Maritime author chooses Bay of Fundy as setting for new thriller
The Memento is a genre-bending tale that took Maritime author Christy Ann Conlin 14 years to complete
A new novel by Maritime author Christy Ann Conlin, The Memento, is a ghost story set on the Bay of Fundy that tells the tale of Fancy Mosher, who works at a grand estate.
"Her life and her family's intersect with the aristocratic Parker family … their lives are entwined with the Parkers through a dark secret and murder that happened several generations ago that keeps infecting the new generation," Conlin told Information Morning Moncton.
In that book, Mosher tells a ghost story that takes place on an island in the Bay of Fundy about a pirate captain who chops the head off a sailor and leaves his spirit behind to guard the treasure.
"She was a very minor character who captivated me and I wanted to know her tale so that is the real genesis of the story," Conlin said.
"I worked on this book for almost 14 years so that's how The Memento came to be. Discovering Fancy — the twelfth born of twelve children who inherits this spooky family ability to see the dead, which is called 'the memento' in her family."
Ghost stories a Maritime tradition
Conlin describes the new "genre-bending" thriller as a book that weaves the style of an old world novel with a contemporary feel.
She says growing up on the Bay of Fundy, in the Annapolis Valley-area, she has always been fascinated with telling ghost stories which she considers a huge part of the Maritime tradition.
I wanted to look at how we come to terms with what happens to us personally and how we can ultimately overcome the ghosts that haunt us, that we carry with us from the past.- Christy Ann Conlin
"On a clear night I could see the lights twinkling … you can see right across to New Brunswick and we would sit there and have beach fires and my grandmother and my mother loved to tell ghost stories."
Conlin was so captivated with these stories, which she considers our "cultural inheritance," that she wanted to write one of her own.
"We used to have picnics in old graveyards with my mom and we would do tombstone etchings and also put out an old quilt and eat cucumber sandwiches in the graveyard ... so yes I come by it naturally."
Conlin says ghost stories are a way to come to terms with the things we can't understand or explain.
"I think historically ghost stories and tales of the supernatural give us an outlet. A way to explain what we don't understand ... now we think we know everything — just Google it," Conlin laughed.
"I wanted to look at how we come to terms with what happens to us personally and how we can ultimately overcome the ghosts that haunt us, that we carry with us from the past."
with files from Information Morning Moncton