FAQs

Q?

Tell me about the Yukon writing community.

A.

Since before the Gold Rush Yukoners have known the value of a good story, song, or dance. Our government supports us as a cultural industry. Our partners include Tourism Yukon, the Arts Branch, Berton House Writers Residency, Yukon Libraries and Archives, Lotteries Yukon and more. Our tiny giants, the booksellers and numerous coffee shop owners, showcase our work. We stay connected through the artsnet and writeyukon listservs and the Yukon Writers’ Collective INK on facebook.

Q?

Where do you find your facts?

A.

With From Ice to Ashes I volunteered at a Yukon Arctic Ultra checkpoint 40 miles into the bush for about 10 years. So I really know Fanger’s job. For Twisted Roots I visited the former borderlands and interviewed people: border guards, soldiers, police, regular people, anyone who would answers questions. For Adventures of Talking Stick, local artists and curators gave me leads and research, supplemented by a visit to the Karl-May Haus museum.

In general I collect books, ephemera, maps, magazines and websites (especially those with a forum or guestbook). Here’s a tip: If you use internet maps, take a screen shot of the image on the day you research it because when your publisher asks you to fact-check you might find your access is denied, as I did. Between writing From Ice to Ashes and its publication the zoomed-in images of identifiable buildings at Ft. Greeley were “not available at this resolution.” Presumably for reasons of national security.

Q?

Where can I find more crime writing and resources?

A.

Two organizations I belong to, Crime Writers of Canada (BC/Yukon) and Sisters in Crime (Alaska), offer a wealth of support to writers and readers. They both produce catalogues of member writing.

My northern library of books comes from Mac’s Fireweed Books, Whitehorse Coles, and Well-Read Books, our local booksellers. They carry the most complete and extensive collection of Yukon writing, crime and otherwise, fiction and non-, in- and out-of-print.

Yukon Archives houses “Policing the People,” a permanent display of the history of policing in the Yukon. I also use the resources of the media liaison at “M” Division, and online services of the RCMP, German police, and both governments.

Q?

Can I visit the places you write about?

A.

Please do! Tourism Yukon and the Milepost, “the bible of north country travel,” are good starting points for rubber tire travellers. For a poor man’s cruise up the Inside Passage, check out the Alaska Marine Highway service from Seattle to Skagway. Or from our gateway cities of Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver fly Air North, the Yukon’s reliable airline.

Experience summer paddling or hiking for yourself or follow the locals deep into the heart of winter along the trail of the Yukon Arctic Ultra, the Yukon Quest 1000-mile dog sled race, or the Trek Over the Top snowmobile route.

In Germany, the Gruenes Band is a 1400 km hiking/biking trail system on the former borderlands from the North Sea to Bodensee. Whether in a village such as Schnackenburg or a city like Berlin, make your own impressions on site.

And if following in the footsteps of your favourite authors is your thing, you'll enjoy the Karl-May-Museum in Radebeul, Germany or the Jack London Cabin(s) in Dawson City, Yukon and Oakland, California.

Q?

Why do Germans love the Yukon?

A.

Natur Pur? Wildlife in its natural habitat? Sparse population? Too many Jack London books? I wish I knew. Perhaps if I keep writing I’ll find out. What I can tell you is whenever some character on German crime-tv is unobtainably absent, more often than not they've travelled “nach Kanada.”