A decade ago I dipped my toe into fiction writing. As they say, “That first step is a doozie!” Here I am today, excited, relieved and terrified to say my first novel is finished.
It’s called ALL THE DAY ALLOWS and it arose from my research on The Gowans Home for Missionaries’ Children, a gracious mansion where, in the 1920s through 1950s, missionaries left their children to be cared for by fellow members of the Sudan Interior Mission, while they responded to God’s call in dangerous, inhospitable lands.
The story intrigued me from many angles. I found myself wanting to explore the points of view of the parents, the children, the caregivers, the Sudan Interior Mission and the residents of Collingwood, Ontario where the home was located. To my surprise, I uncovered and then challenged my own deep-seated judgment about parents who left their children to be missionaries! Let’s just say, an unexpected education and insights ensued.
My exploration began as non-fiction writing, but soon I was drawn to real-life stories and the history of mission work at the time. It became clear that the story I wanted to tell needed a broader receptacle than I could give it with non-fiction—and so my career branched into fiction. For more than a decade, I straddled in-depth research of mission societies, the work of missionaries in Africa, particularly Nigeria and Ethiopia, and an education on writing fiction. The formal portion of this education included a mentorship with best-selling author Donna Morrissey, through the Humber School for Writers.
More than a decade after the first stirrings of the story sent me to the keyboard, ALL THE DAY ALLOWS is ready to find a home—publisher enquiries welcome! (Readers too! Be first in line when it’s released by signing up for my newsletter below.)
My research and my interest in the subject led to a wealth of additional stories, historical details and lines of inquiry that couldn’t fit into the story I was telling.
I’ll be sharing many of those stories here in a series of blog posts. Please join me on a journey through fact and fiction, and possibly a little meandering, through missionary life of the 1930s.