Gros Morne National Park

Most of The Secret Under My Skin takes place in Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland.
This is me, hiking into Green Gardens from the Tablelands.

When I spent a week there in the park in 1995, I knew I had to write about Gros Morne. 

Kildevil isn't a real town, but there is an Anglican Church camp located across from Kildevil Mountain in Gros Morne where I stayed in 1995. The landscape I imagined for the Grand Hotel and the town of Kildevil were inspired by that setting, but not exactly the same. Woody Point and Trout River are real places. The Tablelands are a famous landmark.

The Tablelands

Copyright Parks Canada/Gros Morne Park, used with permission.
The Tablelands are an important feature of Gros Morne Park, and play an important role in my story. They were created  millions of years ago when a small part of the earth's mantle was pushed up to the surface as two ancient continents came together, closing the ocean between them. Because of high mineral concentrations, nothing grows on the Tablelands. The barren orange plateau looks like a piece of the moon fallen to earth.

In the 24th century  I imagine, global warming has significantly changed the earth. The the climate and landscape of the Gros Morne area in my novel are not the same as you would find them today.

Copyright Parks Canada/Gros Morne Park, used with permission.

To learn more about Gros Morne, visit the Gros Morne National Park web site 

Finding the Setting of this Book on a Map

Here is a link to Maps of Gros Morne from that website. You can view the map of the park, or download it in PDF. The site of the imaginary town of Kildevil is number 5 on the map of the park,where the Stanleyville trail meets the coast. The workcamp and the house where Blay lived with William and Erica are located about where the number 6 is on this map. Number 2 is the Green Gardens trail where they hiked in to the Tablelands, which are also marked on the map. 

Seeing the Settings of This Book on Video Clips

This is a bit tricky. Go to this Gros Morne Alive page and  click on the Gros Morne Trails link on the right hand side of the page. You will see a map of the park with a list of trails. Pick the trail you want, and click on the title. The map will go to a close up of the trail. At the bottom of this enlarged map, you'll see a link, "Show Hiking Trail Video." This will bring up a blank screen. To play the video, click on the "start" triangle, otherwise, it doesn't play. If you view the Stanleyville video, you will see the path that Erica and Blay walk to get to the town of Kildevil. Part of the Green Gardens video shows the beach where they landed and the path they hiked to the Tablelands (although the hikers are going in the opposite direction).. The resolution on these videos could be better, but they do give a good sense of the landscape. 

One Fabulous Website About Gros Morne

The page discussed above comes from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) great website called Gros Morne Timelines.This extensive website is full of videos, photos and interactive features, covering all aspects of the park, including wildlife and geology.  Click on the map of North America on the main page to see where Newfoundland and Gros Morne are located. Have a look at the "Interactives" on the right hand side of each page. The video link on the main page called "Experience the Book" has a wonderful slide show of pictures of the park, with a poetic text by Kevin Major, read by the author. This site has many pages, and it's worth taking time to explore. The videos and photographs will give you a good idea of the incredible beauty of this place.

St. Pearl, the city where the story begins, is based on the current cities of St. John's and Mount Pearl on the east coast of Newfoundland, where I live, although the city in my book is nothing like those cities as they are today.

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