Many readers have commented on the authentic feeling of Marsh Island where The Woodcarver’s Model is set. And some people have asked if it is a real place.
The answer to that question is both yes and no. The setting for the novel was definitely inspired by real places that I’ve visited on the west coast of British Columbia, but there isn’t an island called Marsh Island. I think of writing as a combination of observation and imagination. And as the book evolved, I drew on my experiences with several different locations to create the locations described in the novel. This week’s blog is a peek at those real-life places. If you have a copy of the book, you can go to the page number described and see if the picture matches what you imagined (page numbers may vary in digital formats). And perhaps this blog will inspire you to travel to B.C. The scenery is truly spectacular.
Marsh Island is very much a character in the book. In a scene on page 45, the central character Rob Hanson is stunned by the beauty of sunlight streaming through the branches of the trees. He says that his mother used to call the phenomenon “God’s eyelashes.” This moment was inspired by a morning stroll on the beach of Half Moon Bay near Ucluelet B.C.
Rob Hanson meets the woodcarver Mitchell Carcross at a market stall on page 55 of the book. The market was very roughly based on the Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island seen below.
One of the special places on Marsh Island is Admiral’s Peak which is first described on page 69 of the novel. The description was inspired by a trip I took to the top of Mount Erskine on Salt Spring Island.
Marsh Island is also populated with towering trees. The description of a seventeen hundred year old tree found on page 71 was in part inspired by a hike along the Rainforest Trail near Tofino. Along the hike there are signs that describe the life cycle of the trees, and how even after they fall down, they become “nurse logs” rich in nutrients which allow other seedlings to grow on them, feeding on the nutrients from the decaying wood and becoming new trees.
In a later part of the book, one of the secondary characters finds herself in Victoria, and there is a delightful scene on page 222 where Karen encounters goats that will climb all over you. This scene was inspired by a visit to the goat enclosure at Beacon Hill Park, and the goats truly DO crawl all over you.
And of course, it is true that in all of the guide books, one of the essential stops in Victoria, B.C. is to take high tea at the Empress Hotel. Karen describes her tea on page 223, and the inspiration for this scene came from my own experience pictured below.
So while it is true that The Woodcarver’s Model is a romance and also a novel about protecting the things we love (including nature), it is also a love letter to the islands on the west coast of Canada. If you haven’t had a chance to read the book, dive in and explore this beautiful place. I hope you enjoy the journey.
It is still too early to track precise numbers of sales, but I am thrilled to say that The Woodcarver’s Model is a #1 Best Seller on the First For Romance site this week. To see all the best selling romance novels, click here.
The response to the Goodreads Giveaway was immense with over 1900 readers entering to win one of three signed copies of the book.
Congratulations to G. Urra of Calgary, AB, Canada; J. Fox of Shirley, Indiana USA: and L. Whitley of LaGrange, Georgia, USA. Your signed copies are on their way.
******ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN******
There is another giveaway for a $25 gift certificate from First For Romance that anyone can enter. The competition is open until the end of May. This means you can buy a copy of any book on their site. To enter the draw click here.
******YOUR OPINION MATTERS******
Sales are highly influenced by reviews. If you have read the book and want to make a difference, please take the time to review the book on Goodreads or Amazon. The links are below.
To review on Amazon.com click here.
To review on Amazon.ca click here.
To review on Amazon.co.uk click here.
And if you have a Goodreads account, you can go to this link and leave a review by clicking here.
The Woodcarver’s Model is published through Pride Publishing
and is now available wherever books are sold.
To buy a copy click below