anna and Scott. “And I think you punished her for having him!” she said.
Another began the conversation by telling me that after reading the book she had decided to have surgery! She must have seen my jaw drop, and went on to explain that she’d had a relationship with a younger man for some years, “hit and run, never stay after, no demands”. He wanted it to progress, but she’d always held back. After reading The Find, she said, and falling for Scott, she realized that she already had one of her own… She had been putting off a surgery because it would mean convalescing for a few weeks afterwards, and decided to ask her lover if he would look after her while she recovered? He was delighted. “It’s all your fault,” she told me, looking rather pleased. I’m not quite sure what I feel about this! It’s a bit of a responsibility…
Why do you write?
I have an imagination and I must use it. I’m drawn to think about other people’s lives, to play with the possibilities, explore a situation and see where it leads… and I really like to share what I imagine with others.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
Modesty! I had to say that, though actually it may be a weakness. I do have strong sense of conflict, how it plays out over time, and that’s useful for a novelist to have.
What quality do you most value in yourself?
Openess. I’m excited by new ideas, interested in what others think. I want to say yes to what comes along. When I am writing, I don’t judge my characters, and I’m prepared to change my mind about the book, to allow it to evolve.
In addition to writing, do you have other passionate interests?
My family, social justice, the arts. Food. And good (fair trade) coffee!
Is there any new or established author whom you feel deserves more attention, and what is it that strikes you about his or her work?
There are many! But I’ll pick Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach, and Blood Sports. Her writing manages to be both gritty and lyrical at the same time, and I love the way she intertwines realism with myth.