Quarter Castle Publishing sat down with Diane Lynn McGyver and talked with her about her upcoming release Nova Scotia – Life Near Water, her first anthology. In the coming weeks we’ll post pieces of this interview here.
QCP: You set all the short stories in Nova Scotia – Life Near Water in Atlantic Canada. Why did you do this?
Diane Lynn McGyver: The simple answer is: Because I love Atlantic Canada. I love the landscape, the people, the small communities, the unique cultures and I particularly love the ocean.
The long answer is: I think Atlantic Canada is unique and very interesting. I love reading stories that take place where I may have lived or visited. Sure the wild west is cool, but so are the beaches of Nova Scotia and the shoreline of Newfoundland. I find there are not as many stories set in Atlantic Canada as there should be which leads others to think we are not very interesting. Worse is the fact that because there are limited stories set here, there is limited sharing of local culture, history and way of life.
Through my short stories I hope to not only give readers a sense of pride knowing that this story took place right here, but also a sense of knowledge of what is possible along our beautiful shores in our lives near water.
QCP: Are the short stories based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Diane Lynn McGyver: Each of my stories contain elements that actually happened in my life or events I witnessed. I think all writers can take a little bit of this and a little of that from their lives and inject it into a story. I am no different.
In the short story The Ocean Between Them the two women get lost in the fog off the coast of Newfoundland. This particular event has not happened to me, but I’ve used my adventure of being consumed in fog while in a small row boat on the Liscomb Harbour as the basis of that story. I learned fog can move in quickly—in the blink of an eye—and if you don’t know the area well, you could easily get lost.
I shared more of this experience in a blog post: The Fog that Inspired a Story.
Often times a story idea comes from one unbelievable but true fact such as that of a person growing up with a name they believed all their lives to be theirs until a government document says otherwise. This happened more than we realise in rural communities of Nova Scotia. Dancing in the Shine came to life because of this amazing fact.
Little details can also make their way into a story. In the tale War on His Shore I used the ship Letitia because my uncle Everett was transported home during the Second World War on this hospital vessel.
The entire story evolved from a need to experience in words that period of history because my father and three of his brothers enlisted and saw action. I also wanted to imagine what it was like for anyone who couldn’t be a fighting soldier because of personal convictions.
So yes, little details always make their way into a story.
…more about Nova Scotia – Life Near Water with Diane Lynn McGyver next week. Look for the short story collection in softcover (in both standard and OpenDyslexic font) and eBook in October 2013.