Wild Fell, by Michael Rowe
Worthy of the Shirley Jackson award and then some, I’m very glad I’d taken Sean Moreland’s advice (and of the ChiZine crew) and picked this up. I love a good ghost story and now I’ve been able to read one of the contemporary best. Based in Alvina, Ontario, it has a special resonance since I’m from the north and did have an ancestor named Alvina. Always thought that was a pretty name and wondered if it were a pretty place…
According to Wild Fell it may be but it’s also terribly haunted. Haunted in that way all small towns can be. The mansion itself, Wild Fell proper, is right up at the top of the list of fine literary haunted houses now. Rowe is also now at the top of my list of fine Canadian authors too.
Recently I’ve been participating in a workshop group of writers. It’s been really helpful already. Just having others work to dissect, new stories to dig into, and some feedback on my own work. Precious. I’d spent most of my learning to write by reading wonderful stuff like Wild Fell. Maybe a little too much reading and not enough writing, but that feels like splitting hairs. Between having some really great new authors writing this new dark weird and some of them to toss ideas around with, I feel much better equipped in my own work lately. It’s a nice feeling to have.