Peter Kingsmill is contributing to the local literary scene with his second instalment in the Awan Lake series, Nobody Drowned.
Kingsmill is former mayor of Hafford who’s written two books in the mystery genre, the first one being Sunset at 20:47.
Like Sunset at 20:47, Nobody Drownedcontinues the story of Frank Anderson, who was introduced in the first novel. Kingsmill’s novels are part of the Awan Lake series, set in the fictitious community of Spirit River.
The premise of the new novel, according to Kingsmill, is that a large company is thinking of making a major expansion involving a mine and smelter facility. The lake’s water quality is one of residents’ concerns. At the same time, the company generates jobs, and there are mixed feelings in the community.
Kingsmill said two stories take place within the novel: one following environmental impact, and another in which people in the company and others “get into mischief,” including drug smuggling and using the company’s network to bring drugs into Canada.
When asked if the fictional company, Robertson Group International, is based on a real one, Kingsmill said it wasn’t, however, real world events inspired the novel, including a recent disaster in Brazil in which a tailings dam, used by mining companies, leaked and caused mudslides. The incident destroyed part of a village and killed 19 people.
The second book in the series, Kingsmill said, “stands alone as a story, so you don’t need to read the first one in order to read the second one.”
Kingsmill said the book took about four months to write.
“The first month and a half or so is slow starts as you’re trying to make your way through it a little bit,” Kingsmill said, adding the writing “moved along” a quarter or a third of way through.
Kingsmill founded the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve near Saskatoon, and received a Governor General’s Award for his conservation work at Redberry Lake.
Conservation is a theme of the new novel, Kingsmill said, and the story draws upon previous experiences. Kingsmill said he’s been to Washington D.C. and met with lobbyists.
The story “comes out of something that’s very real to me even though I’m setting it outside of me,” Kingsmill said.
The new novel is available now on paperback through Amazon, and as an ebook through Kindle, Kobo and Apple Books.