(Continued from Part I)
BCM: This was your first published book. Are you working on another book now?
CMB: Yes, I am. I am working on another work of historical fiction that is completely different. It’s set in Paris in 1880 and it’s in and around the Paris Opera. It might sound like it’s going to be a glamorous book but it’s not at all.
BCM: You are a New York Times Bestseller. Congratulations! That must have been quite a day when you found out.
CMB: Thank you very much! Yeah, when I was writing TDTFSS my highest hope was that it would be published in Canada so once I got my agent at William Morris in New York City, I was thinking that she clearly thinks I can sell my book in the U.S. or she wouldn’t take me on but you are still thinking a little bit that maybe she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She sent the book out on a Tuesday and on Thursday Hyperion made an offer in the U.S. and by the end of the week there were offers from Canada, the UK and Italy as well. So that was all really, really shocking. Just before the book hit the shelves I was called with the wonderful news that Barnes & Noble had picked it as a Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection. Then, it got picked as an Indy Next Book and so it’s been once piece of good fortune after another.
BCM: What was your favorite part of the book to write?
CMB: When I was very close to getting to the end of the book and I had the idea of Isabelle appearing in the whirlpool with the pearl choker. I hadn’t written that in initially and it hadn’t occurred to me until I got there. It was such an epiphany to me and it sort of made the whole book come together in many ways. That was real banner day where I thought I really understood what this book is about.
BCM: What was the hardest part of the book to write?
CMB: The ending was the hardest to write but it also came really easily. When I was writing it I didn’t want to stop. It was flowing so well and I felt like it was making sense and that it was strong even though I was beside myself. It was rewarding as far as writing goes.
BCM: There is a lot of truth in your book, especially about the state of Niagara Falls in general. Is there anything you want the readers to take away from that?
CMB: I do have some grave concerns with what is happening with Niagara Falls and some fear for its future. I really do think it’s vulnerable on a couple of fronts. One is the diversion of water. Right now, Canada and the U.S. can divert up to seventy-five percent of the rivers average natural flow. During the daylight tourist season they can divert about fifty percent and outside of the daylight tourist season they can divert about seventy-five percent. When you include all the diversion capacity, including that new tunnel on the Canadian side and all the diversion capacity on the American side of the river it adds up to about ninety-three percent of the rivers natural flow. The other concern I have is the rampant development down there. The land at Loretto Academy, which is where the book opens in 1915, was recently sold to hotel developers. They plan to build three high-rises on that land. One of them will fifty-seven stories, which is three times higher than the falls. So you can just imagine what that is going to look like. Based on that I’ve become a founding member of an organization called Friends of Niagara Falls that is fighting to stop this development at Loretto.
To find out more about The Day the Falls Stood Still and more about Cathy, please visit her website HERE.
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