Joyce Carlow on Sagas
  About The Story
of Canada
  Free Lance Writing Associates Inc.

The Story of Canada is a best selling, five volume historical romance series. It follows two Scots families, the Camerons and the Macleans who migrate to Canada following the Battle of Culloden. The books in the series are: Kanata, Bitter Shield, Thundergate, Wildfires and Victoria.

Do writers become involved with their characters?

"Young Robert MacLean migrated to Canada with his brother's widow, Janet Cameron MacLean. Through three volumes - from a child to a middle-aged farmer on the shores of the Mississippi - Robert was the second most important character in the series. He sustained his sister-in law through the French and Indian wars, helped settle the family in Ontario, fought Washington, survived the

American Revolution and ended up settling on the Natchez Trace.

When we finally killed him in volume 3 we thought for days about how to do the deed. Finally, we had him drown at floodtide in the Mississippi trying to save someone's life. I actually cried and I was depressed for days," says Janet.

On the whole, for history buffs, this series is a lot of fun. Canadian and American history are the same up to a point, still it is possible to see that from the beginning Canadian society began to diverge. According to Dennis, "Many of the facts of the history are shared, but the Canadian psyche is different." Benedict Arnold was an American traitor, but he received land in Canada as a reward for loyal service. Washington is an American icon, but he was seen as a murderer in Canada for shooting a man in the back.

"If I had to pick one significant fact in the history of both countries that shows their divergence," says Janet, "I would site the fact that in the United States the land was settled and the law followed. In Canada, the RCMP went west and the settlers followed."

Under the heading of dumb mistakes, Janet admits to a few. "Shortly after publication of volume three, a reader wrote to tell me that in Canada the rivers run north and that I had the Red River running in the wrong direction (hey, Dennis where were you?). I read that letter again and again. I spent my high school years on the Mississippi and a river running north just didn't seem right. My apologies. Forty years in Canada and hey, I think I've got it right."

Try these books, they are fun and they are informative. They are also funny in places.

"I so wanted to spoof Gone With the Wind by having the heroine make drapes out of her dress instead of a dress out if her drapes," admitted Janet.