An Interview With the Author
Tunnels of Time - A Deeper Look
Why did you write Tunnels of Time?
I was inspired and excited to write the story once I visited the tunnels in Moose Jaw, many years ago. I always believed Al Capone had been in Moose Jaw several times, even though there was no documented proof at the time. That means, there are no photographs or other evidence of Capone in Moose Jaw. But, there have always been many stories about Capone and other gangsters being in the tunnels. Many young men shared stories with their families about working for Capone and other gangsters as tunnel runners or tunnel rats. This is an interesting and quirky part of Saskatchewan and Canadian history that needed to be told, but in a way young readers could relate to.
Why did you make the main character, Andrea, a present-day person in the past?
Actually, I did think about having Andrea be a young person from the 1920s, just like Vance and Beanie. But, most girls in the 1920s were brought up to stay at home and do ‘girlie’ or feminine things like knitting and sewing and housework. I didn’t think a girl brought up in the 1920s would be as strong a character as Andrea is. Also, for young readers, I believe having Andrea go into the past adds interest and excitement to the story. I think most readers can almost picture themselves in Andrea’s shoes as she navigates the past.
Why did you choose to use time travel in your story?
I LOVE the idea of time travel. I am fascinated by the idea of going forward or backward in time and some of my favourite books and movies involve time travel. I love the idea of being able to go back in time…would you change something like an important event in history? And if you did, what would that mean for the world? Time travel also gives the author the chance to play with things in the story and make it fun to read. For example, Andrea’s barrettes and cap – those were fun to think about as I wrote. And the idea that Grandpa Talbot and Aunt Bea knew all along that something exciting was going to happen to Andrea, so some of the things they say at the beginning of the story as hints or foreshadowing for the reader.
What advice do you have for young people who are interested in writing?
I started writing when I was nine years old and I have been writing ever since. So, if you’re interested in writing – or anything – start doing it now and keep doing it! Do it because it brings you joy and makes you happy. Thinking specifically of writing – write every day. Keep a diary or journal and keep a file of your stories and ideas. Also, read, Read, READ!! And when you read something you really love, look closely at it to see how the author did it. Then, try to do that in your own writing. Keep working at your writing and you will get better and better at it.