Why did you write this book? (continued)
My own children would often ask me to tell them the story of these two young people and how they managed to survive when so many others perished. I also began to tell the tale of the Asia to the adolescent participants in my weekly creative writing workshop at TYPE books in downtown Toronto. They were equally fascinated. Finally, about two years ago, I decided to write it down. I took the research I’d done and imagined the rest. I wrote a novel fictionalizing the back story for each of the survivors, conjuring up their thoughts and feelings and experience of the wreck and those terrible days adrift.
I also relied on a lifetime of personal experience on Georgian Bay. My family on both sides have deep connections to the region. On one side is the shipwreck story I chronicled in Into the Blue, and on the other, is a century-plus history of summer visiting on the eastern shore. I have spent every summer of my life on the waters of Georgian Bay, swimming and exploring in canoes and motor boats, sailboats and kayaks. Georgian Bay is truly the landscape of my heart and imagination. I love it and fear it in equal measure.
For more Q&A about Big Water, check out this interview with the amazing book festival, Word on the Street.