Atlantic Canadian Authors are the
Today we have Bruce Bishop of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada as our guest. It is
Bruce’s first visit to the Scribbler and we hope it won’t be his last.
Today you can read his Story Behind
the Story and I know you will be impressed.
Let’s give a big welcome to Bruce.
Bishop is a globetrotting journalist and guidebook author from Atlantic Canada
who decided to explore the world of fiction when travel was halted in
2020. According to many readers’ reviews
on Amazon, Kobo, and Goodreads, his novels to date are in the page-turning, “can’t
put them down” category. He wrote Unconventional Daughters and Uncommon
Sons back-to-back, and both are interlinked but could be read as standalone
family dramas. He’s currently adapting both works of fiction to suit the demand
for streaming, serialized television.
Title: Unconventional Daughters
budding journalist marries her stepfather in 1922, she must compete with her
unhinged mother for his love and to secure a safe future for herself and their
situation is one of several dilemmas facing the women of a family separated by
the Atlantic Ocean and a world of secrets and deception. Can Eva Carroll, a
young feminist and budding journalist, have a happy marriage to her mother’s
second husband while placating the conventions of the day?
War is over. Everyone is optimistic. Eva is the daughter of one of three
sisters who have already been leading unconventional lives. Although born in
Boston, she now lives with her mother, Elisabet, stepfather, and Swedish
grandparents in the small Canadian coastal town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
naive, Eva falls in love with her stepfather, Seamus, only six years her
senior. Elisabet surprisingly condones the relationship. But she imposes a
condition — her daughter and her second husband must marry after she divorces
aunts living in Sweden decide to return to Canada to rejoin their sister. One
aunt, obsessed with social status, has bought her title of ‘countess’, while
the other has a quiet loving relationship with her female housemate. When the
siblings get together, their family background in Sweden is laid bare as they
learn the truth about their parents and a brother they had never known.
herself caught in the midst of rivalries among the three sisters, and a growing
mental health issue concerning one of them. Her marriage and familial
relationships are threatened. Now her future faces unexpected personal turmoil.
Story Behind the Story:
When I was a
teenager about to go to university, my mother gave me four letters that were
given to her from a neighbor long before I was born. The calligraphy in the
letters was attractive, and each one started with, “Dear Mama”. They were
written by a young lady from my hometown in Nova Scotia when she was on her
honeymoon in Europe in 1927, visiting Vienna, the Swiss Alps, and Edinburgh.
Based on the content of the letters, it was clear the bride was from a local
wealthy family who had emigrated to Nova Scotia from Denmark in the late 1800s.
could simply be viewed as a charming account of a European honeymoon during the
Roaring Twenties and could have remained forgotten in this writer’s desk
There was an
implicit, apologetic tone in the letters from the daughter to her mother,
however. I remembered that my own mother had told me that the bride had married
her stepfather after he and her mother divorced, and the three of them ending
up living together afterwards.
raced while I started imagining a storyline about this unusual family. I did
some research in the local archives and found a box of ephemera about the
family, collected by one of the daughters of a Danish sea captain and his wife.
It was a bizarre mix of newspaper clippings (mostly in Danish) and old
photographs, but it allowed me to characterize the leading players in what
would become my debut novel, Unconventional Daughters.
before you go, Bruce.
is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?
Bruce: My favorite part of writing is when
dialogue comes from somewhere in the universe and seemingly not from me. That
is always both gratifying and surprising, as if the character did actually live
on this earth! My least favorite part is rewriting and revising because it’s
like being in a continual game of second-guessing oneself.
Bruce, for sharing your SBTS. Wishing
you continued success with your writing.
Thank you to all you special visitors and readers.