Kemptville author’s book is going to the moon

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A successful Kemptville author will soon have a dream come true, now that he will be included in the Writers in the Moon project. Michael Blouin is a local author who also has a long-standing fascination with space exploration. Now, as part of the project, his book “Skin House” will be included on a microdisk that will be launched into space later this month. 

Michael started writing professionally when he was in his early twenties, though it took years for him to earn his success. He explained that getting an agent in Canada can be very difficult and competitive for young authors, and that the only way to be successful is to keep pushing through and not give up. “I did not get my first big publishing break until I was in my forties, but results may vary!” said Michael. 

Michael’s fascination with space has an even longer history. “I am old enough to have watched the first moon landing live on a scratchy old black and white television with rabbit ear antennas,” he explained. “From that moment I have been hooked. Human beings are capable of some horrible things, as we see every day, but for me space exploration represents one of the more noble and awe-inspiring things that we are capable of. I think we need a little more positive awe these days. I know that’s what I’ll be feeling when I get to Cape Canaveral for the launch – the same pad that launched Apollo 11!”

What is making Michael’s dream possible is the Writers on the Moon project. Michael explained that the purpose of the project is to establish a lunar library or cultural center on a site other than our own planet, similar to the gold record disc that accompanied the Voyager mission. It is not just books going to the moon – this mission also includes a robotic rover that is being tested for inclusion on NASA’s upcoming astronaut landing mission. “The NASA scientific and medical experiments involved in this month’s landing are beyond the comprehension of someone who failed high school science four times – that’s me!” Michael joked. “I truly believe that science is our best hope for a future of any kind, perhaps our only hope. I am just happy to be along for the ride!”

It turns out that ride started off as a bumpy one. Michael missed the original deadline to apply for the Writers on the Moon project, owing to the chaos and confusion of his house burning down shortly before the deadline. Luckily, a friend and fellow author from Newfoundland was able to offer some space on her microdisk for Michael’s book to be included. “We lost everything we have ever owned, so I was not in the best of possible moods at that time, and this news lifted me considerably,” said Michael.  “Aside from family and a few friends, writing is the most important thing in the world to me, and now it won’t be just in this world.”

So what book is actually going to the moon? “Skin House”, which won Best Novel in Canada the year it was published. The book is a comedy crime caper not for the weak of heart, as Michael explained, and the entire novel takes place in Kemptville/North Grenville. “You would only recognize that if you live here as places are never actually named,” added Michael. “I can’t tell you how many people have said to me ‘That bar, is it…?’ Yes, it is. Or ‘That street, is it…?’ Yup. Of course, none of the events in the novel ever actually happened. Or maybe some of them did…”

Michael’s newest novel, “I am Billy the Kid” (2022) will also be included in a launch with NASA/SpaceX in 2024. It also has sequences that take place in North Grenville and is a revisionist western with feminist themes. “Skin House” will be launched on February 25 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Both books are available from the publisher at anvilpress.com, from Indigo or Amazon or anywhere people get books including the North Grenville Public Library. To learn more about Michael, visit michaelblouinwriter.com.

 

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