Author Tim Bowling is bringing a new novel with him on his upcoming visit back to Delta.
The award-winning writer says The Tinsmith brings together a couple of his major interests: the B.C. coast and the American civil war.
"It's kind of a novel I've been wanting to write for a long, long time," says Bowling, who grew up in Ladner and now lives in Edmonton.
He has a pair of local events for his new book, one tomorrow at Albany Books and another next Thursday at the Ladner Pioneer Library.
The Tinsmith starts out during the American civil war as a Union Army surgeon gets help from a mysterious solder named John.
The book's setting later shifts to B.C.'s Fraser River.
"I think, when writers put something out there and expect people to read it, you want them to have an interesting experience," he says, referring to the transition.
Bowling, no stranger to involving the West Coast in his work, says the nature of the place and the nature of the area's history, which he describes as compelling, colourful and interesting, keep him coming back to it. He also notes not many others write about it.
"Every time I tackle it, I feel like I'm tackling fresh material," he says. "Writers are always trying to reinvent themselves in their own work. I've come at the coast and the coast's history in a number of different ways through a number of different forms over the years. This is a little bit different than some of my previous books."
Bowling says the initial impulse for the novel has to do with the early days of the salmon canneries on the Fraser River and referenced pioneer salmon canner John Deas.
"He was one of the first salmon canners. He was in the game very early. Then he disappeared under somewhat mysterious circumstances."
He says one of his big projects is to celebrate the coast.
"Every time I do something like this, I feel at the very least, no matter what happens with it, I've done it, it's between covers or digitized, and for some kid growing up in Ladner there's something they can read that tries to mythologize the place they can actually walk around in. I think that matters." Bowling will be at Albany Books, 1240-56th St., Tsawwassen, on Saturday, July 21 at 2 p.m. for a book club talk.
He'll be at the Ladner Pioneer Library, 4683-51st St., on Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m. for the B.C. launch of The Tinsmith.
. Bowling recently completed a hat trick of poetry prizes with his win at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala.
He walked away with his third Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for his most recent collection, Tenderman. Only one other poet, Monty Reid, has won the prize as many times in the award's history.
Bowling also won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for Dying Scarlet and Fathom, and he has been nominated for the prize an additional four times.
A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, his other honours include the Canadian Authors Association National Poetry Prize, the Petra Kenney International Poetry Prize, and two other Alberta Literary Awards: the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction.