I don’t think I realized until after Northern Lights was completed and out there, just how much of myself went into the story. First-the setting. I’m a Manitoba farm girl, but I have memories of visits to the north lake country on family trips, staying in cottages, fishing, boating, not in a luxury lodge like Rupert’s though.
Like Maddie, I have a lasting fear of heights and flying. Like her I also tried various ways to combat this, including sky diving and getting my pilot’s license. I’m still afraid, but getting better. Maybe age is softening the edges of my fears. I still have to grab a rum and coke before getting on a flight, though.
The bear poaching came into the story at the beginning after I’d read some horror stories on line of bear carcasses found in national North American parks by the rangers. The bears had been killed for their organs which were sold at astronomical prices overseas for medicinal ingredients. I’ve grown up amongst hunters and have no qualms about legal hunting to fill a freezer, but the carnage and the waste from senseless killing turned my stomach.
I’m still looking for my own Rupert, but I may have to modify him a little since I’ve changed locations, from the north prairie to the west coast. Maybe a coast guard helicopter pilot, or a marine biologist. Hmm. I think I feel the start of another story.