The back cover of Yvonne Maximchuk’s fiction novel ‘Murder Rides A Gale Force Wind.’ (Submitted photo)

The back cover of Yvonne Maximchuk’s fiction novel ‘Murder Rides A Gale Force Wind.’ (Submitted photo)

North Island artist-author explains how she wrote her very first fiction novel

‘I could probably write a book about everything I learned from writing this book’

Ever wonder how somebody writes a novel?

Echo Bay artist-author Yvonne Maximchuk says her new book ‘Murder Rides A Gale Force Wind’ was her first time working in the fiction genre and that she’d always dreamed of writing a novel over the years, before finally deciding to go ahead and give it a real try.

“Writing fiction requires a tremendous amount of creativity, whereas writing things like non-fiction and your memoirs is more about relying on your memories,” she said, noting that while fiction is quite fun to write, “it was also a lot harder.”

Maximchuk said it took her about seven years to actually finish the entire novel, and then it took another year of editing to get it ready for publication.

She had a professional editor do the final copy edit on the book, and she used her renowned artist skills to create the cover.

“I did all the artwork for my other books as well, and each of those books have more of my illustrations in them to varying degrees,” she confirmed.

Maximchuk is hesitant to consider her novel a “murder mystery,” although she admits it will be hard for it not to be tagged in that genre because “people do die, but the question is were they actually murdered.”

She added you can’t let the world tell you how things should be categorized, and that she actually went out of her way to mix genres a bit to create a more interesting piece of work.

“Murder mysteries generally have to have one protagonist, but in my book there’s a crew of seven or eight key characters and I cycle through being inside all of these characters’ heads,” she said, using her prose as an example.

As for what she’s learned about writing fiction over the course of the seven years she spent writing her book, she said she knows a lot more about editing now, has grown in her rewriting skills, and has also made great advancements in plotting.

“I could probably write a book about everything I learned from writing this book,” she laughed.

The book is set in Echo Bay, an unincorporated settlement located on the west side of Gilford Island, where Maximchuk has continued to live for many years now.

“I chose that setting because I know a lot about where I live, and it brings a stable framework to the book. Echo Bay and the Broughton Archipelago are enormously beautiful, thousands of people come out here every year to get a little piece of our wilderness, and I thought that it would be a good contrast to the human drama I was trying to ferment.”

Murder Rides a Gale Force Wind, An Island Mystery is available from the author, in Echo Bay, Gilford Island, BC and the following BC bookstores ~The Mulberry Bush Bookstore, Qualicum Beach; Laughing Oyster Books, Courtenay; Blue Heron Books, Mermaid tales Books, Tofino; Comox: Book Bonanza, Quadra Island, West Coast Community Craft Shop, Port Hardy; Shop Rite at Home and Harbourside Pharmacy in Port McNeill and Bill Proctors Gift Shop near Echo Bay, Gilford Island; also available in the Vancouver Island Regional Library system.

Go to or e-mail Yvonne at to purchase books, artworks or to arrange a reading or art retreat.


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