MANITOULIN – Over the past three decades author Bonnie Kogos has been a familiar figure across Manitoulin Island, even being recognized by the Grand Haw as an honorary Haweater. Not surprisingly as whether it is in her two previous novels, ‘I was Mistaken For A Rich Ripe Red Tomato,’ ‘Manhattan Manitoulin’ or her regular Postmedia newspaper column, Manitoulin has always featured large in her work and her latest novel ‘The Boat That Brings You Home’ is no exception.
The Expositor caught up with Ms. Kogos during the Manitoulin Trade Fair to discuss her latest novel, ‘The Boat That Brings You Home,’ and sure enough, even though the novel is set in the Caribbean, Manitoulin plays a role.
“I’m thrilled,” enthused Ms. Kogos about launching her new novel. “It’s only taken 15 years,” she laughed. “I lived most of this book sailing in the Caribbean, living aboard a 48-foot sailboat.”
Now wait a minute, 15 years? That seems like a long gestation period.
“Well more stuff just kept happening,” laughed Ms. Kogos. “Then I met a man from Manitoulin on a 48-foot sailboat and his home was in Kagawong while his boat was in Virgin Gorda in the BVI (British Virgin Islands).”
So is this a prequel to her other books? “No,” said Ms. Kogos emphatically. “Well, in a way, but it is so different. This is about sailing in the Caribbean, but you are not wrong, there is a lot about Manitoulin in this book.”
Researching this novel contained a lot of excitement for Ms. Kogos. “I had so much fun with this book. I went to the police academy in New York City to learn how to hold a Glock (automatic pistol) and a hefty AR-15 rifle.” The sight of the diminutive Manhattanite wielding heavy armaments would have been well worth the price of admission.
So if it has been a decade and a half journey to the publication of this novel, what prompted the move to pen the words “the end.”
“I credit Roy Eaton, former commodore of the Little Current Yacht Club,” said Ms. Kogos. “He’s been my severest critic and he has edited this book many times. Finally, he said ‘Bonnie, come about and anchor this story’.”
Ms. Kogos’ first novel had sold out paper printing of 3,000 and her second topped over 2,000—both remain available on demand on Amazon—but this time she has decided (for now) to stick to a print on demand or e-book format. “Well, it’s the way of the future isn’t it,” she said of the e-book concept. So many people are getting their books on Kindle or some other e-reader these days. The cost of printing is one thing, but the thought of schlepping all over with a trunk full of books was another consideration. So her newest book is available online at Chapters/Indigo and at Amazon.ca in e-book or print on demand.
“It’s three bucks to download and over $20 bucks to order it in print,” said Ms. Kogos. “I like the feel of paper in my hand, but I understand why people are opting for the electronic version.”
So is the next chapter in the works? “Stay tuned,” she grinned. “This tomato ain’t out of the rhubarb yet.