Author needed to know how to smuggle two tons of pot

Author Lisa Moore

Author Lisa Moore

Newfoundland’s Lisa Moore had a bit of a problem when trying to write her novel, Caught, she told a nearly-packed house at the Readings at Roselawn Authors Series Thursday night in Port Colborne.
Moore, who was been nominated for a British Man Booker Prize, Writer’s Trust award and the Giller Prize, needed to know how big of a sailboat her character would needed to smuggle two tons of marijuana from Columbia to British Columbia
“I know less about boats than probably everyone in this audience,” she said.
She tried to get the information, but wasn’t getting nowhere.
“It seemed no one knew, or wanted to tell me if they did.”
Moore was finally given a name of a person, who she contacted via Facebook.
“I probably had 100 questions for him by the time I was done.”
In addition to having trouble getting the boat information, Moore was already late, past the deadline when she was supposed to have the novel to her publisher.
She told the crowd that the person she contacted on Facebook sent her back a message with all of the detail she was looking for.
“There were charts, maps showing the currents …” Moore said, adding the person said that her character would have to bribe people at the Panama Canal to get the marijuana through.
The main character in Caught is David Slaney, a 25-year-old drug smuggler who was sentenced to prison for four years, but escaped.
Moore told the audience she wanted a character that was very different from that of Helen O’Mara, the main character of her last novel, February.
February was based on the Ocean Ranger disaster of 1982, when 84 men on board the oil rig died off the coast of Newfoundland during a storm as the rig capsized.
That novel is set some 25 years after the disaster, in which O’Mara’s husband died, as she tries to move on with her life.
Moore read a passage from February, and said she used the length of sentences, words and the rhythm of language to mirror the wave that washed over the men and oil rig.
She said Caught was set in the 70s, a time of innocence, but also a time when the surveillance state, something we all live with today, was starting.
It’s also a novel about friendship, trust and betrayal between two men.
“When I wrote this book, I structured it differently … you get to know the characters by their actions and what they say,” she said.
Readings at Roselawn Authors Series founder William Thomas said the next author will speak on Thursday, March 27. The author will be announced in the next few weeks.

 


 

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