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Q and A with Scarborough author Noelle Jack on her novel Shire Summer

Author Noelle Jack

Dan Pearce/Metroland

Scarborough author Noelle Jack's first novel Shire Summer was recently published.

Scarborough Mirror

By Tara Hatherly

A retired teacher, librarian and sailor, Scotland-born Noelle Jack is a long time resident of West Rouge in Scarborough. Shire Summer is her first novel.

“As a lifetime reader and lover of books, the delight in having my own ‘out there’ is beyond wonderful,” said Jack. “My readership appears to span generations and cross gender lines, and has been consistently enthusiastic.”

Shire Summer is available online from Amazon and Chapters, and at Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore, 991 Kingston Rd. The book has been ordered by the Toronto Public Library, and holds can be placed for it now. Visit for more information.

Q — How would you describe Shire Summer?

A — “Shire Summer is a novel for pre-teens. It is set on the Scottish coast in the 1950s in a small fishing village just ten miles south of the famous golfing capital of St. Andrews. It is a sailing adventure, a youthful protest against parental control, and a story of love and courage in the face of desperate odds. And despite the distance in time and geography there are many similarities between there and here, a large proximate body of water, sudden summer storms and shipwrecks.”

Q — What was your inspiration for the novel?

A — “The inspiration for the novel is the setting. I have written a story about the place and the heart of my childhood. It began as a series of poems entitled Fifeshire Symphony which drifted sideways into a novel. The place is Crail, a town rich in history and mystery, and a town known for its miracles and pilgrimages, elements which must have slipped into my story when I was looking the other way. The Shire referred to in my title is Fife.”

Q — What do you hope people take away from the book?

A — “I hope my readers will relish being dropped into a place that allows them to breathe the same air as I did as a child. I hope they will be captivated by the unfettered freedom of Annie’s life compared to the circumscribed and organized ones most kids have in current times. I hope they will be terrified and thrilled to share in Annie’s harrowing adventures in her pursuit of the elusive William Morr, and be unable to put the book down until they have read the last word on the last page. I hope this story will inspire independence of thought and gutsy action.”

Q — What are you working on now?

A — “I am working on a couple of things. So far my readership is encouraging me to write a sequel. I have had suggestions from readers of all ages. I have written an outline and I am testing a title. I am also considering inserting some current narrative threads to an earlier novel, Being Pete, to give it more particular relevance to young readers of this millennium.”

(Article as it appeared in the July 7th edition of the Scarborough Mirror)

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