Bruce W. Bishop writes Canadian family sagas that deal with sexual identity in the 1920s and 30s.
Are there TV shows or films that have influenced your writing?
I suppose there have been now that I’m being asked the question! I’ve always enjoyed sweeping family sagas with several characters, such as watching ‘The Sound of Music’ as a child, to ‘Downton Abbey’ as an adult. Both of course are based in historical contexts, and since I enjoy writing and researching the early 20th century, I have been influenced by those titles in particular.
If you could write any other genre, what would it be?
Comedy, for sure. I think it takes a very talented writer to spin words in such a way that it leaves the reader laughing out loud. Famous writers who come to mind are Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward (although I believe he only wrote one novel), P.G. Wodehouse and Stephen Leacock.
What’s the best compliment a reader has ever given you?
The best compliment ranges from “I couldn’t put the book down” to “when’s the next one coming out?”. I remember, too, when one reader spoke of my characters in Unconventional Daughters as if they had all been real people. That’s quite a compliment since they were all fictitious.
What’s the difference (at least for you!) between being a writer and an author? How do you shift gears between the two?
I have been a published freelance travel and lifestyle writer for many years. Being an author is perhaps more difficult in some ways, but it’s more rewarding to me when the novel is finished and ready for public consumption. When you write fiction, you have the luxury of making things up; being a storyteller where you’re propelling the action. When you’re a non-fiction writer, you have to adhere to strict journalistic rules, word counts and the like.
I think there is much more freedom to being an author versus being a writer. Having said that, I very much admire short storywriters and non-fiction authors!
What was the inspiration for your most recent book?
I’ve always been interested in social movements around the world in different decades. For example, I’m old enough to have witnessed AIDS awareness from gay groups in the 1980s during the time of Ronald Reagan, to the Black Lives Matter movement during the Trump regime. We’ve seen the plight of refugees and immigrants from poor countries for many years. I wanted to write a novel to explore some of the historical aspects of discrimination and homophobia from the 1930s during the Great Depression and before World War II. The level of intolerance of the Black, LGBT and religious and ethnic minorities during this time in North America is quite astounding. In my opinion, we can only become better human beings if we learn from the mistakes we’ve made in the past.
Bruce Bishop is a Canadian writer and author based in Nova Scotia. He has been a freelance travel and lifestyle writer since the mid-1990s and contributed to several well-known guidebook companies, such as Michelin, Fodor’s, Marco Polo, and DK Eyewitness. His debut novel, Unconventional Daughters, was written during the early pandemic lockdown of 2020. His interlinked, second novel, Uncommon Sons, was released in June 2021, and he is currently at work on the third novel in the ‘Families’ Storytelling’ series.
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Edie Cay writes award-winning feminist Regency Romance about women’s boxing and relatable misfits. She is a member of the Regency Fiction Writers, the Historical Novel Society, ALLi, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. You can drop her a line on Facebook and Instagram @authorediecay.