I have a wispy childhood memory of visiting an old fire tower, standing beside its base and craning my neck backwards so I could see up to the very top. Also floating in that memory-cloud are images of people climbing the tower with me, stuck at the bottom, afraid. Like Alex in the novel, I don’t like heights. But I do like fire towers.
I struggled for a long time trying to write effective scenes set in The Sound. I couldn’t seem to move my trio of protagonists from the lake to the library with any clarity or effective pacing. I believe that was because I hadn’t taken the time to create the stage set of my fictional Muskoka cottage town.
On November 24, 2007 I travelled to Belgium to attend an SCBWI workshop with Jack Gantos. For those of you who don’t know Jack Gantos, he wrote the Rotten Ralph picture books and the wonderfully funny and so-true-to-the-mark Joey Pigza novels about a young boy with ADHD.