BARRY’S BAY – A local author who has called the Madawaska Valley home for more than 40 years has released a new novel called, The Beckoning Land.
The historical fiction novel promises to be a unique yet familiar read, as it is set in Barry’s Bay and features characters with names like Joe Dombroskie (the protagonist) and Helen Recoskie.
Although the names are familiar, author David Coombs ensured that they are not based on real people.
“I wanted the names to ring bells for folks,” he said.
Coombs was at the Madawaska Valley Public Library on July 30 for his official book launch. A crowd of around 30 people packed into the library to listen to Coombs talk about the writing process.
“David’s muse is definitely the Madawaska Valley,” CEO/Head Librarian Karen Filipkowski said as she introduced Coombs to the podium.
The local author is certainly no stranger to writing; he has penned many columns for the Barry’s Bay This Week and was published in Country Connection, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. He also released a previous book called Madcap Adventures in the Madawaska Valley.
He holds a Ph.D. in Canadian History from York University and was a stockbroker for 27 years.
The Beckoning Land is the result of three years of writing. In order to ensure accuracy, he studied local council minutes and bylaws between the years 1933 to 1950, and examined the Ministry of Natural Resources land records for the same period. In addition, he interviewed 14 people.
“I began three years ago to write it to see if I could,” he said. “I was determined to be honest, and portray my characters and scenes realistically. Prior to a nature scene, I would walk out into the bush, observe the land and learn.”
Since it is historical fiction, Coombs ensured while some events are true, others in the book are entirely false.
Get your August 5, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story