EVENT: 2023 Emerging Local Authors Collection Launch
We are thrilled to be part of the Emerging Local Authors Collection at the Greater Victoria Public Library.
Please do join us for the launch event:
Saturday, May 27th, 11:00-12:00
Central Branch Courtyard
735 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC
There are over 170 local authors included in the collection, so we look forward to meeting local writers, as well as seeing some familiar faces!
And of course, following the launch, you'll be able to check out Searching for Persephone (in paperback or e-book form) from the Victoria Public Library. If you've read the book, then you'll know how much Persephone herself would approve.
The Next Novel In the Works, May 2023
The Baths of Aphrodite in Avlemonas, Kythera
Hello readers! Apologies for the long silence! The truth is, I've been very much absorbed in writing my next book. Turns out the muse had other plans for my short stories set on Kythera, and well, they've coalesced and grown into a new novel! I've been slowly sculpting the characters, the storyline, the sequence of events, and I'm very happy to report that it's all coming together nicely. I've reached the magical point in the writing process at which the characters start to feel truly alive, and make their own decisions, and I can just sit back and watch it like a movie (while feverishly writing down what I see, and then editing a ton later.) The strange thing is, sometimes they surprise me with their choices, their words, their emotions, and I wonder how a person who only lives in my mind can surprise the very mind they live in. Other times, I start to write a scene, but I can feel the characters shaking their heads at me. "That's not what happens," they tell me politely but firmly. And I hit delete. Or, if I'm being honest, I cut the scene and paste it into my "Deleted chapters" document, because I'm too anxious to completely erase anything, just in case I might need a piece of it somewhere along the way. Silly, I know, but otherwise I cling to everything and end up with a very long unwieldy document which is mostly guff. And no one wants that.
When I haven't been writing (or working...check out Connecting Through Music to see my other line of work), I've been reading books about the history of Victoria, as I'm still planning another novel set in this beautiful city. I've been making an effort to seek out Indigenous as well as colonial points of view, and have been reading "What Was Said to Me" by Ruby Peter and Helene Demers. Ruby Peter was a Cowichan elder who was passionate about preserving the language and culture of her people. It's an oral history, which means the way it's written is rather different than most of the non-fiction I read, which usually features slightly formal language and a clear, Western-style structure. Reading this is like sitting with Mrs. Peter (also known as Sti’tum’atul’wut) in her kitchen, sipping a cup of tea and listening to her rich and fascinating stories about the past. I'll be honest and say it did take me a few chapters to get used to the style it was written in, but I know that getting out of our comfort zones and experiencing different perspectives, different narratives, and different ways of communicating, is what helps us to grow and learn. The truth is, I'm probably procrastinating writing this particular novel because some of the issues I feel I need to touch on are incredibly delicate, and I'm immensely conscious of my white privilege. I plan to do a lot of careful research and listening and I don't think I can rush this process.
So...in the meantime, while my research mind is learning, my writing mind is settled in Greece, enjoying the company of the characters I've created, still hanging around Portokalia Springs and Avlemonas, exploring the relationships, the love, the conflict, the give and take that's unfolding there. There are a few themes emerging and one of them is the idea of the stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we tell others. What is truth? Is there a time to hold back or should we always share our truth, even if it causes others pain? But equally, withholding our truths can also cause suffering. I'm watching as my characters wrestle with these questions, hoping they figure out the right path for themselves.
And speaking of stories set in Greece, if you're looking for something juicy to watch, I highly recommend Maestro in Blue. It's a beautifully-shot, engaging series set on the stunning island of Paxos. You'll need subtitles on (unless you speak Greek fluently...sadly I'm not there yet, though I did finish my Greek course on DuoLingo!). It's really inspired me to turn Searching for Persephone into a series, which I think would do the storyline better justice than trying to squeeze it all into a movie. Another project on the backburner that I hope to get to one day!
Lastly, if you're in Victoria, do mark Saturday, May 27th, 11am-12pm in your calendars. Event announcement coming soon!
Shannon Perkins Carr, 11th May, 2023
EVENT: Read Locally Book Fair, Saturday, March 18, 2023
We're so excited about this one! A book fair specifically for local authors and self-publishers in and around Victoria! We'll be selling our locally-printed copies of Searching for Persephone, as well as a handful of other handmade crafty items, including handmade notebooks and coasters.
We hope to see you there for plenty of chatting and browsing, and of course we're looking forward to connecting with other local authors and self-publishers!
Admission is by donation. Further information on the event can be found here.
Click here for the location.
Speaking of local, our books are printed by the incomparable First Choice Books. Lovely people who print beautiful books and are passionate about supporting local authors and self-publishers.
Following the Muse, February 2023
Someone recently sent me a list of things writers should and shouldn't do. One of the items was to always finish what you were working on before starting a new project. Another one advised that drinking and writing don't mix.
Well, I'm very pleased to have broken both those rules recently, because a wee bit of port or wine (or rakomelo if I'm lucky enough to have some) makes me better at everything, and because the muse often takes me to unexpected places and I think it's important to follow her, as they are often the most fruitful and rewarding trips.
The mischievious muse recently led me away from screenwriting (just for a little while), and into some short stories, which I've been busy drafting and crafting. They are set in different locations in Greece, with overlapping characters and settings. Three of them are based on the beautiful and charming island of Kythera, which we were fortunate enough to visit last year. I've spent the past two days there (in my mind, anyway), getting to know some very interesting characters there and learning about their lives. There's been some drama, some sadness, some scandal, some loss, but also a lot of love, learning and growth. It's always an emotional roller-coaster for me when I create and follow these stories, as I end up living and breathing with the characters. They feel like close friends and I want the best for them, I want them to figure things out, to fall in love, to value themselves, and to find what they're looking for.
I'm often inspired by places, and the magical location of Portokalia Springs (pictured above) on Kythera inspired several of my recent stories. I tried to describe the water here in one of my stories, but I'm not sure words can do it justice. If water was music, this would be the most elegant Bach fugue, played flawlessly and effortlessly on a hand-crafted instrument of the finest quality. If you have the chance to go to Kythera, this is not a place you want to miss. It's a little off the beaten path, but well worth the journey. And true to what I wrote in one story, we were guided to the spot by an orthodox priest, down lanes we thought were too narrow to be roads. The Amir Alis Restaurant and Cafe was unfortunately closed when we visited, but I hope we can return one day to sample the food and entertainment.
Short stories aside, I am still planning a second novel, set in Victoria, and I have now officially written the first page! It's not much, but filling that first blank page feels like an achievement in itself, and I look forward to finding out where the characters will take me. I've recently joined a novel critique group with the lovely Victoria Writers' Society, so that should keep the muse from distracting me too much (there is a balance needed after all, between finishing projects and following the muse).
In other news, I've signed up for another screenwriting course focused on adapting books and stories, so I'm really looking forward to honing that skill and working on some adaptations of my new short stories.
So much to write about, so little time to do it! I must get back to the muse now, but stay tuned for more news and ramblings, and an exciting event announcement soon!
-Shannon Perkins Carr, 19th February, 2023
Winter Writing, January 2023
Hello readers and fans of Searching for Persephone! I figured it was about time to start an online blog, so I can keep everyone up-to-date with all the behind-the-scenes happenings that I quietly get up to.
I've been busy with a mix of marketing, writing, and researching. And you might have noticed we just gave the website a much-needed makeover! Yay! While I'd much rather be focused on the creative side of things, I'm also passionate about sharing the story of Searching for Persephone, so I do spend rather a lot of time promoting it in different ways. If you're on social media, please like and share our posts! Every bit of engagement helps us out! We are also on the lookout for Ambassadors, so please get in touch if you're interested! It really only involves a handful of small tasks, so even if you have half an hour free to help us spread the word, we'd be so very grateful for your support! And of course you'll receive a free ebook for your time.
As far as writing goes, I've had a few people ask about a sequel to Searching for Persephone. I have to say, I think Violet's story is complete and I wouldn't want to write a sequel just for the sake of it. But I wouldn't rule out a spin-off, perhaps featuring Telis. I did rather leave him in a lurch, didn't I? An interesting fellow, I'm sure he's been getting up to all sorts of trouble since we left him in Maleme. I still think about him, and I do think he might have more of a story to tell. We shall see.
As for what I'm currently writing, I'm working on a film and/or mini-series adaptation of Searching for Persephone. I've completed what is commonly referred to as a "vomit draft," and as the name suggests, it's in a very messy state and in need of much tidying. It's been fascinating to learn (and I of course continue to learn) the art of writing a screenplay, and I am eternally grateful for the existence of UVic Continuing Studies courses which offer high quality instruction for very affordable prices.
And finally, yes, I am planning a second novel! I am currently researching, mulling and planning. Much tea has been drunk in this process so far. Characters have formed and a narrative is slowly revealing itself. More to come on this later, but for now, I will tell you that it will be mainly set in beautiful Victoria, BC, which I am lucky enough to currently call home.
I shall go and put the kettle on now, and play with these new characters in my mind a little. I like to watch them, like a movie, and see what they get up to. So far they are proving pretty intriguing.
Wishing everyone a wonderful relaxing Sunday evening!
-Shannon Perkins Carr, 22nd January, 2023
Book launch - October 7th, 2022
Venue: Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 1T2
We look forward to meeting you all in-person to celebrate the long-awaited release of Searching for Persephone.
Come pick up your pre-ordered book and join us for book readings, Greek snacks (including Violet's favourite dolmades!), chats with the author, music, and more!
There may be books available to purchase on the night, but as quantities are very limited, we do recommend pre-ordering to avoid disappointment.
This event is open to all, so please feel free to bring friends and spread the word!