Why Halifax? Why during the explosion?
Recently I have been asked by numerous folks why I set my debut novel, “Through Cast Iron Gates” in Halifax and during the explosion. There are a multitude of reasons why and they continue to grow. Not one reason is more important than the other.
The truth is, I love Halifax and think it is the greatest city in the world, truly I do. Perhaps I will sound sappy when I say that the only fault I can find with the city is that the crime rate is too high and I wish it were lower, perhaps zero percent. Can’t we all just get along, love and respect each other? Okay, that sounds terribly sappy and grossly wishy-washy.
When I started to write the novel, I decided I wanted to make it relevant to the citizens of Halifax because of my deep love for the city. I only had to pick a time when I thought it would suit the tone of the book, which was to be highly tragic.
Of course it was an easy decision to make, writing a book set during the Halifax Explosion would definitely increase the tragic tone of the book. Sure there is the risk of being accused of sensationalizing the explosion, but that was a risk I was willing to take.
History lessons in school had fallen short, I knew of the explosion and had a vague notion of what it was really all about but I did not recall being taught the particulars. In fact I sure as heck could write a detailed paper on the French Revolution or Manifest Destiny, but not the explosion that occurred in our own harbour.
So I marched down to the local library and immersed myself in all they had, and took many of the books home that day. I went to a few bookstores and bought a copy of all of their books pertaining to the Halifax Explosion. I tirelessly searched the internet for more information and images that were posted with any relevance to the explosion.
For nearly two years I studied the topic. It became clear that it was time to really start writing when I was starting to pick up on the historical inaccuracies from one book to the next. I have heard it is easy to get caught up in the research, and I now know exactly what that means. No, I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject of all things related to the Halifax Explosion but what I can tell you is that my book is extremely historically accurate. There are only three points that deviate from actual events and two of them are insignificant. Only one point, which would be glaringly obvious to anyone who is well versed in all things related to the Halifax Explosion, is a significant departure from actual events.
It was not my intent to write a book that reads like a factual account, rather than a fictional account, so I am hoping my readership can look past the inaccuracies and enjoy the novel as for what it is. I can say that I left out many facts that just didn’t work with the plot-not to worry, I am sure some of them will make an appearance in the sequel, tentatively entitled (for the first time ever revealed to the public) “Janet-17”. I cannot give any other details, for now I will be keeping this project close to my breast.
I can say that I will continue to work hard to bring the best of me to the forefront. Please come back to my website from time to time for updates. I am working on numerous exciting things that I cannot wait to share.