I had an opportunity to read Phyllis’ debut novel, Old Broad Road and I enjoyed it tremendously. She’s published her second novel - On The Rock - a sequel, and is our guest today. She’s going to tell us about her books.
I hope you’ll take the time to visit her website (URL below) and read more about this talented author.
Phyllis Humby lives in the municipality of Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada. Although her passion is crafting novels, her short stories, often scheming, twisted, or spooky, appear in anthologies and journals in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, she has won national awards for her stories and appeared as a Fringe reader at Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. She is the author of Hazards of the Trade - Memoir (Crossfield Publishing 2020), and novels Old Broad Road (Crossfield Publishing 2020) and On The Rock, a sequel to Old Broad Road (Crossfield Publishing 2022).
Working Title: Old Broad Road/On The Rock
The rugged East Coast seems like the perfect refuge for Sylvia Kramer, but life isn’t perfect. This two-book series set in Newfoundland and Labrador begins with a woman in her mid-to-late sixties who flees her elite urban lifestyle in Toronto following a shocking revelation. A psychological roller coaster of tragedies, betrayals, even violent assaults leads to unorthodox coping mechanisms, but it will take more than out-of-body experiences and superstitious tattoos to heal the damage. Despite the trail of disasters in her wake, Sylvia keeps doing what she loves: hosting lively parties, supporting her community, caring for her loved ones, and cooking outrageously good meals. The large and memorable cast of Old Broad Road and On the Rock will take you on a journey through heartbreak and laughter, flirtation and affairs, new beginnings and bittersweet endings.
The Story Behind the Story:
Without the setting, Old Broad Road and On The Rock wouldn’t exist. Newfoundland is the most important character in these books.
The youngest of six, I was the only family member not born in Nova Scotia. Ontario was my home but the Maritimes remained close to my heart. Then I married a Newfoundlander. During a visit to my husband’s birthplace I fell in love. To someone from Ontario, it seemed like a different world. Newfoundland and Labrador was like nothing I’d ever experienced, yet at the same time I felt very much at home there. The culture, cuisine, and dialect were wonderful, yet unfamiliar. I suppose it was these contrasts that inspired the niggling of a story. Then, of course, I imposed mayhem and volatility, and the protagonist Sylvia Kramer began to take shape.
I’m often asked if it had always been my intent to create a two-book series, but the thought hadn’t entered my mind as I was writing Old Broad Road. If was only after the early readers of my manuscript encouraged me to write a sequel that I began On The Rock. Admittedly, I didn’t need convincing. We were all reluctant to let go of the characters.
It’s difficult to pin down the genre of these books. They’ve been categorized as Drama, but I believe the genre is Life: the experience of happiness, tragedy, love, and loss.
Readers ask if they have to read Old Broad Road first. I respond that though On The Rock was written as a standalone book, if they plan on reading both books – and why not? – they might as well begin with Old Broad Road to learn how the first three years in Newfoundland influenced and shaped Sylvia’s identity.
Old Broad Road and On The Rock are available for purchase through your local bookstore and online at Amazon. They are also available through your local library!
A question for you before you go, Phyllis:
What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?
The entire writing process excites me. I love to create unique characters with realistic flaws and insecurities. Invariably they take over the story and it’s all I can do to keep up as they brave the difficulties of life. Every aspect of penning a novel is gratifying, even the research needed to create a credible and ‘true’ story. I would say that the hardest part for me is typing The End. That generally involves tears.
Thank you for being our guest this week, Phyllis and for your stories. All the best in your writing journey.
And thank you to our readers and visitors. Feel free to leave a comment.