I have always loved reading novels, short stories and poems that are set in Winnipeg, my home town. Memoirs and biographies, too. So when I came to write my first mystery novel, Put on the Armour of Light, setting the book in Winnipeg was a natural choice. And since I’ve been an archivist and historian, setting the action in 1899 was equally obvious. I am adding to the store of books—all kinds of books—that will locate Winnipeg in the imagination of readers as well as on a map.
I’m writing this blog in the hopes that there are others like me out there who love reading those books too, who are fascinated by the intersection of history and fiction right where they live. But maybe you don’t live in Winnipeg anymore. Maybe you live in an exotic place like Regina. If you still have that particular form of heartburn, that love/hate thing for Winnipeg; if, like Guy Madden, you had to get out (but in your heart and mind, you never did); or if, like Carol Shields, you said to yourself, “Why wouldn’t I set a book in Winnipeg?”, this blog is for you.
I could tell you what I intend to blog about, but the truth is, I don’t really know. Or rather, I know where I intend to start but I don’t know where I will end up. The blog will reflect my interests: Winnipeg books in all their variety but especially crime fiction, historical fiction and other genre fiction; Winnipeg writers; the architectural and urban form of Winnipeg; and the social history of Winnipeg. And, really, anything that comes into my head that seems blog worthy.
Stay tuned for a series of posts on Winnipeg neighbourhoods as reflected in crime fiction. I’ll be starting with an e-interview with Allan Levine about his Sam Klein mysteries, set in the old North End.
Please also check out the “Charles Lauchlan” tab above for information on my book, Put on the Armour of Light, which will be published Nov. 29, 2014 by Dundurn.