Interview with Nathalie Geddry

November 2023

Back on August 21, 2023, I spoke with Nathalie Geddry of Radio-Canada concerning my latest book, Into the Wind (Acorn Press, distributed by Nimbus Publishing.) Here is a link to that 14-minute conversation in French.

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/ohdio/premiere/emissions/la-mouvee/segments/entrevue/453205/livres-acadie-histoire

Retired? Maybe Not.

October 2023

I have tended to resist using the word “retired” ever since I stepped away from Parks Canada 14 years ago, in the fall of 2009.

That is because I try to stay busy working on a variety of non-Parks exhibits. And writing books. Not every day, I suppose, but often enough.

Yesterday, I wanted to see if I had really been as busy as I imagined. I remembered that on my website (ajbjohnston.com) there was a list of different exhibits I had worked on ever since 2009. I took a photo, which is posted below.

It looks like I have had something to do with exhibits in 14 different museums / historic sites over the past 14 years. That’s not too bad, I think.

Because over that same 14 years I have also published six novels and five books of history.

Sure, I could probably have done more with my time, but still.

Here’s hoping my time (and output) is not quite done yet. There’s still the fourth and final Thomas Pichon novel to complete.

And who knows what else.

Reviews Anyone?

October 2023

I wonder if readers realize how much power they truly have?

For readers’ reviews of books can have a huge influence, both on other potential readers and on the algorithms that lie beneath search engine results.

I post below a shot of the first three reviews of my book, Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns (Nimbus Publishing). That book about a 1960s Nova Scotia rock ‘n’ roll band connected with a lot of readers (some of whom have never been to NS and never heard the band). Some of hose happy readers expressed their affection for the book on different book-reviewing or book-buying sites. A few of those same readers also sent me personal emails to tell me how much they loved Kings of Friday Night. I loved hearing from them, I absolutely did, but in the bigger picture, their reviews on websites like Amazon, Indigo, Goodreads and others have a bigger ripple effect.

If anyone reading this feels a connection with Into the Wind: A Novel of Acadian Resilience, please offer a review (or merely a like or thumb’s up) on any of the various book sites. Your assessment might just lead others to discovering the book.

The Other Books Make Their Case

October 2023

I suppose, in truth, it was the wind, which picked up overnight as tropical storm Philippe started to blow by.

But it didn’t sound like any wind. What it sounded like was a somewhat aggrieved lamentation from my other books, those whose covers and pages were more than a little out of joint because of what I posted about my “three best” books.

How dare I, they asked, leave them out of any author’s “best” list?

They do have a point, because I love each of those books as much as I can. Each has certainly filled an important niche of some kind, and satisfied either a research need or a fictional inclination.

Moreover, “Ni’n na L’nu,” co-authored with Jesse Francis, has been wonderfully successful in terms of prizes won and number of copies sold. While “Ancient Land, New Land” explores aspects of PEI history that had to be told. So too, all my various Louisbourg books contribute to offering a comprehensive picture of one French colony’s complex 18th-century world. Meanwhile, the two books on Grand-Pré present interpretations of a vitally important national and international historic site. And then there are the three Thomas Pichon novels. Of course, they mean a lot to me. As does “Storied Shores,” which has been entirely rewritten but not yet published in a fresh edition.

Yes, other books, you are not forgotten.

So, there, is that better, you books who felt overlooked and under-loved? You too are very much in my thoughts.

There, are we ok again?

Whew.

Three Best?

October 2023

This post is likely a bad idea. But what the heck, here goes.

Late afternoon the other day, it popped into my head: “What are your three best books?”

Of course, that’s a ridiculous question. It’s like asking “Who’s your favourite child?” There’s nothing to be gained by answering.

Nonetheless, I gave it a moment’s thought. And more or less instantly I came up with the three books below, nicely lit by the golden, setting sun.

Why those three? Two history books and a YA novel?

I’m guessing it’s because each one is a continuous tale. Once all three begin, they continue page after page until the reader gets to the end.

My other history books do not unfold quite as compellingly, and my other novels are not as simply told as “Into the Wind”.

So, there it is, one author’s late afternoon thoughts about his twenty plus books.

I would be delighted if anyone would like to chime in. Have I chosen wisely or am I sadly mistaken?

La Voix Acadienne

September 2023

Here is a link to Jacinthe Laforest’s coverage of the plaque unveiling and release of new interpretive media at SPLJFA last week.

Une nouvelle plaque et de nouveaux médias d’interprétation sont inaugurés à Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort-Amherst – La Voix Acadienne