November 11, 2007

A good writing day, I spent much of it working on my latest project, what I hope will be a literary thriller, Lake on the Mountain. The story was inspired by a conversation with Cormorant Books publisher Marc Coté, when we were first discussing a novel he would later buy from me, The Honey Locust, which is scheduled for publication in 2009.

Marc wanted to know what else I had and I’d told him about the impending publication of The P’Town Murders. He asked if I’d ever considered writing a non-satirical mystery, which I hadn’t up to that point, but I’d recently read Louise Welsh’s brilliant first novel, The Cutting Room. The more we spoke, the more I liked the idea, and by the time we got off the phone more than an hour later, the basic plot outline was formed in my head.

The setting came later, a place in Prince Edward County I’ve been fascinated with for a few years, where a deep lake on top of a mountain keeps the same level of water despite the fact that it’s so far above sea level and once had a torrential outflow compared with Niagara Falls. It wasn’t for more than a year I actually got around to starting the book, but I’ve been writing fairly steadily since mid-August of this year and, at 40,000 words, I’m now approaching having something like a completed first draft.

The main character, also gay, is very un-Bradford Fairfax-like. He is a rough looking (I describe him as having a “holocaust face”) missing persons investigator in Toronto, a job that’s as far from glamorous as they get. The character, Dan Sharp, becomes intrigued by the story of a missing father after attending a gay wedding on board a ship in the Bay of Quinte, below Lake on the Mountain. Coincidentally, he happens to have been born in my hometown of Sudbury, Ontario.

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