As promised, here is the second part of my article for the 2018 Spring Issue of the Canadian Military Family Magazine about my book Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story by Michele Sabad. Of course I’ve been inspired by reading great authors!
Although I’m a new writer, I’ve always been a reader. My mother, the greatest reader I ever knew, told me she would put magazines in my crib as a baby. I still have subscriptions to National Geographic, The Walrus, Discover, and others. Ah, but books: I love historical and science fiction. Colleen McCullogh’s First Man in Rome series was so impressive that our family based a trip to Europe around visiting Roman ruins. When younger, I couldn’t read enough of Jean Plaidy, who wrote fictionalized histories of European royalty. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Elizabeth I were my heroines. As for sci-fi, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars books as well as his ecological themes have shaped my own thoughts on our planet’s place in the universe. Of course I must mention Stephen King, whose older book The Stand sets the bar for apocalyptic fiction. His writing style is easy, fun creepiness; what’s not to like? Then there is Jacqueline Carey and her Kushiel books – shockingly wonderful. I’d never read much erotica, nor fantasy, (preferring the hard “real” sci-fi), but Carey opened my mind. Her latest book is a rework of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, called Miranda and Caliban. Coincidentally, Margaret Atwood also did a completely different rework of the same play in her book, Hagseed. Both books should be read for the sheer awe of such different interpretations. Other historical fiction that I enjoy today : books by Robert Harris, such as Munich and Conclave. Their compact plots of reduced scope (the opposite of the McCullough and Robinson books) are rich with accurate detail. As with King, I am fascinated by such master storytelling that lingers long after the reading.
Fellow readers, we know: books have been entertainers, teachers, and most of all, companions throughout life. It’s my turn now. Skills and lessons learned from a long Canadian military life, it’s time to give back, to become a teller of stories as well as reader and student of them. Camp Follower is just the beginning, as is fitting. As I used to say on every move : I can hardly wait for what’s next!