When some people hear that my novel THIRTEEN is set in Canada they automatically say, why Canada? Wouldn’t it do better if it was set in the States? Haven’t you limited your market to Canada’s West Coast? Wouldn’t you sell more copies if it was set in the USA?
To be honest, those questions upset me and I’m going to tell you why.
I am Proud to be Canadian
I am a proud Canadian and believe that the best thing about Canada is that it’s not the US. You can stop laughing now. There are lots of great things about Canada, no maple syrup and igloos are not on my list.
I love our sense of humour, I love how we spell humour. I like Canadian comedy, it’s sarcastic, satirical jokes designed to make fun of ourselves. It’s witty, not slapstick, and I’ll take wit over dumb any day of the week.
I enjoy being polite and saying I’m sorry. It takes a strong person to say sorry, we are not weak in our courtesies. It saddens me that we have started to pull away from our Ps and Qs in favour of a more self serving, all about me attitude. We’ve lost our pioneer spirit of community, that coming together to help each other survive the harsh elements of this land. I wish we could get it back.
I think our gun policies and peace keeping attitudes make us a better country to live in. We need to continue to remember that gun control and peace are things to protect and strive for. We have free education up to grade 12 and affordable health care based on triage of need instead of a person’s pocket book.
We are resource rich, we are the 2nd largest country with the largest coastline, we are a diverse nation of regional values, traditions, and languages. It is a place you can get lost in and find yourself in. It is a great country to be from.
That, and we have hockey.
I think Canadians can Create Quality Art
I’m still pissed off that our Canadian National Art Museum paid $1 Million for a huge painting of three lines painted by an American artist. That money could have bought a million Canadian paintings. OK, so maybe not a million, but more than one. I’ve seen this infamous piece of artwork and I got to say, it really isn’t my favourite piece hanging on the walls and definitely not worth a million dollars, not even a million Canadian dollars.
There are Canadian artists creating amazing music, photography, paintings, sculpture, literature, and movies. You only need to take the time to explore art galleries, indie music sites, and local bookstores to find interesting Canadian artists.
The only thing that keeps Canadian made TV and movies coming off as second rate compared to the States is; one your opinion and two money. Considering the amount of Hollywood blockbusters that are filmed in Canada using Canadian talent behind the scenes, I know that Canadian producers are making blockbusters, they just set them in the States under American production company titles.
Vancouver is the most Filmed Canadian city
Considering how many Hollywood blockbusters are filmed in Vancouver you’d think the city would be worthy of being the setting of story. Alas, it is not. When you watch a movie that says it’s in some American backwater of a place, chances are you’re looking at Vancouver.
T.V. Shows like the X Files, SuperNatural, American Psycho, are all filmed right here. So why can’t they be set in Vancouver, it’s a beautiful place.
It’s diversity of mountains, city, country, rainforest, ocean and beaches give film makers so many backdrops that they can have the setting almost anywhere they want it.
Why Canada for THIRTEEN
Most of the reasons why North Korea invades Canada in the novel THIRTEEN will be revealed in book 3, I know that’s not fair. To be fair I will give you some things to think on.
Who has a stronger Military, Canada or the US? Who thinks the US will come save them, like in movies? Who is more prepared for an attack Canada or the US? Which two countries have the largest unprotected boarder? Which country has less citizens with guns?
I could ask you more questions to get you thinking about it, but it comes down to this: What country could I write an invasion story about, which I knew enough about and I could make somewhat believable?
Can Canada be Invaded?
Heck if I know. It’s a story. Not reality. The point of THIRTEEN is not to say hey North Korea why don’t you invade Canada and this is how to do it. The point of the story is to examine what life in a North American city would be like if there was a totalitarian government and a war.
What would happen to our way of life? Could we survive without power, water, gas, wifi, coffee, and video games?
OK, so our military may be an international joke and too reliant on the idea that the AMERICANS will save us. Our armed forces may be in serious need of funding, which might just make it a bit easier to invade Canada over the US. Especially considering our navy could sink if it went too far off the coast.
I don’t think any country would want to invade us, I mean come on we’re nice. Insert smiley face. We’re polite. We are a land of great distances between places with very few people in between. We are the great white north, the place of snow, igloos, and polar bears.
Why would anyone want to invade a country that is cold 9 months of the year and just cool the other 3? Who’d want to set up base camp on a frozen block of ice, even though it does butt up against the US?
Hopefully, no one.
Can a Novel set in Canada be Successful?
I hope so, but that’s up to you, the reader. Chances are if you’re American and reading this you probably thought there was just this big, black, blank void between the North Pole and the 49th Parallel. However, if you are Canadian, perhaps you’ll want to take a chance and buy an action blockbuster type story that is set in Canada.
Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a YA Novel set in Vancouver, Canada about a 13 year old boy, his single mom, a cop, and an invading army. It’s a look at what would happen to our way of life if a totalitarian type government invaded and took away all our freedoms. Could we survive with no power, no wifi, no video games? What if our city all of a sudden became a dangerous place? www.shannonpeel.com