Author and artist Mix Hart travelled Canada widely while she was growing up.
The experiences and visual impressions she gathered make their way into her books.
“I know Canada very well and what I write about are Canadian stories, Canadian landscapes and natural and social history,” says the author, who will be at the Book Nook from 3:30 to 5:30 on Thursday, Nov. 5.
Hart has written two novels for young readers that are set in B.C., and is on tour to promote her latest, Queen of the Godforsaken, which is set in Saskatchewan.
Queen of the Godforsaken is a crossover novel for the teen/adult market.
“It is both humorous and dark,” says Hart of the story set in the mid- 1980s.
The father has lost his job at UBC and moves his family to remote, ancestral lands in Saskatchewan, uprooting his two teenage daughters.
The story is told in the voice of 15-year-old Lydia.
“It’s more about will the family survive the move to the site of the Northwest Rebellion with its dark history,” says Hart, of the land once soaked in the blood of Louis Riel’s battle with Canadian authorities.
“It’s a real culture shock for the family and each one reacts in their own way – the mother is depressed and the father is having a hard time getting work in the recession.”
Hart says Lydia has a dark humour in this coming-of-age story that also highlights the rural Prairies at their most bucolic and brutal.
Hart is also an artist who switched to digital oil painting to illustrate Peter Not-Pizzaface and The Decrepit Caboose, an exhilarating tale of adventure and action aboard a train on the Kettle Valley Railway.
“It’s part fantasy, B.C. history and environmentalism,” says Hart.
“I paint on a big screen with a pencil type thing that works like a brush and mimics oil painting,” she says.
“I love it because I no longer have to worry about the toxicity of the paints.”
Hart, who went to JL Jackson High School when it was located on Shuswap Street, is looking forward to speaking to students prior to her appearance at the Book Nook.
“I never thought I’d go back to Jackson,” she says with a laugh.