Why I Wrote This Book: Issue #29

Featuring Grant Edward Miller, Louise Boulter, and Rhonda Bulmer

Why do your favourite Canadian authors write the books they write? Let’s find out in this exclusive feature here at The Miramichi Reader.

Grant Edward Miller, Author of Life-Line: Origins (Friesen Press, February 2023)

At a very young age, I became fascinated with science fiction in its many forms, allowing me to escape into my imagination. As a young gay child, I didn’t have the opportunity to express myself for who I was. Society taught me to hide, which I did — in the world of science fiction.

I read voraciously – even though I wasn’t represented. As an adult, I desired to see and read about gay characters and saw few — until I saw a Captain Jack Harkness on Dr. Who. I was elated! So much so that I decided to write a short story with gay characters. It sat unfinished until 2018 when I expanded the short story into Life-Line: Origins. There are many predominant gay, lesbian and transgender characters in my first novel and more will come in the trilogy.

I want to reach out to fans of science fiction and let them know that no matter your sexuality, science fiction can speak to you. So, I challenge everyone to read a book with 2SLGBTQIA+ characters! My novel contains many contemporary world issues, but takes place far into the future, where people like myself are again oppressed. I encourage you to check out my website to read a summary of my novel. It can be found at https://www.grantedwardmiller.ca/books.html. There you will learn about my novel: “Both a soaring love story and sweeping sci-fi epic, Life-Line: Origins is a thrilling gay romance and science fiction novel. Ambitious, gripping, and full of heart, it is a must read for anyone hungry for adventure and intrigue.”

Grant Edward Miller has authored many unpublished short stories and plays since he was a young boy, when he first realized he was different from those around him. The realization of his gay identity, experiences of alienation and bullying led him to immerse himself in his writing and science fiction in all its forms.

Louise Boulter, author of Discovery and Recovery (Lobou Books, November 2023)

My first book is called Forgotten, and was released in 2016. It is a candid account of one man’s journey through the world of homelessness. It is a book about second chances, about how we all need each other, how we are all interconnected and how we have the power to influence the lives of others, whether by helping them directly, or by simply accepting them as they are. The book hopefully leaves readers with the knowledge that those who are experiencing houselessness need compassion and a listening ear as much as they need food or shelter. I wrote this book as I had been volunteering at soup kitchens and also wanted to give back, somehow, the knowledge I had received. Although the main character, “T” — who wakes from a coma after a vicious attack and suffers from amnesia— is fictional. He travels across Canada searching for his family because of a picture in an empty wallet, and during this period, becomes homeless and meets many others who tell him their stories. All the other characters tell ‘T’ their stories, which I had heard personally from houseless people while volunteering, although all names and locations are changed. It was my way of sharing their stories. I gave the majority of profits from the sale of the book (approximately $2000) to local shelters and soup kitchens in the Greater Moncton area.

My second book, Discovery and Recovery – A Short Story Collection, was released in November 2023. The 37 short stories are ones of hope, wisdom, humour, and nostalgia and will take you on a roller-coaster of all the emotions we experience. I wrote this book because, at my age, I felt that once my time on this earth was over, I knew all my short stories would be erased from my computer and felt if I could share my stories with others, writing them would not have been in vain.

I felt there were messages in both books that might inspire, entertain and educate others. This was the main reason I wrote and published both books described above. I am presently writing another book called The Ode. This one is fiction, based on facts, and is totally written for entertainment purposes. I hope to live long enough to see it published. But if not, that is OK since I’m having such a good time just writing something which is totally different from what I would normally write.

Louise Boulter is an author who lives in Moncton

Rhonda Bulmer, author of The Widow & The Will (Merlin Star Press, 2024)

(Or, How to build a Gothic novel without really trying.)

I began writing The Widow & The Will in 2014, and it was formed little by little, on a confluence of several interests in my life that seemed to all fit nicely together. The first? Ghosts. My childhood was filled with entertaining stories about family members who were sure they’d seen them in various places. My mom comes from a superstitious family the kind of folk who hear three knocks on the door before someone dies, and who interpret birds hitting the window as an omen of death. I’ve never had these experiences myself, but the tales were always fun, and I thought, “maybe I should write a ghost story for my mother?”

The second thing is wills. Most of us have a shocking family will story, including my mother, who was made the executor of her own mother’s will many years ago. It was an unpleasant situation, full of disputes and unreasonable demands. The angst and resentment in her large family continued for many years.

The third thing is an Inn:  My husband and I used to own an 1840s-era, 8,000 square foot manor here in New Brunswick with a group of people back in the nineties, and I always loved the walk-up attic. Our manor was beautiful but neglected. It needed a lot of work, far more than our resources would allow.

And finally, a moody location: My favourite place in the whole world is the Bay of Fundy. As a born-and-raised New Brunswicker, I figured this ghostly inn should be overlooking those famous crashing high tides.

With such a bold setting, you need a hero in difficult circumstances, so I decided that my smart-but-grieving main character should inherit an inn from her grandmother — a big shocking surprise! And then I filled it full of conflict, plus a love triangle and a taste of the supernatural. I hope you find it as entertaining to read as it was to write.

Rhonda Bulmer is a New Brunswick author with a background in public relations and freelance writing, and currently serves as executive director for the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick.

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