Monday, March 2, 2009

Launch Week Mystery Guest #1


Nice to see you here.

My name is Darby Christopher, and this is my blog page, mostly intended to celebrate the new book called A WALK THROUGH THE WINDOW. This is my first time-travel story -- or the first one I have gone through as the main character, anyway. If you'd like to get to know me a little, you can have a look at some of the posts I've been putting up over the past little while.

Now, you may be wondering who this masked individual is. What a fetching moustache! In fact, this disguise is hiding the smiling face of a very prolific and generous author of books for kids and teens. And to celebrate the launch of MY story, she has very generously agreed to let me interview her for this blog.

(By the way, it was kc dyer's idea to do the whole disguise thing, so blame her, not me, okay? She has a little competition going on her blog to guess the identity of this author. If you comment there or even leave a comment below, you can win an autographed copy of the book DISCOVERING EMILY. So make sure you leave a comment, and I'll put your name in the draw!)

Okay -- time's up. Let's solve this mystery and get to the interview. First -- the author unmasked:

Wow! She looks even better without the moustache. This is the wonderful Jacqueline Pearce. Jacquie writes fiction for kids and teens. Her books include "Discovering Emily," "Dog House Blues," and "The Truth about Rats (and Dogs)." "Manga Touch" is her latest novel. Jacquie grew up in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, inspired by nature and local history. She has degrees in English Literature and Environmental Studies and has worked at various jobs, including museum accessioner, cartoon and toy researcher, and environmental educator.

Now let's hear what she has to say for herself, shall we?

Darby Christopher: A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Where were you born?

Jacquie Pearce: I was born in Vancouver, but my ancestors came from France, Italy, England and Scotland.

DC: Wow! That's quite a lot of variety. Where do you live now?

JP: Vancouver. It sounds like I haven't moved, but although I was born in Vancouver and live in Vancouver now, I've lived in a few different places on Vancouver Island and also spent some years living in Toronto.

DC: Do you remember any special stories about your family that you heard when you were a kid? Can you tell me one?

JP: My dad's great-grandfather and his brother were sitting in a pub in Scotland one night in the late 1800s when they were both hit on the head and woke up on a ship in the British navy (apparently, this is used to happen a lot when the navy needed more men). The two brothers ended up jumping ship in Newfoundland, and that's how that branch of my family got to Canada.

My French ancestors on my mom's side came to Canada around 1671 and founded the town of Rimouski, Quebec. My grandmother was born there, but her family was always on the move. I used to love to hear stories about how they travelled across Canada in the early 1900s, living in different places along the way, surviving the depression, flu epidemics and giant hail storms, and always keeping a sense of humour and fun. Her stories are one of the things that inspired me to write.

DC: Whoa! Hit on the head? I can relate! Speaking of head injuries, can you ride a skateboard?

JP: I've tried, but could barely manage to stay on the board when it wasn't moving. My high school boyfriend was on a skateboard team, though. There were no skateboard parks in our small town then (probably none in the whole country), and he and his friends used to drive around town with a hand-made quarter-pipe in the back of a truck, looking for an empty parking lot (preferably one with some kind of ramp). They also got in trouble for skateboarding in the school hallways.

DC: I'm glad to hear you had such a cool boyfriend when you were in high school. So, besides writing books, do you have a secret skill or talent you’d like to share?
JP: I've always had a talent for art as well as writing and, at times, have felt somewhat divided between the two. At one point I was focusing on Fine Arts in university, but switched to English Literature partly because I didn't like the long windy walk across campus to the old army barricks where the art classes were located. Although my art side has been neglected since then, it still demands attention whenever it gets a chance.

DC: Ha! See, if you mastered the skateboard, you might not have been so quick to give up the trip across campus! But I really like your books, so I'm glad you did. So, if you had a chance to walk through a window into the past, where would you go?
JP: This is a hard question to answer, because there are so many places and times I'd like to go. In fact, my idea of heaven has always been a place full of windows into the past. I think I wouldn't want to stay in one place very long (lack of personal hygene in the past being one good reason to keep visits brief), but I would like to get a good look through a lot of different windows.

DC: Yes, the personal hygiene was an issue for me when I walked through the window, for sure. Anyone special you’d like to meet?
JP: I'd like to meet the artist Emily Carr when she was about age 8 and age 14 to see if she was anything like I imagined her to be in my novels "Discovering Emily" and "Emily's Dream." I'd also like to look around 1880s Victoria while I was there.

DC: Your Emily Carr book, DISCOVERING EMILY, is the one you are giving away with this post, right? Can you tell me a bit about your latest project?
JP: Right now I'm working on two projects that involve trips back in time. The first is a picture book that goes back to Japan about 200-300 years ago to a poor old temple where the "lucky cat" got its start (the beckoning cat statue that greets people today in many Japanese and Chinese restaurants). The second is a novel that goes back to the 1930s on Vancouver Island to a floating logging camp where two kids hear "The Call of the Logger's Ghost."

DC: Whoa -- those books sound awesome! When Gramps throws a little spare change my way, I’m personally pretty fond of red licorice. What’s your favourite treat to eat when you are writing?
JP: I am totally addicted to chocolate!

DC: Hmmm. I know someone else with that problem. [koff--kc dyer--koff]. I am really excited to hear about your new projects. If I want to learn more about you or your books on-line, where can I go on-line to check you out?
JP: You can check out my website:
I also have a blog:

DC: Thanks so much for this interview, Jacquie! It's been great to meet you!

If you'd like to win a copy of Jacqueline Pearce's novel DISCOVERING EMILY, all you have to do is leave your name in the comment section below. If you'd like to add a question for Jacquie, I'll make sure she gets it, and we'll post her answers here, too.

Thanks so much for sharing my launch week with Jacqueline Pearce and me. See you tomorrow with an interview with yet another mystery author ....and more book prizes!


UPDATE: We have a winner! Check here: to see if it is you!


  1. Wow! I love my pirate make-over! Darby, good point about sticking with skateboarding, but even if I'd been able to master it, I probably would have had trouble skating across campus with a giant art portfolio (although, it might have acted as a sail, which could have been interesting).


  2. I dunno -- I think you would have looked pretty cool, sailing across campus! Thanks again for taking part, Jacquie!


  3. I think you can't go wrong with any story that starts "My dad's great-grandfather and his brother were sitting in a pub"
    great interview!

  4. Awesome pirate makeover!

  5. Jacquie rocks the whole pirate look, eh, Kayla?


  6. A skateboard team - wow, that's really cool! Awesome interview :)

  7. Nice mustasche... and interview!

  8. Oooh, Jacqueline majored in English and Environmental Studies? That's what I was planning to do... until my schedule filled up, that is. Now I'm just majoring in English and Education. No more ES. Sigh.

    stephxsu at gmail dot com