Welcome Guest Author, Winona Kent

I’m delighted to host Canadian crime-writing friend and colleague Winona Kent today. She’s just released a new mystery that music fans will especially love, called Lost Time, which you can learn more about on her website at  http://www.winonakent.com/losttime.html

Also, the first two chapters are available at http://www.winonakent.com/losttime-chapters.html

Winona’s prepared a fascinating piece for this blog about an intriguing connection between her life and that of her fictional character, Jason Davey. Now, in Winona’s words:

I’m terrified of lightning – and so is Jason Davey, the main character in my new mystery Lost Time.

Jason has good reason to be afraid – his father was killed on a golf course by a rogue lightning strike. There are a couple of thunderstorms in Lost Time and I have no trouble at all describing Jason’s terror when they happen – one jolts him out of his sleep, and the other strikes when he’s sheltering in the back of a police car. Here’s a spoiler: the police car gets a direct hit.

My fear of lightning comes from growing up in Saskatchewan, which has some of the most spectacular thunderstorms in the world. Our back yard was home to the biggest tree in the neighbourhood, an 80-foot-high balsam poplar. When the storms blew over (usually in the middle of the night) I’d bury myself under the sheets and blankets and, nearly-suffocating, I’d count the seconds between the immense flashes of white light and the inevitable crashes of thunder. My biggest fear was that our tree would be struck and that the electricity would travel through its massive root system and come up into our house and kill me. Or the charge would jump from the tree to my bedroom window and explode through the glass and kill me. Or the lightning would splinter the tree and it would crash down on our roof and onto my bed and kill me.

I have actually been in a building that got a direct hit and I noted two interesting things. One, there was absolutely no thunder. Just an immense flash. People across the street heard the deafening boom. But not us. And two, at the moment the lightning struck, I was sitting at my computer and the computer blinked off and I felt like I’d been punched hard in the chest.

Jason experiences much the same phenomena in Lost Time. And the result has an incredibly profound effect on him.

In all the years I lived in Saskatchewan, our tree was never hit. It was a majestic specimen – a bit messy, with its sticky buds and its red hanging catkin flowers – but we loved it. It survived the storms and lived on after my dad died and my mum moved away to Vancouver to be with us. Its end came when the new owners of our house decided the back yard would look better without a big messy tree blocking their view of the sky. But then again…who knows…perhaps they, too, were terrified of lightning strikes in the middle of the night…

Winona Kent

Amazon Links: (this is Canadian but the ebook and paperback is available on all Amazon sites)

Winona’s website: http://www.winonakent.com
Social media:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/winonakentauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/winonakent
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/winonakent

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at dpurdykong@gmail.com

29 thoughts on “Welcome Guest Author, Winona Kent”

  1. A great post! I had that same fear of lightening growing up in southern Alberta. We didn’t have a big tree, actually, we didn’t have any trees, but I’ve seen lightning hit the ground and a cousin was struck by lightning as a child. I’m sure you were able to describe your character’s feelings well based on your own fears. Good luck with your book, Winona.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, a child struck by lightning must have been terrifying, Darlene. Growing in BC, I haven’t had much experience with lightning, but as a very young child, I lived in Ontario and remember the terrifying noise of thunderstorms. Last night the news showed the CN Tower being struck by a huge bolt of lightning. It was frightening just to watch!

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      1. It’s a little-known fact that lightning strikes are from the ground to the sky – that’s the first “leader” that goes up – which you don’t see. What you do see is the return stroke of lightning 🙂 And it all happens in milliseconds.

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  2. Thanks Darlene! In fact I experienced an amazing thunderstorm in rural Alberta too! We were driving to a campsite near Sylvan Lake for my husband’s family reunion and saw the storm on the horizon and watched it come closer and closer (as you do when you’re on a highway on a completely flat prairie). We drove into a small town to pick up some supplies and then popped into a pub which was done up like an old-fashioned saloon from a tv western…and while we were in there the storm struck! There was thunder and lightning and hail and rain and of course I was petrified. But there were a lot of people sheltering with us, which made me feel a little better. And then after about 15 minutes, it was over – the storm had raced on and the little town was drenched and I felt like I’d just got off the scariest rollercoaster ride at the fair.

    When we lived in Moose Jaw we used to drive out to the edge of the city with lawn chairs and watch the lightning storms as they approached. And then when they got close and I started to panic, we’d drive home and I’d hide.

    We knew a guy who’d been struck by lightning and he was never the same afterwards – it gave him emotional and cognitive issues from which he never recovered!

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      1. I’ve only ever known personally about the one fellow that I mentioned above. I think it must be a very profound experience though, to be struck and to survive it. When I was a child in Saskatchewan we were always drilled at school about what to do in the event of a lightning storm and the telltale signs that you were about to be hit by lightning. One of them was that your scalp would start to tingle and your hair would stand on end. If you felt and saw that, you were supposed to run for shelter, fast! I lived in fear that this would happen to me. I also remember being at the local outdoor pool and announcements being made that everyone had to get out quickly because there was a thunderstorm on its way. I also recall being petrified that if I hid in the bathroom, the lightning would strike and travel all through the pipes and zap me that way. It’s certainly much calmer living in BC 😀

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    1. Those prairie storms can come out of nowhere! My cousin is OK except one side of her face has been slightly frozen ever since. This happened many years ago, she is now a mom and a grandmother.

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      1. That’s the thing – they usually do boil up out of nowhere and then they race across the landscape and burn themselves out eventually. But I’ll always have in my mind that awesome, wonderous wall of black-purple cloud that you get with a prairie thunderstorm, like a wall from the ground to the thunderheads above, punctuated with forks of golden lightning. It’s ok to watch from a distance – it’s fascinating. Until it gets on top of you 😀

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      1. A couple of years ago a big thunderstorm rolled over the Vancouver area just after we’d moved to our apartment at Quayside in New Westminster. I was at work but my husband works from home and he told me he was looking out of the window just as a huge bolt of lightning struck an electrical transformer next to the big Westminster Quay sign just across the road from us (Quayside Drive and McInnis overpass). It knocked out power to the Skytrain!

        Back in our old apartment in Burnaby (many years ago) we had a waterbed, and whenever there were thunderstorms I used to wonder what would happen if our building was struck and here I was, sleeping on a mattress filled with water! It was quite a sobering thought!

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    1. Thanks Mallee. I have a love-hate relationship with thunderstorms. I actually kinda miss them, living out here on the west coast. Because I grew up with them, I’ve always been aware of how dangerous they can be, but I’ve also witnessed their beauty and awesomeness – most often experienced late at night. I don’t miss the near-panic attacks I have when I’m in the middle of a storm. But now that I live in an apartment with an expansive view of the Fraser River, looking southeast, I do wish I could stand on my balcony and witness a good rollicking display of lightning and thunder every once in a while 😀

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      1. Port Moody is quite sheltered, Debra! I have quite an expansive view from my balcony – we look southeast – so I can see all the storms that blow over here and head down into the Fraser Valley where they get all the dramatic weather!

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  3. Your book sounds fascinating, Winona. I read a lot about lightning strikes for my recent research. The naturalist Enos Mills amazingly wrote a lot about them in his books. They are a lot more common than I as a suburban girl would think!

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    1. Thanks Jacqui. I hadn’t even thought about thunderstorms when I was writing the first drafts of the novel, but then Jason, my main character, started to talk about how his father had died, and I realized what I had to do. Then it occurred to me that Jason probably shared my terror of lightning. And then that absolutely petrifying fear started to play quite an important part in the story, especially towards the end.

      I did a little research too, to educate myself further 🙂 I know all about Faraday Cages now 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It happens a lot with me – I’m constantly looking for new revelations and characteristics for Jason, and because I’m writing in the first person (as Jason) it becomes quite interesting when he starts to wrestle the story away from me. I quite enjoy stepping into his mind, though, and letting him take over for a while 🙂

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