River Under Rain
River Under Rain. This novel, the third I wrote and the first I published, began in a unique way. I was on my sundeck in North Vancouver, the Tuesday after Labor Day, when the book’s main character simply walked into my head – there’s no other way to describe it. There he was with his skewed grin and ugly-handsome face, standing between me and the sun, fully formed. A lean, muscular Native Canadian from the Pacific coast, a diagnosed schizophrenic with an odd ability to find corpses underwater. I ran for a notepad and began to map out who he was and where he might have come from.
River Under Rain is the first of three novellas that sum to a single book, whose real hero is Vancouver. It’s rare to find a writer living in Canada who writes without reference to geography. As the Arrogant Worms sing, “We got rocks and trees and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees and trees and rocks, and water.”
When I’d lived in Vancouver eleven years, I thought I’d give my hometown a three-part bouquet. I’d write about the three things that have shaped her, one novella each. The great river, the Fraser; the mountains, the Coast Range; and the sea. While each novella would stand alone, the trilogy would share key characters and snap together like puzzle pieces into a greater whole. Novella Two, The Company of Gentlewoman Adventurers, will be published in 2011. Novella Three, The Sea That Laps Vancouver, will be ready in 2013.