Hello, my bookish peeps. Well, we’ve made it to the beginning of another month. Given how long this pandemic seems to be dragging on, making it through another day or week, much less a month, is a major accomplishment. Today, I’m delighted to welcome, Lis Angus, author of the soon-to-be released suspense read Not Your Child. Ms. Angus will be sharing some remembrances from her childhood that started her on the path to becoming an author. Sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and let’s reminisce awhile with Ms. Angus. Thank you, Ms. Angus, for joining us today and sharing your experiences. The blog is now all yours.
The Summer I was Nine
by Lis Angus
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t both a reader and a writer.
I actually taught myself to read before I went to school. My mother, who had been a teacher herself, didn’t want to give me instructions that might make the job of my future teachers harder. But she read to me every day, and as I sat in her lap I pointed to letters and words, asking her “what’s that?” and she answered my questions. “That’s an ‘o’.” “That says ‘cat’.” I quickly figured out that every word coming out of her mouth was represented by marks on the page. Before long I was reading.
And I soon wanted to make stories of my own. I don’t remember how I learned to make the shapes of letters, but I do remember sitting at our kitchen table, a pencil clutched in my hand, composing tales along the lines of “how the rabbit got long ears,” like the fables my mother had read to me.
I was an avid reader, devouring not just storybooks but working my way through a thick volume titled Hurlbut’s Stories of the Bible. I soon moved on to more prosaic fare: the Trixie Belden, Ginny Gordon, and Nancy Drew mystery series, as well as any other books I could get my hands on.
It wasn’t until the summer I was nine that I decided to write a novel myself.
My cousin Thelma was a year older than me, and we loved each other dearly. At family reunions we were inseparable. But our parents’ farms in central Alberta were too far away from each other for quick and easy visiting. Somehow it came about that I spent most of that summer, just before I turned ten, staying at her place.
As I remember it, the weather was glorious. Long summer days stretched ahead of us, endless the way summers in childhood always were. I learned to ride a bicycle that summer, and we spent hours lying on our backs in the grass pointing out shapes in the white clouds drifting above us. And of course, we read. Thelma was as avid a reader as I was, and we devoured anything we could find in the house to read. (We came across a cache of True Confessions magazines left under a bed by one of her older sisters. The stories of illicit love were eye-opening, to me at least, though probably tame by today’s standards!)
At some point, other visitors arrived. Thelma and I were displaced from her bedroom, so adult guests could be offered appropriate hospitality.
We moved out to sleep in the hayloft, an airy space we reached by climbing a ladder from the barn below. The loft was filled with a deep layer of fresh hay, soft and fragrant, but there was a snug space below the sloping rafters that reached a peak high above. We covered the hay with old coats, thick enough to prevent sharp stems of hay from poking us in our sleep. We may have added sheets and blankets, or maybe sleeping bags, though that detail is missing from my memory.
I don’t remember just when we decided we’d each write a novel. All I know is that we spent days on end doing it. Hour after hour, lying on the coats flung across the piles of hay, writing in the notebooks we had unearthed somewhere. We gloried in our stories, discussing plot points, arguing over character names.
I have no idea now what either of our novels were about. I doubt they were anywhere near novel-length (they fit into scribbler-sized notebooks). Sadly, they’ve long since disappeared in the mist of time.
But I had no doubts: I had written a book. It gave me an appetite for being a writer, and it wasn’t long before I was a subscriber to Writers Digest and figuring out how to enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope when—full of hope—I mailed stories to Redbook and the Saturday Evening Post. I didn’t know then it would be decades before I finally had publishing success—but the goal was set that summer, when I was nine. ♦
Not Your Child
by Lis Angus
April 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
When Ottawa psychologist and single mother Susan Koss discovers that a strange man has been following her twelve-year-old daughter Maddy, she fears he’s a predator. But it’s worse than that. The man, Daniel Kazan, believes Maddy is his granddaughter, abducted as a baby, and he’s obsessed with getting her back.
Susan insists on a DNA test to disprove Daniel’s claim, but the result is one she can’t understand or explain: it says she’s not Maddy’s mother.
Then Maddy vanishes. Susan’s convinced Daniel has taken her, but he has an alibi, and two searches of his house turn up nothing. The hunt is on—police are on full mobilization, and Susan fears the worst.
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: April 18, 2022
Number of Pages: 308
ISBN: 9781509241187 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781509241194 (ebook)
ASIN: B09QRST379 (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon.com (Amazon.ca) | Amazon Kindle | AppleBooks | Barnes and Noble | B&N Nook Book | BookDepository.com | Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Lis Angus is a Canadian suspense writer. Early in her career, she worked with children and families in crisis; later she worked as a policy advisor, business writer and editor while raising two daughters. She now lives south of Ottawa with her husband.
Catch Up With Lis:
BookBub – @lisangusauthor
Instagram – lisangus459
Twitter – @lisangus1
Facebook – @lisangusauthor
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