Becca Babcock's most recent can be found at NovelTea Bookstore & Gifts or Nimbus Publishing.

  1. What gave you the idea to make your most recent book?
As an archivist, I regularly encounter stories that inspire me. When I first started working at the Mount Allison University Archives, I kept encountering details about the 1941 residence fire. I felt in some ways haunted by those voices, haunted by the tragedy, and writing became a way for me to commemorate and share that history with new audiences.
  1. Do you think there is value in fiction set in the Maritimes?
Of course! Reading about the Maritimes gives me a sense of belonging. It makes me feel seen and validates my experiences. I hope as a writer to do the same for others. 
  1. Was any character the most fun or most difficult to write?
The fun part of this book was that I took a risk and wrote every chapter from a different perspective. There are quite a few characters in my book! The most fun to write was the perspective of fire. 
  1. How long have you been working on it?
I worked on this book for two years from start to publication.
  1. What do you hope people get from your work?
An appreciation and deeper understanding of history, especially local or regional history. 
  1. What are some of your favourite books/authors?
Kate Atkinson, Esi Edugyan, Alison MacLeod are a few of my favourite authors. They never disappoint. My favourite book of 2022 was Léa by Ariela Freedman. I think my favourite book of 2023 (so far) is Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens.
  1. Is there any non-book media that influences your writing?
Podcasts on writing are a continuous source of inspiration for me. I love listening to other writers talk about their process and inspiration.
  1. What is a book that you think is underread/underappreciated?
I find Acadian literature is both underread and underappreciated. We have a rich literary tradition, not all of which has been translated, which means it isn’t always accessible to our anglophone neighbours. As a proud Acadian, I try to help bridge that gap with my own writing by always including Acadian characters.
  1. When did you start writing?
Like many authors, I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil. I turned my childhood closet into a writing nook when I was young and eventually pursued both a BA and MA in English. Now I write all sorts of things, including academic papers and articles.
  1. What is the best and/or worst writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
I think the best and the worst advice I’ve ever received is “Write every day.” I think better advice would be to make your writing a routine—but don’t force yourself to write if the words don’t come. There are days when I sit down even when I don’t want to and find the words eventually come. But when it feels like pulling teeth, I know the best thing to do is to walk away. 
  1. What is your favourite genre to write? Do you want to try writing in other genres?
I consider myself a historical fiction author, something that aligns well with my career as an archivist, but have been toying with the idea of writing a contemporary novel next. I also write about history and archival records in various non-fiction formats.  
  1. Tea or coffee?
I refuse to only pick one!


March 12, 2023 — Brent Peters