Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Letter from the Author about Carter and the Curious Maze

If you're wondering why, how, when I come up with ideas for stories, read on. Below is my author letter, which accompanies the ARC of Carter and the Curious Mazeforthcoming on Aug 6/16. It'll give you a glimpse into the serendipity, process, call it what you will!

"Dear Middle-Grade Reviewer,

Near my home there's a large summer fair, Canada's largest in fact. I went every summer as a child and carried on the tradition with my own children.

Fairs have always fascinated me.

A few years ago, I was standing near the midway, with ice cream running down my arm, and noticed a small plaque next to the bandshell. It told of a 250-year-old French trading fort that stood on that very spot! I'd never heard of a French fort in my city, and with a little digging I discovered that more interesting events had happened on or near the fairgrounds. The discovery added a curious historical overlay to the fair and fired my imagination. 

I knew I wanted to set my next story in a fairground.
The Grand Fair, 1903 courtesy Shawna Daigle

Enter our hero, Carter. He’s bored, he feels he’s too old for the fair this year. That is, until he enters the curious maze and meets the strange and cryptic maze-keeper, Mr. Green, with his creepy garden shears and peculiar thumb. In a moment, bored Carter embarks on the most exciting ride of his life.

The Weird Stories Gone Wrong series explores different kinds of horror and ghost stories for middle-grade readers: Jake and the Giant Hand (2014) is a tall tale, Myles and the Monster Outside (2015) is a psychological road-trip thriller (and is nominated for  the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award 2017). Carter and the Curious Maze is a classic time-travel story with a twist: the world may feel different as we grow up, but it needn’t be dull. It’s an infinitely interesting place, with intrigues we can’t imagine until we must face them.

Please enjoy this spooky man-out-of-time tale, combined with 6 creepy illustrations from Shawna Daigle, and I hope it reminds you of the wonder (and the delicious touch of terror) to be found at the fair!"


CM Magazine 4/4 Stars, Highly Recommended
Kirkus Reviews, "this original take on time-travel historical fiction is a sure bet"

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