What a fresh and interesting title to add to the many historical fiction books out there. The Day THE FALLS Stood Still is a must read for those looking to dive into a new book this fall. Author Cathy Marie Buchanan has created a cast of characters led by Bess and Tom. Bess is a wonderful heroine whose desires, dreams and fears helped to keep me enthralled as I read. After reading a few books set during WWII this year, it was interesting reading this book which is set during WWI. The mood was much different but still set a stress in the story and for its character. Set between 1915 and 1923 in Niagara Falls, Canada, Ms. Buchanan also presents focuses on a new way of getting energy to the masses is making its way into everyday life. It’s called hydroelectric power and it will change the way lives are lived and will change the lives of residents in Niagara Falls forever. Bess is also on the cusp of womanhood and finding love and will never be the same again. The Day THE FALLS Stood Still will keep you enraptured from beginning to end.
I’m not the only reader singing Ms. Buchanan’s praises these days. The Day THE FALLS Stood Still debut on the New York Times bestseller list at #31 two weeks ago and Barnes & Noble selected the book as a “Recommended Pick.”
Ms. Buchanan started touring for her debut book last week but has taken a moment to answer a few questions for us here at Planet Books. I would love to welcome The Day The Falls Stood Still author Cathy Marie Buchanan to Planet Books.
PB ~ Having written a book that I consider historical fiction, what other era in history is your favorite? What is your favorite historical fiction title?
CMB ~ My formal education in history ended in grade nine, and so I hardly feel qualified to have a favourite era. That said, I did fall in love with the WWI period as I researched The Day the Falls Stood Still. The way communities pulled together, the way everyone was doing their bit really struck me. People gave up driving and meat and started war gardens and, if they had a free moment, rolled bandages and wrote letters to buoy the spirits of soldiers they’d never met. It seemed the crisis brought out the best in people, that sacrifice was widespread. It made me feel hopeful that at some point, hopefully not too far off, all of mankind will take up the fight against our own looming crisis–climate change.
PB ~ What has been your favorite part of the process you went through to get to this finished product? The research? The writing? The press junket?
CMB ~ I was fascinated on a daily basis as I researched The Day the Falls Stood Still. Born and bred in Niagara Falls, the lore I’d grown up came to life as I read old newspaper accounts of the stunts and rescues on the river or as I came upon gorgeous old photographs of the river before the massive diversion of water away from the falls for the production of hydroelectricity or as I gazed out over the Niagara River from Loretto Academy, the boarding school the book’s protagonist attends. A now I have the great pleasure of meeting readers online and in the flesh, and I love being told their stories of Niagara Falls or hearing how The Day the Falls Stood Still has touched them in some way. Still, I am a writer at heart, and it’s what I love most. I write everyday, sitting down at the computer as soon as my boys leave the house for school. The objective is always the same, to lose myself in the words I am setting on the page. And I have had moments when I look up from the computer, dazed. It takes a second to grasp that I am sitting at my desk, a further second to decide: Is it morning or afternoon? Have I had lunch? Have I forgotten to pick up my boys from school? My head was a hundred years away in Niagara Falls. It’s when the best writing has come, and I overflow with happiness.
PB ~ Being an author, do you feel that book blogs are a great way to get the word out? Have you enjoyed your blog tour? Do you find it an effective way of communicating with readers?
CMB~ I was a marketer (among other things) before I was a writer. In marketing lingo, the groups of consumers who seek out new product information and then go about spreading the word are called chat leaders. These chat leaders are respected authorities in their areas of expertise, and companies jump through hoops to get newly launched products into their hands. For a new line of lipstick, the chat leaders might include the beauty editors at magazines, the cosmeticians in stores, that neighbour you’d know to turn to for a recommendation for a lipstick that stays on for more than five minutes. Book bloggers and their followers fit the bill when it comes to books. You are the chat leaders–the people who know books, who talk about books, who can’t wait to find that next great read, the people whose opinions on what to read next are regularly sought. So, yes, absolutely, book bloggers are a great way to get the word out. And the book blogs do provide a wonderful platform for giving readers further insight into a book. Through reviews and guest posts and Q&As, the bloggers enrich the experience of reading a particular book for their followers. I have loved my tour, not only because the chat leaders are chatting but also because having someone thoughtfully consider the work that I’ve poured my heart into for the last umpteen years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you, bloggers and followers, for that.
For more information about Cathy Marie Buchanan and THE DAY THE FALLS STOOD STILL, be sure to check out her website HERE.