Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

On Writing, with Don Gutteridge

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On Writing, with Don Gutteridge

Turncoat (Simon & Schuster) tells the story of a young ensign eager for adventure and intrigue. Author Don Gutteridge talks to Open Book about his research process and his interest in Canadian history. To enter to win a signed copy of Turncoat, send an email to clelia@openbooktoronto.com with your answer to the following question: What was Don Gutteridge's first published novel? Contest closes July 31.

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your book, Turncoat.

Don Gutteridge:

Turncoat tells the story of a young ensign who is given the task of investigating the apparent murder of a government agent in 1836 Upper Canada. During the course of his investigation he has encounters with a number of rebel farmers and their amorous wives, and he falls in love with a local girl. After a series of missteps he solves the mystery and returns to Fort York to receive a promotion as his reward.


OBT:

What was your first publication?

DG:

My first publication was a book of poems, Riel: A Poem For Voices. My first novel was Bus-Ride, and Turncoat is my first detective novel.


OBT:

Tell us about your research process.

DG:

I work with both secondary and primary research materials. I have read widely in the newspapers of the Rebellion period to get background for the Marc Edwards mysteries. I tend to do my research while I'm writing in a sort of back and forth movement.


OBT:

What about Canadian history interests you?

DG:

I am particularly interested in the politics of the 1830s as opposed to the social minutiae.

I use actual historical figures like Sir John Colborne and William Lyon Mackenzie and mix them judiciously with my invented characters.


OBT:

What are you reading right now?

DG:

I have just finished reading Stieg Larson's trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. I'm also partway through John English's biography of Pierre Trudeau.


OBT:

What is your next project?

DG:

Over the past ten years I have completed twelve novels in the Marc Edwards series and although I have an outline for number thirteen I haven't had the energy to start it. I have also completed a fantasy novel for young readers.


Don Gutteridge was born in Sarnia. He taught high school English for 7 years. He was also a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario where he is now Professor Emeritus. The author of eleven novels, Don is also an accomplished poet and has published thirteen books of poetry, Don currently lives in London, Ontario.

For more information about Turncoat please visit the Simon & Schuster website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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