Saturday 29 July 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Teresa LaBella of Nova Scotia, Canada.


I met Teresa at the GMRD Book Fair in April of this year and she has kindly accepted my invitation to be this week's guest.

She shares the SBTS and an excerpt from her newest novel. Read on, my friends.



Teresa LaBella grew up in Davenport, Iowa where the Mississippi River runs east to west. The people she interviewed as a journalist and met in her work in the arts and with nonprofits coloured her future fiction writing canvas and sharpened her love for telling a good story.  Teresa published her first contemporary romance novel in 2013 and jumped genres with the publication of Danger Noted, her first novel in The UnMatchables romantic suspense series. The author’s latest release, Danger Revealed, published by Purple Porcupine Publishing of Halifax, is the second case for private investigator partners Eddie Emerson and Kelly Gillespie. Capital Strings, the author’s uniquely Canadian political thriller set in Ottawa, published in April 2021.  Teresa chose Canada in August 2019 and resides in Nova Scotia with her rescue fur baby family Rosie and Ellis.



Working Title: Danger Revealed



Synopsis: Displaced by force. Haunted by their past. Fear for the future. 

Tori Deane gets no answers from the Canadian consulate when her diplomat lover Lucas Dominguez goes missing. Chicago police won’t help her. The UnMatchables private investigators Eddie Emerson and Kelly Gillespie are Tori’s last hope. 

Eddie and Kelly uncover evidence that Lucas has returned to the country of his childhood that was ripped apart by the Dirty War. An undeliverable money order sent to Buenos Aires from a bodega in a neighbourhood Kelly dreads may be the lead they need to heat up a cold case. 

The danger revealed points to the sordid underworld of human trafficking ruled by a ruthless crime boss who hides his past behind an alias. Argentine refugee Rayen Vasquez is desperately seeking a way out and away from Octavio Hernandez, aka Otto Hermann, that only Lucas can give her.  

Time isn’t on The UnMatchables side. 

Canada has deployed an elite law enforcement team with orders to recover their diplomat. Chicago PD has spread a wide net to snare smugglers and cripple illegal transport of guns, drugs and people.

Hermann is on the run. His reason for keeping Rayen alive is about to expire.



The Story Behind the Story: The tragedy of human trafficking was brought home to my Iowa hometown while I was working as a freelance journalist covering county government. The busiest truck stop along Interstate 80, which moves traffic across the U.S. from Boston to San Francisco, is located in Walcott, Iowa. The series of articles I wrote from interviews with local police, politicians, business owners and victim advocates, as well as a documentary produced on the victims trafficked from Iowa to Chicago, inspired the story of Rayen. Reading My Father’s Ghost is Climbing in the Rain, a novel by Patricio Pron, prompted my interest and research into the Dirty War in Argentina. The horrors and atrocities of human rights abuse, past and present, became linked in the layers of plot and people struggling to connect and make sense of it all in Danger Revealed.





A couple questions before you go, Teresa:


Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


Teresa: My home office is my haven. I’ve surrounded myself with photos and personal memento reminders of my life and the loves in it. The piles are neat and the notes are many but I pride myself on being organized as it bothers me to waste valuable time searching for what I want or need to find. Quiet usually works best but if I do choose music, it’s instrumental smooth jazz or easy listening, like Enya. To drink: coffee in the morning, herbal tea in the afternoon and a glass of wine in the evening.


Scribbler: What’s next for Teresa LaBella, the Author?


Teresa: While I strive to write all of my books to be read as a stand alone novel, each is created as an intentional part of a series. My romance novels are the McKenna family saga that begin with the older woman/younger man romance of Alison Clarke and Darien McKenna in New York City, continue in the fictional small town of Harmony, Iowa and complete the trilogy with the tale of Darien’s daughter Marisa in Scotland. The UnMatchables romantic suspense series set in Chicago and the Canadian-based political thriller series are connected through the character of diplomat Lucas Dominguez. I’m currently writing the second novel in the political thriller series. Plot ideas and working titles for books 3 and 4 in The UnMatchables series are in development. I enjoy building a body of work so that I can reveal more of the characters’ backstories and facets of their personalities and give readers more reasons to care about the situations and relationships that I create.



An Excerpt from Danger Revealed



The Camaro skidded sideways and jumped the curb. A front tire blew. The side of Cecily's car missed an unforgiving impact with a fire hydrant by inches. 

The black sedan copied the spin and circled back on a parallel course. "Get down!" Cecily grabbed Eddie's shoulders. The Camaro quivered with the shot buried in metal above the rust in the rear wheel well. The car rocked with the whoosh of squads speeding past in pursuit of the sedan. 

Cecily peeked cautiously over the dashboard and turned the key in the ignition. The engine shut down with a shudder. 

Eddie didn't move. "Is the coast clear?" 

Cecily looked out and around into the eerie calm. Anyone who may have been out on the street or sidewalks had apparently taken cover. She holstered her sidearm and sat up. "Appears so." She jumped at the tap on the glass next to her right ear. A colored strobe flashed in the darkness. The face in the window belonged to an EMT. "Everybody OK in there?" the medic asked. 

"I am." She poked Eddie. "You OK?" 

"Yeah. I think so." He straightened and frowned. "But I really need to change my boxers.”




Thanks for being our guest this week, Teresa. The excerpt certainly caught my attention. Wishing you continued success with your writing.



And a Humongous thank you to all our visitors and readers.

Saturday 22 July 2023

The Story behind the Story with Author & Motivational Speaker Karen Dean of Halifax, NS, Canada.


I had the pleasure of meeting Karen at the Great Moncton Riverview & Dieppe Book  Fair in April of this year and she kindly accepted my invitation to be our guest this week.

 I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading her Story Behind the Story.

Read on, my friends.




Resilience Expert, Inspiring Speaker, Fierce Leader, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Mom, Survivor, Advocate, Limit-Pusher

Karen is an incredible motivational speaker who brings audiences through her own personal stories of resilience and inspires with an amazing sense of positivity.

Recognized by the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards as a Nominee four times, Karen has operated successful businesses in many different industries for over 25 years. She has been a mentor to women in business throughout her career and has been mentored by some incredibly accomplished businesswomen. In 2020, she was honoured with the QueenPin Award by QueenPins Halifax for her commitment to improving her community.

Karen has published two books to date:

We Are Unbreakable: Raw, Real Stories of Resilience from Women in Nova Scotia in 2020 is a compilation book sharing inspiring stories from 22 women.

Fierce & Fabulous: A Self-Love Journal which provides readers with a daily practice to reconnect to their inner self and become even more successful.

Karen’s messages spring from a mountain of lived experience, and she is passionate about her mission to help people reboot their resilience and live their best life, personally and professionally, a purpose she lives in her own life every day.


Working Title: We Are Unbreakable: Raw, Real Stories of Resilience from Women in Nova Scotia in 2020



Synopsis: We Are Unbreakable: Raw, Real Stories of Resilience is a collection of authentic and inspiring stories about the unprecedented year of 2020 written by 22 incredible women who call Nova Scotia home. 

In these powerful stories, you will find examples of struggle, strength, togetherness and, mostly, of resilience as these remarkable women, from many different age groups and walks of life, share their experiences of living, working, running businesses and parenting through a global pandemic, along with a year of horrific tragedies that rocked the entire province of Nova Scotia in so many ways. 

A portion of the proceeds from this book will establish a bursary program aimed at women in rural Nova Scotia who have overcome adversity and barriers to pursue their education and who demonstrate the qualities of resiliency and strength that are captured in the pages of this book.  

Contributors to this book include: Amy Hill, Amy VanderHeide, Angela Mercer-Penny, Carley Gloade, Colleen O'Dea, Diane Muise, Emily Kierstead, Ifeoma Esonwune, Josie Ryan, Karen Dean, Lisa Drader-Murphy, Margaret Miller, Michele Tessier, Miriah Kearney, Mounfiq Abu, Nancy Regan, Nikki Porter, Robin Legge, Sam Madore, Sarah Stewart-Clark, Tanya Priske, Tracy Stuart



The Story Behind the Story: We Are Unbreakable was born as a distraction to take my mind off of the fact that my 19-year-old son was going through treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer.  Because he was technically considered an adult, and due to Covid restrictions, I was not permitted to go into the hospital with him for most of his appointments.  As I sat in the hospital parking lot, I contacted as many women as I could think of who might have a story to share and asked them to contribute to this book.  Forty-one days after I thought of the idea, I had my first self-published book, the day after my son turned 20, which went on to become an Amazon and a Canadian bestseller.

I think that the stories of what we all had to deal with as we lived through the pandemic are so important to share.  I hope that future generations read this book and gain a little perspective on how things were for us, and I hope that they never have to experience it as we did.





A question before you go, Karen:

Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


The perfect setting for me to write would be uninterrupted on my deck overlooking the river in my backyard, or, better yet, a writing shed right on the banks of the river.  The only noise would be the sound of the river and whatever other sounds nature happened to make at the time.  My drink of choice is either ice water or Pepsi (I am not a coffee or an alcohol drinker).  And I would say that my writing style is a combination of neatness and notes everywhere.  I think that the best description would be organized notes everywhere.




Thanks for being our guest this week, Karen. Wishing you continued success with your projects, writing and otherwise.


And another BIG thank you to our visitors and readers.

Saturday 15 July 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Author Rebecca MacFarlane of New Brunswick, Canada


Let’s welcome Rebecca to the Scribbler.

We met at the Greater Moncton Riverview & Dieppe Book fair in April. We had a lot of fun that day.

I extended an invitation to be my guest this week and Rebecca kindly agreed so, read on my friends.



Rebecca MacFarlane is a lifelong reader and writer of dark tales.  Her first novella, originally published in 2015, was later transformed into her first self-published novel.  She is currently working on more stories, including Winterhaven, the companion book to her well-received post-apocalyptic novel, Dying Season.  Rebecca currently resides in New Brunswick with her partner, her two children and two cats. 



Title: When It Rains At Night



Synopsis: A self-proclaimed lone wolf, Spencer is a drifter who lives life by his own rules. When he crosses paths with a young girl walking alone on the highway, his gut tells him to keep walking. He nearly passes her by, but there’s something familiar about her that he just can’t ignore.
Paige claims to have lost her memory, and Spencer finds himself drawn into a stranger's bizarre predicament. Against his better judgement, the pair set off on an unexpected journey to uncover Paige’s identity. When a jittery trucker and a roadside café prompt some terrifying memories, the truth of who Paige really is unfolds into a mind-bending nightmare.



The Story behind the Story: I started writing When It Rains At Night over 15 years ago.  I had a vision in my mind of Spencer, hitchhiking on a dark road with no particular destination.   I knew a little of his character, that he’s smart, fiercely independent, and has a very troubled past, and I knew what I wanted the mood of the story to  be.  I knew that Spencer would meet Paige and have a very immediate sense of Deja Vu.  Somehow they have met before, but I couldn’t figure out the how, or the why, to turn it into a really interesting story.  I did finish a first draft about seven or eight years ago with an entirely different ending, but I really wasn’t happy with it. Something was missing, so I set it aside again.  Finally last year I figured out what the missing pieces were.  Mostly, it was more of Spencer.  His backstory hit me one day. I had uncovered the real Spencer; he’s very much a lone wolf with a skewed moral compass.  He’s temperamental and dangerous.  A great friend beta-read the story and after the first couple chapters, messaged me and said, ‘I don’t know what to think of Spencer. He seems like an opportunistic predator.  That’s when I knew I had it right. I also decided to be bold and incorporate a concept that I absolutely love – the idea of multiple universes, and multiple timelines.  I don’t know if I believe in those theories in real life, but one can’t totally dismiss them, either I think.  Either way, I really wanted to make a story out of that, and I knew When It Rains At Night had the potential to bear it out.  In addition to being a bit of a wild ride, I do hope that the story is thought-provoking and bittersweet, but that’s up to the readers to decide.




A question before you go, Rebecca:

Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


As long as I have music and a good cup of tea, I’m ready to write.  Time is a hot commodity in our house since the kids are always keeping us busy, and some people ask me ‘how do I find the time?’. While it’s true that I’m always (and I do mean always) busy, I don’t feel finding the time is really a struggle, because even when I’m not in that perfect place with my laptop and a hot mug of tea, I’m always writing.  My brain is always working. I take the characters with me in the car, to work, to the grocery store. They live with me 24/7.  As for notes, I very rarely make notes. If I do, I usually forget or misplace them. To me, if the idea is good enough, it’ll stick in my brain until I get it down.



Rebecca is sharing an excerpt from her novel for your enjoyment.


Spencer regretted taking all of this on. If not for Paige, he might be asleep behind the restaurant they’d just left behind, or perhaps even in one of the booths inside.  Instead he was stuck in the cab of a transport with this nervy girl stuck to his arm, sandwiched between her and the driver, who reminded Spencer of a rat.  He looked like one, and he kept sniffing and twitching his long nose.

The walk had worn him out more than he had expected, and the coffee was not doing much to keep him alert, but he was keenly aware that he needed to stay on guard. If anything, Paige’s fingers, stabbing into his forearm like blunt daggers made it impossible for him to slip into complacency. 

He’d put his backpack down between his feet and had one strap clenched in his fist.  The backpack contained everything he owned; a few clothes, a considerable amount of cash folded into four tight bundles tucked deep down in the inside zippered pocket, and the Sig Sauer he had recently bought off of a shady strip club bouncer back in Edenfield.

“What did you say your name was?” Jay asked, looking over again to Paige, ignoring Spencer, as most people were wont to do.  

For a moment, Spencer thought that she wasn’t going to remember her fake name.  She appeared to have become even more anxious than before. 

“Anna?” she said at last.  

“Right,” said the driver, like her fake name confused him somehow.  He thrummed his fingers on the wheel. “Anna.” 

Thankfully, the ride back to Paige’s car was short. Jay pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway, and Paige shoved the door open before the truck had come to a full stop.   

Her legs were not long enough to reach the step underneath the door. She sat there for a second, half in and half out of the cab, and cast a despairing look over her shoulder.  Spencer sighed impatiently.  He had never met anyone so ill prepared in his life.  She looked past him at Jay for just a half second, snapped her head around, and tossed her handbag down to the ground.  Paige jumped and landed awkwardly, the heel of her boot hitting the ground at an angle. Spencer winced, but Paige didn’t make a sound, not even a whimper. If she had been wearing a ballet costume as opposed to her denim skirt and half of a shirt, he would have guessed that she’d planned on landing that way. 

He got out and helped Paige to her feet. Her left knee was scraped and bleeding. She held out her hands and he saw that her palms were chaffed. 

She gave him another woeful look, and it felt to him for a moment as if they were acting out a play that they had never rehearsed, and while Jay was the only one in the audience, it was important that they pulled off a winning performance.  He wanted Jay to get moving.  The guy really gave him the creeps.  He didn’t want to give the impression that they needed any more help, and it was obvious that Paige wanted the same.  Spencer gave Paige her purse. She took it and he took her arm without thinking. She was about to pull away and then their eyes met again.  She eased up a little and let him act like it was totally normal for him to be touching her, like he had touched her a thousand times before.

Spencer glanced up and found that he was looking up into the cab at a rotting corpse. The driver‘s rat-like face was decaying, patches of skin were missing or hanging loose from his skull in tatters. The unpleasant lemony bleach undertone of the cab had turned rank.  Sweat and smoke and death wafted out into the night. The driver’s corpse had no eyes, just two empty sockets. A skeletal hand reached out, and then whatever he had seen, or thought he had seen, was gone.  It was only the Rat Man’s face looking down at him again, his ugly mug still not all that pleasant, but alive.

“Take care now”. he said, and he pulled the door closed.

The air brakes hissed.  Spencer and Paige stood close together, like two stage players waiting for the final curtain-fall, watching silently as the truck pulled away.

Spencer looked to Paige and found she looked a little bit ghoulish herself.  She was staring after the truck with eyes that seemed to have grown too large for her face. She didn’t appear to be breathing.  Spencer waited for her to move or speak or give some sign of life.  Finally, when the truck had disappeared into the darkness, she fell back against the hood of her car and let out a low, ragged breath. 

A part of him that didn’t want to know what was wrong with her. He didn’t want to ask, didn’t want to care. His good deed was done, but for reasons he couldn’t understand, he found that he did care.






Thank you for being our guest, Rebecca. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey. Hope to see you at the Next Book Fair.



And a big thank you to all our readers and visitors.

Monday 10 July 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Ronda Wicks Eller of Ontario, Canada.




Please welcome Ronda to the Scribbler.

She is an award winning author/poet and we are happy to have her visit this week and tell us about her latest work.

Read on, my friends.





Ronda Wicks Eller was born in Toronto in 1965, raised in Woodstock and now lives near Stratford, Ontario. She is a poet with exposure in Canadian and International forums with six published collections, a collaborative one, and many individual poems in newsletters, journals and anthologies online and in print; two of which were nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Her works have received recognition through numerous awards. Ronda served for eight years as National Media Coordinator for the Canadian Poetry Association, three years as a Consul for the Canadian Poets' Guild and she was an Associate Member with the League of Canadian Poets in 2008/9. She is currently the Mitchell and Midwestern Region Branch Manager for The Ontario Poetry Society and their Publication Layout Designer, while also being a Member-at-Large on their Executive. In another capacity Ronda is a consulting Editor for the New Generation Beat Poets Canada. She owns SkyWing Press, a poetry micro-press that is currently on hiatus due to her otherwise busy schedule. She does contract editing and is also a novelist. Her first four novels, a historical-mystery-family-romance fiction set in 1855 England is contained in a single manuscript, with the working title “For Adam’s Sake”, and is in the submission phase with publishers now.


Working Title: “Salmagundi – an omnium gatherum” by Ronda Wicks Eller

2023, Poetry Friendly Press, Toronto, ON.

Limited 1st edition – 50 copies, $25 CAD (includes shipping inside Canada), purchase from the author only.



Synopsis: “Salmagundi” is an East Indian word for “tossed salad”, the large assortment of food choices that offer the diner a wide variety of flavours, textures and aromatic bouquets on a plate intended to provide a delightfully well-rounded feast for the senses. It is derived from the root salmagondis, meaning “a hodgepodge or mix of widely disparate things”, while the latin “omnium gatherum” means “great collection”.

          The book “Salmagundi” is just that. It is laid out in sections organized chronologically according to each of my previously published books, with select poems from each, and concludes with a section of ‘Poems New and Old’. There are 52 poems in this section that were either 1) published singly in other media or 2) didn’t make the cut for other books although they were no less worthy. This way the reader can follow approximately forty years of writing development and the use of a variety of sub-genre (rhyme schemes, free verse, minimalist, haiku, senryu, haikai, sufi/rumi style, et al) expressing a broad palate of themes.



The Story behind the Story: Putting Salmagundi together began with a desire to keep early publications alive— ones that have been out of print for decades. It became the largest collection I’ve ever offered (242 pages) owing to a few factors:

1)   I felt some poems from the later books deserved more outreach

2)   poems from early books link to later poems like a chain-work of thought building one on the other, and

3)   by incorporating poems from each book the reader gets a better sense of what each one contains in case they want to get the full version. For example, Hoofprints on the Moon (SkyWing Press 2019) and Ashram of Love (River Bones Press, 2019) are available online as P.O.D. publications. They are always available (until officially retired) but previews are more limited for Ashram than what I’ve given in ‘Salmagundi’ and non-existent for Hoofprints, to protect the 31 pieces of sketch art contained in it.

In my early twenties I had a dear friend and neighbour, Marjorie, who enjoyed listening to me read my poems—she also went as far as to drag me out to meet my first publisher, who was in town launching one of his own books. Through this, I fell into the arms of the C.P.A. and the greater poetic adventures that have followed, but here’s the crux of my story: Marjorie often commented on how I wrote so much like W.B. Yeats and I’d given little mind to it, having only a vague remembrance of his name from high school English classes. At that time I also worried that reading other poets might result in a sort of plagiarism so I avoided it (I have since realized that my own voice comes through regardless). After Marjorie died, in reflecting over her contributions to my life, I finally decided to read some Yeats and my prolific juices began to flood torrentially. She was right about her comparison—I not only used the same imagery and symbolism but I understood his particular use of those devices instinctively. “Salmagundi” includes poems from ‘Whale Songs in the Aurora Borealis’ and “the Lion and the Golden Calf’ with definitive Yeatsian context.

Fast forward to 2012 and an evening when I’m re-watching a DVD of “The Favorite Game” (based on Leonard Cohen’s 1963 novel). I’d been taking comfort in his music after a recent break-up but I’d given little attention to the poetry I knew he wrote. I felt the urge to read about him online and learned that Yeats was a favourite of his too… and then I began reading his poems and song lyrics. I felt a soul connection to him, perhaps he was destined to become another muse for me (?), as my foci easily merged with his. Then, on his birthday in 2015, not knowing the day it was for him, a poem seemed to write itself (no revision required). It is in “Salmagundi” under the title ‘Sweet Refrain’:     Let me be your sweet refrain/ the one that brings you back again./ Let me be the song you sing/ that fills the void in everything/ you left unsung and left unheard/ because you couldn’t find the words./ Let me be your sweet refrain. It became the theme for my book “Hoofprints on the Moon”, also contained in part in “Salmagundi”. It is predominantly Cohenesque in flavour.

Yeats and Cohen reflect through so much of “Salmagundi” it might be difficult to untangle them even from the earliest works like in the “My Harmonic Perfection” section, my earliest chapbook reprinted in its entirety—poems from before I felt any kinship of a kind to either of them.

On the whole, “Salmagundi” really offers my readers a potpourri through which they can savour and meet with me where I’ve been at in each stage of life and its creative expression so far. I invite them to claim their own translation for the lines within as they relate from their own perspectives!





A question before you go Ronda:

Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


Ha! My notes are scattered everywhere from actual pieces of paper and notepads to napkins and paper towels, the inside covers of Sudoku and Crossword Puzzle books, the back of store receipts et al… on whatever I have handy when a catchy line or thought crosses my busy little brain. Most often, if I’m drinking a beverage, it’s coffee or cola and, for music, it’s classical, celtic or other type of elevator music that uplifts the writing flow… except Cohen. When I want to write Cohen he’s usually singing to me in the background. I rarely write in silence. I can’t really say there’s a perfect setting for me because I’m either in a prolific phase where my words spill out anywhere and everywhere or I’ve hit a writer’s block and nothing moves. That said, I often envision myself living in a small cottage in the woods with a little creek or river close by and a small community not too far away. This is a place where I could access the internet at will or sit by the creek to write or sketch.




Thank you for being our guest this week, Ronda. Wishing you continued success with your writing.



Abd a special thank you to our visitors and readers.

Saturday 1 July 2023

The Story Behind the Story with Bill Arnott of Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The Scribbler is happy to welcome Bill back to tell us the SBTS for his newest novel.

He’s been here before and if you missed his visit, please go here.

Bill is a friendly chap and does a lot to support his author friends. I’ve read his work and he’s a fine storyteller.

Read on my friends.



Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of the Gone Viking travel memoirs (Gone Viking: A Travel Saga, Gone Viking II: Beyond Boundaries, Gone Viking III: The Holy Grail) and A Season on Vancouver Island. He’s been awarded by the Whistler Book Awards, ABF International Book Awards, Firebird Book Awards, The Miramichi Reader’s Very Best Book Awards, and for his expeditions received a Fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society. When not trekking the globe with a small pack and journal, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, where he lives near mountains and sea on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land.


Bill sailing a historical pilot cutter in the North Atlantic

Title: Gone Viking III: The Holy Grail (publication date: Oct 3, 2023).



Synopsis: “Witty, well-read, and effortlessly entertaining, Arnott may be the perfect travel companion,” Thomas Lundy, Canadian Geographic Magazine.

Join bestselling author Bill Arnott on this epic adventure, trekking the ancient world to unearth Viking secrets and reveal history’s most elusive treasure, the Holy Grail. Granted a fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society for his previous Gone Viking expeditions, Arnott takes readers on a remarkable new excursion following legendary explorers: Scandinavians, Celts, and Arthurian knights, across Europe and into the Arctic. With insight and humour, let this award-winning traveller be a companion and guide on the ultimate quest, with firsthand discoveries in Viking Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Britain, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Poland, and Jerusalem.


Bill in Greenland by Erik the Red's farmstead


The Story behind the Story: Gone Viking III: The Holy Grail is the final book in the Gone Viking travelogue series. Following the success of the first book, my publishing team at RMBooks and I felt a trilogy made sense, and that “the story,” or in this case my travel expeditions, could be completed and effectively communicated in this manner. Each book is distinct, yet builds upon its predecessor. The inspiration for this came at a Viking Ship museum in Denmark, where I gazed at a stylized map on the wall, sweeping arrows in red showing where Scandinavian explorers had travelled. It looked like the entire planet! At that moment I believed I could go there – follow it all – and turn that into a remarkable odyssey. To my delight, now, many years later, I’ve completed that epic series of treks, which I share in real time with readers in each of the Gone Viking books.


Bill in Iceland at the Saga Museum

Website: Bill Arnott author page at RMBooks.


A question before you go, Bill:


Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?


Great question! I’ve had the most enjoyment (and productivity) in a couple of places. One being a rented apartment, not far from our home, with a wood-burning fireplace and an excellent bakery/café nearby. The weather was miserable, and I made a fire every day for four months. It was a proper cocoon, and I loved it. Another memorable setting was a month on a small island off British Columbia’s south coast. For that stay, the weather was brilliant. I pulled a table outside, had a view of the sea, and listened to ravens flap by through the day. In both locales I’d occasionally play white noise through earbuds (ocean waves), the sensory soundtrack affecting my writing in a visceral manner, which, I believe, comes through rather well in the work. I hope readers feel the same way and enjoy the new Gone Viking excursion as much as our previous adventures together.


Allan, thanks very much for having me back to the Scribbler, and congratulations to you as well on your wonderful books!




It’s my pleasure Bill. Thanks for taking the time to be our guest this week. Wishing you continued success with your writing. 



Thanks to all you visitors and readers.