Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Maquinna Line

The Maquinna LineMy brother is a journalist and he's been doing some editing work lately on a manuscript written many years ago by a woman who had a fascinating life and a wide-ranging creative career in Canada and the USA.  Norma Macmillan was born in Vancouver and later lived with her husband in Hollywood in the 1960s. As well as acting and writing she did voice over work, most famously as the voice of TV's Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost.  She began work on her novel,  Maquinna Line, then, often traveling to remote areas of Vancouver Island to write.   The book is set on Vancouver Island from 1871 to 1945 and it traces the lives of five families, including two descendants of Chief Maquinna, who met Captain Cook on his arrival.

Although there was some interest in the manuscript at the time, it was never published, and was found at the back of a closet by Norma's husband after her death in 2001 at the age of 79.  He asked a friend (my brother) to help revive it and find a publisher.  My brother spent months editing it to a shorter, tighter version and the book was published this month. Tonight we're going to attend a reading at a local bookstore. I haven't started the book yet but from its background and a quick perusal I think it will be a fascinating read.  If you want to know more, here's a link.


  1. Wow, it's so interesting (and special) when you are so close to the source -you must be proud of your brother!

  2. I'd love to read that. Good for your brother. Editing is a hard job.
    BTW, the link that you provided leads to an error page.

  3. Hi Jeanette, yes I am very proud of him.

    The link should be fixed now. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Thanks for fixing - it works now. Even more interesting.

  5. joanna such a dreamy find. a lost novel in a closet!! sometimes books find people who can take care of them. the maquinna line found your brother and is now able to live the life it deserves. i wish every success to your brother. steven

  6. Steven, yes it's kind of romantic isn't it? Thanks for your good wishes.

  7. Well it's good that someone found this and more importantly, treasured it enough to nurture it back to life. I'm interested in your review of the book.


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