Our names are Flo Wilson and Winter Leigh, and we're good friends of Eric (Flo and Eric were married on May 1, 1999 at Niagara Falls). You'll find Flo's name on the dedication page of both THE EMILY CARR MYSTERY and THE INUK MOUNTIE ADVENTURE, and Winter's name is featured in ESCAPE FROM BIG MUDDY.
We'd like to answer some of the questions that people ask. To start with a popular query, Eric loves cats! He was born in Ottawa on November 24, 1940, and he and Flo now live in Victoria. Each of his 23 books is special to Eric, so he really can't name his number one choice (Eric says it's like having 23 kids and feeling proud of each one).
Lots of people want to know if Tom and Liz are real kids and how can they meet them. Well, even though they are imaginary characters they are very real to Eric; he loves visiting a fascinating setting and imagining how Tom and Liz might react to the place. The next step is to picture a villain with some evil scheme in mind. Eric then wonders how the person's plans might attract the attention of Tom and Liz--and how the lawbreaker would react when brought to justice by the two heroes.
How did Eric get started writing? As a grade 8 teacher in White Rock, B.C. he wanted to interest his students in books so he wrote two pages a day after school for many months until he'd completed a full-length manuscript called FAT BOY SPEEDING (elsewhere on this website you'll find Eric's own description of his early days as a teacher and writer). Eric's students were powerful haters of books, but when he read them his story they all paid attention. Eric figured he had a hit on his hands, but he hadn't bothered to plan the story so publishers weren't interested in it.
Eric kept trying new books without success until he came up with a red-headed freckle-faced boy detective (Tom Austen, of course!) who encounters murder most foul while crossing Canada by train. At last he was published--but the struggles continued. For years not many adults knew about Eric Wilson, but kids kept telling each other about Tom and his sister Liz, and slowly they developed a following across the country and then elsewhere as their adventures started appearing in translation in lands as distant as Spain and Japan.
Eric's latest Liz Austen adventure is called THE EMILY CARR MYSTERY and it takes place in romantic Victoria, B.C. As always, this thrilling tale of suspense and intrigue features Eric's trademark blend of history and mystery. You can read the suspenseful opening chapters of all of Eric's stories, including THE EMILY CARR MYSTERY, on this website. Also online, at the guest book, you'll find Eric's answers to other questions that he's often asked.
Perhaps Eric chose Victoria for this mystery because we live here, and it's such a beautiful city. Eric and Flo love to go for long walks through Beacon Hill Park and beside the ocean, and the three of us are often seen at the local movie theatres. Eric likes to think of his readers as his kids, so you're a really important part of his life!