An Author's Wilderness Adventures

Iíve been to Hollywood, Iíve been to Redwood, and now Iíve been to Turkey Point. Where, you may well ask, is that? And better yet, what was I doing there?

Iíll tell you.

Turkey Point lies 24 km. south west of Port Dover on the north shore of Lake Erie. The Point is home to Ontarioís only national park with a nine-hole golf course, and an elite campground for gay men. I went to the latter. Not your everyday camping experience, itís a set designerís dream of fabulously decorated trailers, cabins and tents, where a tame ocelot or a pair of peacocks tut-tutting through the gardens would not be out of place.

The last weekend in August I arrived at the Point to participate in an afternoon of author readings with my recently published Cormorant novel, The P-Town Murders.

When my first novel, A Cage of Bones, was published ten years ago with an English publisher, I expected to receive invitations to read all over Canada. I didnít get one. So when my second novel came out, I was ready. I made sure I was invited all over the map: Hollywood, Palm Springs, New Orleans, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York, among others. Every chance I got, I asked: would you like me to read?

Admittedly, I hit a few heights. So when a friend asked recently if Iíd been to Turkey Point, one of my first questions was: do they host literary readings?

He didnít know, but it was relatively easy to find out. Being a haut couture campground, there is a Turkey Point Events Committee. And yes, as it turns out, they do host readings and were happy to have me as a guest. Gay men love their sexy mysteries, culture and humour. The P-Town Murders has plenty of all three.

Among its other amenities, Turkey Point boasts a newly designed Garden of Memories, dedicated to the campgroundís late-owner. With an elegant arbour and mini-Stonehenge of circular benches set beside a pond, it makes for a perfect auditorium in the wild.

Come the day, Mother Nature was at her most spectacular, end-of-summer finest. Two authors read before me, leaving me for the main event. A sizeable number of listeners turned up to hear us read. Iím thrilled to report I sold more than enough books to pay for my trip. Not only that, Iíve been invited back to read from the sequel, Death In Key West, in 2009.

While I was there soaking up local colour, I couldnít help wondering whether anyone had ever set a mystery at Turkey Point. Apparently not. Donít be surprised when Murder at the Point turns up at your local bookseller.



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