BY SHEENA BOLTON
Where Trouble Leads is the newest novel by Westboro author Brenda Chapman and will be released at the end of the month.
This novel is the third in her suspense mystery series that follows the life of l5-year-old Jennifer Bannon.
“Jennifer Bannon goes up to work at a summer camp in Georgian Bay, Ontario with her best friend and little sister,” explains Ms. Chapman. “She starts to hear suspicious noises at night in the woods and sees lights in the woods which evolved into a mystery. The book also talks about the kids assigned to her cabin and the difficulties she has with them.
A fourth and final book in the series is finished and will be released next year, the author says.
Ms. Chapman says she gets her ideas from her own imagination, her interactions with friends and family or what she sees on the news.
“I use my friends and family for character traits but not as characters. For this book, I had never been to camp but my daughter had been there so I drew information from her. For example the setting and the camp routine.”
West end author Brenda Chapman is launching the latest chapter in an ongoing series of young adult mysteries.
The main character Jennifer and her younger sister Leslie are based loosely upon Ms. Chapman’s two daughters. For example Jennifer’s athletic nature is attributed to her oldest daughter.
“I also don’t like to start every character’s name with the some letter – I find that confusing in books,” she says. “I search the web and sometimes use names of friends, but they are usually secondary characters.”
Ms. Chapman will be having her book release party on Sunday May 27 from 1 p.m to 3:30 p.m. at Whispers Pub in Westboro, where the previous two books in the series were also launched.
Presently she is changing gears and working on a thriller for children age 12 to 15.
“I had an idea for a novel and ran it by my agent,” says Ms. Chapman. .”I try not to write the same book over and over. Even in the Bannon series I have new plots, scenery and characters. The fourth book leaves off in a good spot.”
The author herself grew up in northern Ontario and has an English degree from Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay. She went to teachers college at Queens University and is one credit short of an honours degree from Carleton University.
“I’ve studied classic literature, poetry, creative writing but I was always drawn to mysteries, she says. ”Because of the character development, good plots and you get to see the characters at a time of crisis so you get to see the best or worst in someone. Also as a reader you get to try to solve the mystery.”
She has been writing novels for 10 years and has written three adult mysteries. Her poetry and short stories have also been published in several magazines.
Normally Ms. Chapman allows a year to complete one of her novels but it usually takes her seven or eight months to finish. She also works full time as the senior communications advisor with Health Canada and is the chair of Capital Crime Writers.
Hiding in Hawk’s Creek, the second in the Bannon series was recently short- listed by the Canadian Library Association for children’s book of the year in 2006.
Where Trouble Leads and the rest of the series can be purchased at Chapters, all other major bookstores and in some independent book- i stores across Ottawa.