So, as many of you know, those who follow me on Facebook (which you can do here: www.facebook.com/thevampiresofsoldierscove) I spent this past weekend in Cape Breton. Cape Breton is not only the place where this book is set, it’s the place where I grew up, in the real Soldiers Cove. It was much less exciting than the book makes it out to be I’m afraid, although I did spend a good portion of my childhood wandering through the woods. Unfortunately I didn’t meet any supernatural creatures (who wouldn’t want to run into a satyr? Rawr!) But I did spend hours letting my imagination run wild in there.
I went down for a book signing which was a huge success. I thought I was being optimistic about the amount of books I was bringing and that I’d be lucky to sell most of them, but I was wrong! I was cleaned out in less than an hour and had to offer people the chance to be on a waiting list to get a copy. I was beyond grateful and spent that night laying in the guest room of my friend, Tryphena’s house pinching myself and wondering what the hell just happened.
After the book signing we had dinner and my friend/assistant Tiffany, along with Tryphena and myself decided to take a trip down to the real Soldiers Cove. I had not been there in about 7 years (had not even set foot in Cape Breton for about 3) and wasn’t sure what to expect. Places change, as do people, it’s the natural order of things. But as we drove past the road sign (now in both English and Gaelic which is new and kind of cool. You know why if you’ve read the book) It was as if time had stood still. Almost everything was just the way I remembered. The houses, the wooded areas, the pond, the mosquitos. It was all there and as we walked along the road that led to the bridge, breathing in the early evening air Tiffany said, “Do you smell that? What is it?”
Tryphena (who still lives in Cape Breton) said, “It’s fresh air. You guys have lived in the city too long.” We laughed but I realized a few moments later what that smell was. It was the smell of home. It’s something I can’t even describe in words. It was the water, the grass, the trees. And it was quiet, so quiet that you could close your eyes and feel the silence in you. It was the smell and sound of my childhood, coming back to wrap it’s arms around me like an old friend and letting me know that no matter what happens it will always be there.
I had lots of old friends wrap their arms around me literally that weekend too. People I’d not seen in years who I am grateful to have seen again. New friends as well. Fans of the book, one who drove from a good distance just to get a copy and I’m eternally grateful and honored by that as well.
Folks, if you’ve never been to Cape Breton you really should go. Sure, I could sit here and tell you all about the great touristy things you’ll see (and you will!) but if you want something magical, something indescribable, something you can’t put into words but will only feel, you NEED to go. A lot of you who follow this blog are readers and fans of fantasy, and I’m telling you, Cape Breton is as close as you’ll ever get to actually jumping into a fantasy book. It’s otherworldly, and I’m privileged to have grown up there.
I’ll see you again Cape Breton! Hopefully in August when I can take in all of your summer goodness. Until then I’ll dream about you and when I close my eyes I’ll try to find that little bit of silence that I took back with me, which is not easy to do where I live now. As much as I love Dartmouth (and I sincerely do!) she’s no Cape Breton. If you haven’t been there, you need to get there! Yesterday!