When people ask me where I got my idea for the book A Killer In King's Cove, to be released in October, I tell them that it began with a place. The fictional King's Cove is loosely based on a real place in British Columbia where I lived as a child. It was, and is, a place of idyllic beauty. There is a tiny community above the lake, as in my stories, and a beautiful bay with cottages dotting the edge. If you are lucky enough to be alone on the beach, you are surrounded by the whispering of the forest behind you and the gentle lapping of the water. Sunlight sparkles off the lake, and the colours have a purity and intensity of the colours of your childhood. Of course as children we never left anyone in that kind of peace. We played noisily there all day, and often stayed with our parents late into the night with an enormous beach fire, they chattering and drinking wine, and we burning everything we'd brought to eat on the end of a stick.
I write to capture a sense of the place at an earlier time when it was really new, and the settlers struggled hard each year to produce the fruit for which the region is justly famous. It was a time before it was discovered by new-agers, and back-to-the-landers during the 60s and 70s. I recently visited and I was delighted to discover that so powerful is the physical hold of the place, that rather than all of the new people, who've come to live there over the last fifty years changing it forever, they have been changed by it, and it has remained the beautiful place it always was. Mail, of course, is now delivered to crisp Canada Post boxes at a fork in the road, so it lacks the unifying effect that having a little post office for people to gather at gave it in the early years. Now perhaps retired people live there, tending gardens and going on holiday to bigger places, and the apple trees have quietly become bent and old, long outliving their purpose and the original settlers who planted them.
I was amazed to learn recently that there is a plan afoot to move a ferry terminal into that peaceful little bay from a nearby location. While change is constant and inevitable, it is difficult to imagine that any of its peaceful and beautiful character can survive a massive metal and concrete structure with added access roads and commercial development. I for one, am gladder than ever to be able to take refuge in King's Cove. I hope, as my books come out, the first in the fall, and second in the spring, that you will join me there!