Saturday 17 September 2022

The Story behind the Story with Chantal MacDonald of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


I had the opportunity to meet this week’s guest at a book signing in Miramichi, NB. We were both greeting visitors interested in our books and we had an opportunity to chat.

Chantal is a very personable and positive lady, and I'm glad she agreed to share the Story Behind the Story of her debut novel.

Let’s meet Chantal

A teacher by trade, Chantal has a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. This is Chantal’s debut novel, but she is actively working on a sequel as well as a children’s picture book series. When she’s not writing or teaching, Chantal enjoys baking and traveling with her family. Chantal resides in Moncton, New Brunswick, with her husband and three young children.


Title: Hope at the Ocean’s Edge




Is a Fresh Start Finally Possible After a Life-altering Tragedy?

Sadie Jones experienced extreme devastation at only nine years old. Now on the cusp of her high school graduation, Sadie is more than ready for a future that will take her away from the small town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia…

As the year is wrapping up, she catches the attention of a cute lobster fisherman who works down at the local docks. Tom Carter is everything Sadie would want—he’s charming, honest, and hardworking, but will he ever be able to accept her distrust of God?

When a stranger from her mother’s past reaches out, Sadie finds herself poised to experience the culture and adventure she’s always dreamed of, but she also is on the brink of emotional breakdown.
Will she open her heart to God’s plan for her life and will she find hope and love at the ocean’s edge?

The Story Behind the Story: As a child and teen, I was a voracious reader. I preferred books that were wholesome romance or coming-of-age stories to which I could relate. However, as a teen growing up in Atlantic Canada, I had to reside myself to the fact that the books I wanted to read would always have an American protagonist (unless I wanted to reread Anne of Green Gables).

And so, when I set out to write my first novel, my primary goal was to create the kind of book that I would have enjoyed reading as a young adult, but to make it Canadian. The setting—Lunenburg, Nova Scotia—and the East Coast flavour of the story were an incredibly important factor.

I also wanted to write a story for young women that would be hope-filled and encouraging in a world that too-often is the opposite.

So, Hope at the Ocean’s Edge was born.

And born it was, with all the struggle and labour pains that tend to coincide with birth. This novel was written over two years, in the middle of a global pandemic, while being a stay-at-home mom to my three young children (aged 4, 2, and 2 months when I began). Finding time, energy, and clarity of mind to write was a daily challenge, but, little by little, I moved toward the finish line.

I am so proud of the finished product and so excited to be working on its sequel as well as launching the release of a children’s picture book later this fall.





A question for you before you go, Chantal:


What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?

My favourite part of writing is the ability to engage my creative senses and get lost in my characters and their stories. I especially love when I am surprised by what a character does or says. When pieces of story bubble out of me unexpectedly, it feels like my words and characters have autonomy outside of me as the writer—and that’s fun!

My least favourite part of writing is everything that comes after the writing is completed. I believe in the message of my stories, but I don’t love marketing. This part is a challenge for me and, because it’s time consuming, it tends to eat up a lot of the time I would rather spend working on new stories.



**I think we all feel that way about marketing Chantal. Thanks for sharing TSBTS with us. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.


Thanks to all our visitors and readers. Feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Thank you so much for having me as a guest author!

    1. You are quite welcome, Chantal. I'm happy you were able to share the news about your novel.

  2. As your Godparents we love you and are so very proud of you and the novel you have written. You have nowhere to go but up!

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your support!


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