Craig Copland, author of the new Sherlock Holmes mysteries, will be a featured reader at Electric Mermaid on Dec. 18. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Craig Copland, author of the new Sherlock Holmes mysteries, will be a featured reader at Electric Mermaid on Dec. 18. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Port Alberni’s ‘Electric Mermaid’ takes a journey

The newest live reading event transports attendees to Vernon, Nova Scotia and even England

The newest edition of Electric Mermaid: Live Reads at Char’s Landing transports attendees to Vernon, Nova Scotia and even jolly old England.

Feature readers for the event on Friday, Dec. 18 will be Craig Copland, author of the new Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and Marjorie Simmins, author of Memoir: Conversations and Craft, and other books.

“We’re very excited to have Craig Copland visiting to share his marvellous self-published Sherlock Holmes series, not just for mystery readers but for any writers who have ever wanted to revisit a series,” said artistic director Jackie Carmichael in a press release.

Copland is a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of Canada—also known as the Toronto Bootmakers. In May of 2014, this group of scholars announced a contest for the wiriting of a new Sherlock Holmes mystery. Although he had never tried his hand at fiction before, Copland entered and was selected as one of the winners.

Having enjoyed the experience he decided to write more of the same, and is now on a mission to write a new Sherlock Holmes mystery that is related to and inspired by each of the sixty stories in the original canon. So far, he has published forty-three books of new Sherlock Holmes mysteries, as well as a dozen short stories and other books.

Copland pursued a professional career that took him to more than 100 countries and on endless adventures. He has been living and writing while living in Toronto, Buenos Aires, New York, Tokyo, Bahrain and the Okanagan Valley, and looks forward to finally settling down when he turns ninety. You can find him at

Marjorie Simmins’ latest book, Memoir: Conversations and Craft, is intended for any reader or writer who is fascinated by personal life stories that demand to be read, refuse to be forgotten. Whether you are an emerging or experienced writer, this reflection on writing can galvanize you.

“Marjorie Simmons has published an impressive body of work, and we’re really looking forward to her reading, all the way from Nova Scotia,” said Carmichael.

Simmins is an award-winning journalist and the author of Coastal Lives and Year of the Horse. She also teaches memoir writing across Canada.

“I have been teaching personal narrative writing in all its many forms for over 25 years,” says Simmins. “I have taught people of all ages and backgrounds, all of whom are compelled to write and share their life stories. I wanted to reach an even wider audience of readers and writers who love the memoir genre and want to benefit from my teaching experience, and the wisdom of some of Canada’s finest writers, who have practiced memoir themselves.”

Copland and Simmins will join the scheduled readers at 5:45 pm Pacific time for the fledgling online venue via Zoom. Links for the event can be found at by clicking on the Electric Mermaid event and then scrolling down to the Zoom link, and clicking on it at event time.

Regional readers can sign up for a slot of up to five minutes by emailing Donations in support of the venue are welcomed at

Both Copland and Simmins will be profiled on the Electric Mermaid Facebook page, with a Q&A.

The Electric Mermaid: Live Reads from Char’s Landing series is set for the third Friday of each month at 5:45 p.m., with doors at 5:30 p.m. Alberni author Derek Hanebury is the host for the event and Karl Korven is the moderator.


Marjorie Simmins, author of Memoir: Conversations and Craft, will be one of the feature readers at Electric Mermaid on Dec. 18. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Marjorie Simmins, author of Memoir: Conversations and Craft, will be one of the feature readers at Electric Mermaid on Dec. 18. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

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