Short Excerpt

January 2022

One of life’s great pleasures—up there with wine and cheese and a warm baguette—is hearing from readers who are enjoying one of your books.That happened to me yesterday, when a reader of Ancient Land, New Land reached out to tell me how much she was enjoying different aspects of the latest book Jesse Francis and I have authored, about Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst on PEI. The book is published by Acorn Press.

Out of privacy concerns I’ll not reveal the reader’s identity (other than to say it was my sister). I shall call her Elinor rather than keep saying the reader.

One part of the story Elinor found especially interesting was that of Robert Potier Dubuisson, who came to play a major role in the administration of the French colony of Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) for more than 20 years.

Here, from page 32 of the book, is how the story of Dubuisson begins:

“Dubuisson grew up in the British colony of New York, where his father, Jean-Baptiste Poitiers (Potier) du Buisson, was an organist on Staten Island. The boy Dubuisson became fluent in Dutch and English, as well as French, which his parents spoke at home. Around 1699, when Robert was 16, the family moved to New France where the father became an organist in a Montreal church. Young Robert went to work at a variety of clerical government jobs associated with the Marine department, the part of the French government that had responsibility for both the navy and overseas colonies. Sometimes Dubuisson was employed as an interpreter as well. Robert married, but his wife died a year into their marriage, two weeks after giving birth to a baby girl. In 1719, in his late twenties, Robert moved into the position of controller of the king’s stores. He must have impressed his superiors, because three years later, he was promoted to a weighty responsibility.”

That appointment was as the sub-delegate of the intendant of New France for Île Saint-Jean. To learn the rest of Dubuisson’s story, and a whole lot more about the Mi’kmaq, Acadians and British please turn to the book.

Launch Postponed

January 2022

It is no surprise: the current surge of COVID-19 cases on PEI and the rest of Atlantic Canada has brought about a postponement of the scheduled Jan. 10, 2022, book launch event in Charlottetown.

I shall post something here when a new date is selected.

Bye-Bye 2021

December 2021

Bye-bye 2021.

You were a year we are not all that sorry to see depart.

Restrictions, lockdowns, masks, vax, double vax and booster shots; not to mention a bunch of letters of the Greek alphabet. We are keen to move on.

But before we do, I do have two writerly highlights of 2021.

First, the year-and-a-half-delayed October evening at Truro’s Marigold Theatre—at which I read from parts of Kings of Friday Night and The Lincolns thrilled the audience with a vintage performance. The band was great, as it has been—off and on—for about 62 years. Paul Eisan was terrific as the new (and likely one time only) lead vocalist. Charlie A’Court brought chills to everyone with his surprise appearance and singing of “Dreams to Remember.”

And then came the moving, eye-watering recording of Frank MacKay singing “Danny Boy.”

If that was the last performance by the legendary band, it was a wonderful way to bring the curtain down.

My second writer’s 2021 event was the coming into the world in November of Ancient Land, New Land. It too had gone through some long delays, but was at last brought out by Acorn Press. Co-author Jesse Francis and I are hoping to do one or more launch events for it in 2022.

Cheers to all, and to all a cheery start to the years ahead.

Best Books… PEI History

December 2021

I am happy to share my most recent posting on the shepherd.com website.

It’s a terrific book-lovers’ site, with an incredible range of author-recommended reads.

My most recent post is about the history of Prince Edward Island. The earlier ones were about the Acadian Deportation, the Fortress of Louisbourg, the Seven Years’ War in North America and Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 1960s. Those other posts can be found at the end of the latest, whose link is below.

Kudos to the team at shepherd.com on the work they do to reach out to writers and readers everywhere.

Here’s the new link

https://shepherd.com/…/the-history-of-prince-edward-island

I Value Canadian Stories

December 2021

I am more than pleased to see that “I Value Canadian Stories” is including my posting along with those of so many other authors.

Please follow the link below to see just how many writers and other creators are calling on the federal government to correct the mistake made by the previous administration about a decade ago.

https://ivaluecanadianstories.ca/creatorscallingonottawa.php

La Parole

December 2021

Co-author Jesse Francis and I are delighted to see our new book get mentioned in the December 2021 issue of “La Parole,” the newsletter of the Acadian Museum of Erath, Louisiana. Thanks to Warren Perrin for inserting this item. “La Parole” goes out to a great many Acadians (and Cajuns) around the world.