Dawson Creek Art Gallery

The Northern Arts Review on Mina Ambrose

Book One of the Shadows of the Sun series.

Vampires, Community and the License to Create

By Haley Bassett, September 10th 2020

For this week’s edition I had a chat with local writer Mina Ambrose, author of the Shadows of the Sun series, the first volume of which, Moonchild Rising, is available now on Amazon and the Full Quiver Publishing website.

Ambrose epitomizes the phrase “Never too late”. She completed her first novel as a great grandmother in her 70s, a project that began over twenty years ago. The manuscript grew to become a six-book epic that she refers to as a living thing that continues to evolve right until publishing. 

Her story is one that will be familiar to many closet creatives in the north. Ambrose was born an artist and enjoyed writing, painting and music from an early age; however, her creative pursuits took a backseat when it was time to raise a family. With her children grown, Ambrose reclaimed her interests, and completed a Bachelor of Arts at Northern Lights College. During this time, she enrolled in a creative writing course that would serve as the springboard for her most ambitious project yet.

Ambrose’s epic starts in the fictional town of Archangel, California, in the late 90s. It follows Mara, a hunter of vampires, tasked with controlling their infestation of the Upperworld. The series references real historical events and covers enough territory to rival George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Ambrose’s protagonists even pass through the Peace Country at one point. Moonchild is a classic story of good versus evil, complete with a deep lore that draws on vampiric and Greek mythologies as well as the occult and Christian themes.  

When asked what inspired her to write a novel about vampires, Ambrose mentioned her dislike of inconsistencies in the lore of vampire stories such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight. As a remedy to this, Ambrose developed her own world with a history, mythology and its own internal logic. 

This sort of complex world-building takes a certain confidence in one’s license to create that is rare and admirable. Ambrose credits her creative writing class and her family for giving her the confidence and support to pursue this project. This is a great example of the importance of community for creative people looking to improve their craft, as a work of art is never the creation of one person, but the result of a network of supports and influences that allow for the creative process to happen.

The second instalment of the Shadows of the Sun series is set to be released in June 2021. The rest of the story is written and awaiting publishing, meaning there will be plenty of material for those who wish to inhabit the Upperworld.

Do you have an artistic endeavour you would like to promote? I would love to speak with you! Please email me at programs@dcartgallery.ca.

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