Congratulations to JP McLean whose name was drawn to win a print copy of The Road to Atlantis, offered by Turnstone Press!
What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Road to Atlantis, literary fiction
Quick description: In the summer of 2007, my family went on a vacation to Disney World. Instead of flying, we elected to take a week-long road trip down the coast, following the old two-lane highways like Hwy #1. Our first stop was Atlantic City. A day later, and just down the road, we took a break on the beach in Cape May. It was a relaxing summer afternoon, following the whirlwind of driving to Atlantic City. Just before leaving, we became separated from our seven-year-old daughter, Maija. The opening section of The Road to Atlantis is a near autobiographical account of what happened to us that afternoon – except that we found Maija after ten minutes of frantic – almost hysterical – searching. For about thirty seconds, I actually gave up hope, staring out at the sea and thinking, “So this will be my life, now.”
It took me years to establish enough distance between me and that event to actually write it cleanly. As Wordsworth wrote, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings . . . thought long and deeply.”
The Road to Atlantis is an imaginary analysis of what a couple, and their remaining child, might experience in the wake of such a tragedy.
I am the author of three previous novels: Leaving Wyoming, Houdini’s Shadow, and Drift. The first was listed in Bartley’s Top Five in the Globe and Mail for best first fiction of 2005. Houdini’s Shadow was later translated into Spanish. I am also a past recipient of the George Johnston Poetry Prize, the Ray Burell Award for Poetry, and the Cold Steel Crime and Mystery Award and my work has appeared in various magazines, journals, and anthologies in Canada and abroad. I live, teach, and write in Ontario.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a novel currently titled Lucid. It is a family drama about three estranged siblings — each with his/her own secrets — coming together to aid their ailing mother, with whom they all share a rocky past.
Brent’s reading recommendation:
I really enjoyed The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan