Next Up: 2016

Published December 12, 2015 by A.J.B. Johnston

Something True

2015 was pretty good to the writing side of me. There were two new books and an exciting new exhibit polished off during the year. In June the history book co-written with Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc about the Landscape of Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage Site came out from Nimbus Publishing; in late August my third novel, Crossings, A Thomas Pichon Novel was published by Cape Breton University Press. Then in the fall, the major new installation at Truro’s Colchester Historeum opened. Well, actually, the official opening when speeches get made will happen in February 2016. But the words and images and artifacts and all the rest are already in place.

I also wrote a travel piece about my recent travels in Alsace and submitted another travel piece to the Nashwaak Journal about an earlier walking adventure in England’s Cotswalds.

Looking ahead, my current priority is to finish the writing of what I hope will be my next book. It’s a story about a young woman who grows up in a wealthy Cape Breton family in the late 19th and early 20 century and then goes to nurse in France during the First World War. It is very much based on and inspired by the historical figure of Katharine McLennan (1892-1975) about whom I once did a great deal of historical research and some writing. This time round, I’m placing her in a novel and making her coming-of-age come alive.

The image shown is taken from my computer screen, with the working title I am using for the novel. So far with my fiction I’m only batting .333 on titles for the final book. The only one the publisher kept was the one for Crossings. So whether or not “Something true” remains the title for the current work-in-progress remains to be seen. If so, it would bring me up to .500.

Late 2015 and into 2016 also has me playing mentor — through a program of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia — to another writer as she sorts out the novel she is working on. More on that project of hers, and how I fit in, early in the New Year.

Happy 2016 to one and all! Bonne année 2016 à tous et toutes!

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