The thing I remember most about the writing of The Canopy is that it was during the Year of the Move, and I wrote it while sitting amid boxes in our too-small rental house. Moving a family (twice!) is taxing, but especially so when you’re on a deadline. But the story came together without too much trouble, and I had a blast with my international cast of characters.

What’s funny in hindsight, though, is that I didn’t know I’d be recording this as an audio book. Which meant that I didn’t realize that I’d have to SPEAK all those international accents I created–Peruvians, a Russian, a Frenchman, a Swede, a British doctor who speaks Spanish badly, a heroine from Georgia, and a child. Fortunately my pal Bill Myers stepped in to help me out–if you ever get a chance to listen to the audio version of The Canopy, it’s a hoot. (Well, the accents are, anyway.)

One of the challenges I encountered was how to handle a large cast adroitly. It’s difficult to create a dialogue scene with six or seven characters–speech attributions become a necessity, and can feel burdensome. I learned rather quickly to group my characters in small clutches rather than around the dinner table. Much easier to handle!

Tomorrow: The editing


P.S. If you’d like to see some other person’s great pictures of the Yacumama Lodge where we stayed, click here. You can click on any particular picture to enlarge it. These are wonderful shots!


  1. Ane Mulligan

    I’m glad I have an entire drama team at my disposal, in case I ever get the chance to record an audio book. :o) I knew all those hours as drama director for my church would pay off somewhere!

  2. Ruth

    LOL! The audiobook woes are too funny!

  3. C.J. Darlington

    I’ve noticed too how hard scenes can be to write when there are more than three characters. Do you have any suggestions/tips from writing Canopy on how best to accomplish this? Is the answer to avoid scenes with more than three?


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