The Scribbler welcomes a new author to its pages. I was introduced to Janet by a mutual friend, Gracia Williston, who is an avid reader and wonderful supporter of my own writing.
Janet’s book is unique and on my To Be Read list. I know you will enjoy meeting her and hearing about the Story Behind the Story.
Let’s meet Janet.
I am a retired high school English teacher and a long-time Monctonian. I love the Maritimes and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Like many Maritimers, my husband John and I enjoy a bit of travel, but family and friends are most important. I am an avid reader, a dog lover and a painfully slow writer.
Book Title: Memories on the Bounty
Synopsis: Memories on the Bounty recounts Maritime and seafaring history, but primarily it is a human story. The book recalls one golden year in the life of Roy Boutilier. At 19-years old, Roy was suddenly given the opportunity to sail on the replica ship Bounty from Lunenburg, NS on its maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1960. Roy and 24 other Nova Scotians spent a year on the film set of Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Marlon Brando. It was a grand and life-changing adventure.
Roy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017. And so began a series of Monday morning meetings as I embarked on a race against time. In the end, Memories on the Bounty goes far beyond retelling Roy’s story; it looks at the hard truth of memory loss and the importance of friendships and stories in our lives.
The Story Behind the Story: My husband and I were friends with Roy and his wife for 40 years. Over the years, I heard many of Roy’s Bounty stories and loved them. People often told Roy he should write a book about his adventures, and he always agreed it was a great idea.
After Roy’s diagnosis, I realized his marvellous story was about to be lost – unless maybe, just maybe, I could save it. I originally intended to write a little booklet about Roy’s adventure that he could pass on to family and friends. But once I got started, I found there was much more to tell than I had ever imagined!
I researched the history of the original mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 – what a story! I delved into the 1960 building of the replica ship Bounty, commissioned by MGM Studios – more fascinating history! I tracked down the only two other remaining crew members, who delighted me with their recollections of life aboard the Bounty and working on the film set of Mutiny on the Bounty. The more I found out, the more I realized this was much bigger than just Roy’s story.
During the time I worked with Roy I witnessed many changes as his memory slowly faded. Eventually the time came when I realized I knew more of Roy’s story than he did. I had become the keeper of the story. That strengthened my resolve to write this book and ensure Roy’s memories of Bounty, Tahiti and his shipmates would live on. I’m happy to say the result is Memories on the Bounty – a story of friendship, love and adventure.
A question for you, Janet:
What is your favourite and least favourite part about publishing?
My favourite part of publishing is getting published! Not much in my life compares with the thrill I got when I received an offer to publish from Nimbus. As an unpublished writer, I knew that submitting an unsolicited manuscript was a huge long shot. Although I believed in my book, I honestly had no idea if a publisher would be interested. I am very grateful to Nimbus editors Whitney Moran and Angela Mombourquette for reading my work and believing in it.
My least favourite part about publishing is figuring out what comes next. I have never been part of a community of writers so I have been feeling my way along. I am new to social media and starting to realize its impact. I’m happy to have connected with Allan Hudson, who knows his way around the book world and gave me this opportunity to let readers know about this book.
I am at work on another book – fiction this time. But as I said, I am a painfully slow writer. Memories on the Bounty was three years in the making - and it’s short! So, it’s going to take awhile. In the meantime, there is no shortage of great new books to discover.
Thank you for being our guest this week, Janet. Wishing you continued success with your writing journey.
Do you have a question for Janet? Leave it in the comment section below and thank you Dear readers for visiting.