In The Chechen’s Revenge the weather plays a role in the search for Marek Kafirov. In one scene Sean-Guy and Everet are aided by a light snowfall that allows them to understand that a vehicle recently left the abandoned kitchen where Marek built his bombs. As a means of adding to realism, I inserted references to Claire Martin of the CBC, giving her regular weather reports on The National. Those references are some of the few naming uses of real people in the course of telling the story of a rebel Chechen determined to teach a lesson to Canada.
I could have easily made up a name for a nationally known meteorologist, but I chose to name Claire because I had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times when she worked for Global Television in Edmonton AB along side one of my journalistic mentors, Bill Matheson, himself a nationally known weatherman of many years experience. I watch Claire’s weather reports on CBC’s The National, several times each week. I’m fortunate that my local cable provider in VT carries the CBC to allow me that luxury.
In the course of crafting the story of The Chechen’s Revenge, I decided that weather needed to be seen as an important factor. Growing up in Southern Alberta left me with a felt and understood certainty that weather cannot be ignored in life. Weather events necessarily have an impact on life and living. They cannot be avoided. I learned very early that to protect oneself, especially in the face of the Alberta Clipper in the dead of winter, you must dress properly in layers. To do otherwise is to risk great bodily harm. In springtime one must be aware of the potential of flooding, something I have witnessed in Manitoba south of Winnipeg when the Assiniboia and Red Rivers escape their banks. Even in Summer, weather plays a daily role, especially when the wind out of the west plays havoc with the land, blowing clouds of dust from fields not properly protected with strategic farming practices.
Claire Martin’s forecasts will appear again in my second novel, A Prairie Vendetta, set in early summer, a time when hail events can and might play a part in the telling of this new story.
For now, good reading friends. Regards and thanks for your support.
Ron Stotyn, PhD