For the last month I’ve been insanely busy getting the final draft of That Forgetful Shore ready to go to the publisher so they can send advance copies to the endorsers and reviewers. That’s finally done and I’m enjoying the first few truly relaxing days in many months.
It’s exciting to think about how soon this book will be on the shelf and in the hands of readers. Well, exciting and terrifying, because that’s the way my mind works. Here’s one thing I can tell you about That Forgetful Shore if I haven’t told you already: it was inspired by a collection of postcards found in the 150-year-old house built by my great-great-grandfather in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland.
In the end, the postcards didn’t end up playing a huge part in the story, but they started the train of thought that got me wondering about the life of a young woman who taught in outport schoolhouses in early 20th-century Newfoundland, and her friendship with another woman — a mysterious friend whose name I don’t even know, who wrote postcards full of love, longing, and (it seemed to me) a sense of frustration that her life was perhaps not as fulfilling as her friend’s life.
Postcards were big business in the early 1900s, and there are some beautiful ones in the Coley’s Point collection. This is my favourite, so much so that I couldn’t resist mentioning it in the novel. I guess our emails and Facebook messages and even tweets today take on the role of postcards — short, in-the-moment messages that capture a tiny slice of our lives — but they’ll never be as visually attractive as these relics of a century ago!