Next week, on November 18 in Toronto, the 2015 Canadian Children's Book Awards will be presented, celebrating the best in Canadian kids' books; you can explore the shortlists here. And this week with "Seeds of a Story," nominees will be sharing their literary inspirations with us—where did these stories come from? Where they inspired by real life encounters? Amazing flights of the imagination?
The answers to these questions are various and curious, each one a story of its own, offering remarkable insight into some excellent books.
Sea of Shadows, by Kelley Armstrong
Nominated for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
I often don’t know where my stories come from, but with Sea of Shadows, it’s so clear that I use it as an example when I speak. I was talking to my agent about wanting to write a teen high-fantasy trilogy. As we discussed settings, she said “Have you ever heard of the Sea of Trees?” It’s a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji, best known as the second highest suicide location in the world. While that combines the macabre with a wilderness setting—two things I love—it’s not an actual story. Then I watched videos of volunteers who try give peace to families by finding the bodies...which involves going into a forest so …