It’s been a week since A Timeless Celebration’s Kickstarter campaign launched on World Book Day. The week has flown as I have contacted everyone I can think of to be sure they know that the campaign is underway. Thanks to those of you who have supported the campaign – since many people have pledged for their copy of the book anonymously I don’t know who you are to thank you personally – but I appreciate it.
We’re off to a good start one week into the campaign – we’ve received pledges to pre-order the book to bring the total up to 55% of the total goal. If readers continue to pledge to pre-order their copy of the book and the other rewards that I’m offering, we’ll meet the goal and I’ll be able to get A Timeless Celebration edited and out to readers.
In case you were wondering how A Timeless Celebration got started, let me tell you a bit about that. To my way of thinking, the setting of a story is just as important to a novel as the plot and characters are. So, last summer when memories of times I spent in Fergus, a small Canadian town a couple hours north of Toronto, kept popping up in my mind, I suddenly realised that it was the perfect place to set the new series I had been thinking about writing.
I first visited Fergus, Ontario in the early 1980s. At the beginning of August each year the Fergus Highland Games are held and I went to compete with the pipe band I belonged to. It was always an amazing day as the town’s Scottish heritage came to the fore. The air was filled with the sound of bagpipes and drums and there was a sea of tartan everywhere. At the beginning of this century, I became a regular visitor to the town and got to know it a bit better when my mother went to live in the local nursing home.
I’ve always been impressed by the town’s distinctive character: it is proud of its Scottish cultural traditions and heritage and is also keen to preserve its Canadian architectural heritage. Walking along the residential streets in the evenings, under huge, mature oak and maple trees when I visit, I always admire the many beautiful, well-kept houses that are more than one hundred years old. These old houses are known as century houses. Some are brick and others stone; the ones I particularly admire are the stone houses, built from pink or gray granite, which was quarried locally. These granite houses remind me of the rows of gray stone houses I’ve seen curving along the long main thoroughfares in villages in Scotland and, although their architecture is very much part of the local Ontario region, they really add to the town’s Scottish flavour.
History has always fascinated me and I was so enchanted by these century houses that I took photographs of some of the really lovely ones. There was one style that particularly appealed to me: the Ontario Cottage. It was a traditional architectural style in the province of Ontario during the nineteenth century. The small rectangular houses are one and a half storeys high with large windows and a central gable above the front door. At the time they were built, Gothic architecture was in fashion and the gables were often adorned with this style’s intricate ornamentation. The houses are compact and functional as well as very attractive.
One day when I was out for a walk, I spotted one of these Ontario Cottages on a side street and fell in love with it. I don’t know the current owner or the house’s history but something about it just drew me to it. So I photographed it, as I had many other houses in the town, and when I looked at the photograph later I knew that was the house my character, Lois Stone would live in when she moved from the big city to a small town (you can see the house on the cover of the book). So the house and the town were the stepping off point for A Timeless Celebration. Once I knew where Lois would live, I created the other characters and the story.
If you would like a copy of the novel, would you help me make it a reality? Unless I receive pledges to pre-order the book that total the funding goal set, Kickstarter will not release any of the money to me after the campaign ends. You can find all the details here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1073238739/a-timeless-celebration-a-century-cottage-cozy-myst