About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Contest to Write an Early Adventure of Paul Martin

Paul Martin and Caroline Woodward
In my last post I reviewed Showdown at Border Town – An Adventure of the Young Paul Martin by Caroline Woodward. I was excited when I learned she is a teenager. Roderick Benns, co-founder of Fireside Publishing House which has published the Leaders & Legacies series on the adventures of young future Canadian Prime Ministers provided me information on how Caroline came to write the book. He provided me with an excerpt from a speech he was giving to a Rotary club about the book and series:

To generate excitement for the third book in the series, we held a national contest and it was to be about one of our living former leaders, Paul Martin. We called it ‘The Early Adventure of Paul Martin’ contest. We asked any student in Canada – whether secondary or post-secondary – for the first chapter of a book on a 13-year-old Paul Martin as well as a one-page outline. The winner would receive a publishing contract for their book and it would be published as the third book in the Leaders & Legacies series. Obviously, we expected a university student to win, perhaps someone in a writing program.

The quality of the entries was indeed excellent. But we were even more surprised with our favourite entry – because it was created by a 15-year-old girl from Ottawa by the name of Caroline Woodward. Caroline’s proposed outline was well-researched, well thought out, and her ability to foreshadow young Paul Martin’s life to come was what drew us to her entry.

When we told Mr. Martin what we had planned he was beyond generous. He did media interviews while the contest was on, he read the manuscript itself and made helpful suggestions. He wrote the foreword for the book. He asked his sister to open up their family cottage to Caroline so she could tour it, in order to capture that level of realism for the novel. Then, to top it all off, he agreed to do a joint book signing with young Caroline in November. As you can imagine, there was a crush of media – from CTV, Global, CBC, the Globe and Mail, and talk show programs.

Roderick told me later this year they are publishing the 4th book, which may have the title of Richard Bennett – The Hero of Hopewell Hill, in the series. It will be the first in the series in Maritime Canada. Bennett grew up in New Brunswick.
The website for Fireside, http://www.firesidepublishinghouse.com/default.html, has extensive information about the series.

My next post on Thursday will feature a Q & A with Caroline. She is a gifted young woman. 


  1. Bill - Oh, this is so interesting! I'm glad to see so much interest in this series and I'm very excited for Ms. Woodward; I'll be looking forward to your Q & A with her. I really hope this series is a long and successful one.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think you will find Caroline's comments interesting.