“Wherever you are is the entry point.”
I’m PR Isfeld, and this is my first blog post on this new website. I have to start somewhere, so I’ll answer the questions I always have when I discover somebody else’s blog:
Why are you doing this?
A few weeks ago, I put the finishing touches on my manuscript, Captives, a psychological mystery that was shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript in 2021. This website and blog are intended to help get Captives into the world by finding an agent, a publisher, and ultimately, readers.
What do you write about?
Captives tells the story of journalist Sam Gilchrist and three other women who survive a brutal kidnapping. Three years after their escape, the survivors gather at a lakeside cottage to celebrate putting the experience behind them. Before the weekend is over, one of the four is dead and the others learn their ordeal is not yet over.
I’ve also written some short stories. You can get one for free by signing up for my mailing list.
What will I find on this blog?
First I’ll tell you want you won’t find, which is a much directly related to my work as a Canadian diplomat or my current position as President of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). This blog is about writing, and any views expressed here are solely my own.
Although Captives is fiction and bears no resemblance to any real-life people or events, some of my inspiration came from assignments as a civilian advisor in Kabul and Kandahar. I’ve retained a deep interest in the people, history, and politics of Afghanistan, and in the aftermath of our mission there for us as well as the people we tried to help.
More broadly, Captives is about the complicated friendship between the four main characters, and their relationships with the other people in their lives. It’s also about power and the different ways it can manifest and change human behaviour.
I plan to write about these subjects and share recommendations and comments on books and other resources. They’ll be recommendations rather than reviews, though, because life is too short to read something that’s not worthwhile, or to trash another writer.
When should I come back?
I plan to update this blog a couple of times per month, normally on or around the first and third Mondays. If you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll get notified when I post. I’ll also use that list to let you know about any important events, publication information (eventually!) and so on, once in a while.