Endicott used a PowerPoint presentation (her first!) to show the audience pictures of the vaudeville entertainers and Cochrane, Alberta that populate her story. Her thoughts on the sense of real life behind the photographs influenced her writing of the book, and the reading she shared.
The first reading Endicott shared was of three sisters sending people home from the vaudeville show with the old soldiers behind the scenes. Her reading was filled with details of Aurora, Clover and Bella’s life as closers of the Canadian vaudeville show. Details pervaded all of the readings in the evening.
She described for us the sheer profusion of different vaudeville acts, so many different feats of strength, and posing acts and the monologue, which isn’t just Bob Hope, and shaped the character of Julius Foster Konigsberg in the tale. She also showed us the theatres she travelled to for her research, some that made it into the book and some that didn’t. Endicott showed us pictures of pages from the books that were essential research materials, flipping back and forth between her research and reading bits from her book they inspired.
All in all, Marina Endicott and her research process made for a fascinating presentation of how researching a century-old setting made for her richly detailed fiction and world.