And so do I and I guess that’s the biggest reason why I wrote this book. Now, where the idea for a story comes from is always a bit of a mystery. There I was one day, sitting at my computer, when the image of an older woman sitting in a wheelchair, out on the ice, taking a cracking shot on net, came to me – and thus, Granny was born. I had that idea, of an older woman experiencing the complete joy of shooting a puck into a net, and I couldn’t let it go. Then her granddaughter, who also loves hockey, came into the story. The special bond between them, which is partly based on their love of hockey, carried the book forward.
All of my books have some sort of feminist bent to them, not in a highly militant way, but in an everyday way. What are the pressures girls are under? Why does this or that happen to a character simply because she is female? And even though this is a picture book, that bent is still there. Poor Granny was denied the same rights and pleasures as her brothers when she was younger. They could stay out on the frozen lake for hours playing the game they loved, while Granny had to go home to do chores. She carried that lost dream all her life and her granddaughter knows it. When she sees Granny’s eyes twitching, she knows Granny is dreaming of taking the shot she never had the chance to take. The grand-daughter also knows Granny is getting older and more tired, so NOW is the time. It is Granny’s only chance to take that shot.
I love the relationship I created between grandmother and granddaughter in my book. They are so close and share so many special moments, even just walking and petting cats. I think shared inter- generational experiences are so valuable, for the old and young. I hope readers can really feel how important they are for each other.
Now, as for hockey. I am a fan of the game: I love its speed and skill, its fast-paced energy. I have been a die-hard Montreal Canadiens fan for as a long as I can remember and rarely miss a game. Just ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you it’s true (often with a groan). I have been researching women’s hockey for years because of another writing project and it’s really fascinating. In fact, Lord Stanley, after whom the Stanley Cup is named, had a rink made outside the Governor General’s residence so that his sons and daughters could play, and one of his daughters, Lady Isabel Stanley, was quite good. Then there were all the teams that sprung up when the men were away on the battlefield (more about that in my next book). And of course, our national women’s team is unparalleled in terms of Olympic and World Championship gold!
I love what Eliska Liska did with her illustrations: the icy blues and bright reds and yellows are perfect fort he book. She added so many funny touches, like birds with scarves and fish coming up through the ice. I could not have been happier with the final pictures. So, thank you Eliska. Any praise for the book must be shared with you.
Finally, the book is an encouragement to anyone with a passion; never let it die. It’s never too late to do something you really want to do in life. Don’t let anything stop you. With help, with the love and support of good friends and family, you can get there.
Go Granny Go!
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