Recent posts

Mad Hatter Trailer

Dear Friends and Readers, I am happy now to be able to share with you a MAD HATTER Book Trailer! Feel free to share this with your book clubs and literary contacts. MAD HATTER is now launched and available to order at your local bookstore! Guernica Editions is the...

MAD HATTER Blog #11

Dear Friends and Readers, this will be the final Mad Hatter Blog. The book is now in print, and I have been selling many copies on Hornby Island throughout August, though the official launch will be on September 8 in Toronto at the Kensington Market Supermarket Bar...

Mad Hatter Blog #10

THE CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE AS NARRATOR You return to that earlier time armed with the present, and no matter how dark that world was, you do not leave it unlit. You take your adult self with you. It is not to be a reliving, but a rewitnessing –  Michael Ondaatje,...

Mad Hatter: Blog #9 – My life as a spy

MY LIFE AS A SPY One of the two narrators in Mad Hatter is a child called Katie, who speaks from adulthood, recalling her post-war life. In early childhood she makes a remarkable discovery. I could hear Vera’s voice floating down the corridor as she sang along with...

Mad Hatter Blog #8

LATCHMERE HOUSE    In this blog I share an account of my research trip to Latchmere House, a former MI5 headquarters during WW2 where my father was held and interrogated for 3 weeks in the summer of 1940. This piece is based partly on an excerpt from Mad Hatter, which...

Mad Hatter Blog #7

RESEARCHING MAD HATTER I’d been sitting on this story all my life, too afraid to tell it because, I had told myself, it’s not important, everyone’s got a better story. But the real reason was, it felt too shameful.  Wanting to be heard, yet afraid to tell: this...

Mad Hatter Blog #6

WHY MAD HATTER? My father was a hat manufacturer. Not hands-on. He was management, a director of his grandfather’s hat factory, entitled to sit in an office and shuffle papers, take business trips abroad, that sort of thing. But in fact he was a hands-on man. In the...

Mad Hatter Blog #5

MY FRANCOPHILE MOTHER Cynthia Hélène Cynthia Brooke, the central female character in Mad Hatter is based on my own mother, also named Cynthia. She was a Francophile who had been sent to Paris to live with a family and learn French. This period was, I believe, the...

Mad Hatter Blog #4

MAD HATTER: Internment in WW2 Britain The most readily understood wartime internment for North Americans is of the Japanese during WW2. There are films and books on the topic - Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (both book and film), Obasan, a novel by Joy...

Mad Hatter Blog #3

Mad Hatter: A writer's reaction to The Remains of the Day In 1993 a film based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel - The Remains of the Day - was released, and soon after I saw the film for the first time. That was when I knew very little about my father or his involvement in...