Today on the blog I have Danika Stone, author of The Dark Divide, which is the sequel to The Edge of Wild. I recently found out there will also be a third book, which makes me so happy! This series is a thriller/mystery set in the very small town of Waterton, Alberta, Canada. The main characters are Rich Evans and Louise Newman, but the townspeople are what really make these books shine. They are quirky, secretive, and full of different personalities. In a way they remind me of the people in Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls), but darker. The first book dealt with murders happening in the town & ended with a hotel fire. The Dark Divide picks up with the aftermath of the hotel fire and a new mystery for the townspeople of Waterton to be secretive about. I hope you give this adult thriller a read and enjoy it as much as I do!
I first “met” Danika after joining her blog tour for Edge of Wild and recently got to finally meet her in person at NYCC. She is the most down to earth person and so kind. I remember when I first read The Edge of Wild, I asked her about Waterton and found out that it was a real place. When trying to think of a topic for this tour, I decided I needed to know more about Waterton & Danika’s inspiration for the people there.
The Very Real Location of The Dark Divide: Waterton
The setting of The Dark Divide is an actual place: Waterton Park, Alberta, Canada, a location which has a special place in my heart. The town has less than a hundred people who live there year round. Both my paternal grandparents grew up in Waterton. Our family cabin is still there, still in the family (and I’m in the middle of renovating it!). I spent my childhood climbing the same peaks that my father, uncles, aunts, and grandparents did.
It only made sense to set my mystery series there.
There were more reasons than just familial fondness or nostalgia. Waterton straddles the American-Canadian border. The lake itself moves across that division, something which sparked the first ideas of the plot in Edge of Wild. As a child, I heard stories of bootleggers moving alcohol from Canada to the US during the prohibition-era. My grandfather, in fact, grew up on the site of an old still and described raking the lawn in the summertime, occasionally discovering the top of a bottle, hastily buried in the sandy soil a decade earlier.
When I worked in Waterton as a teen, a new building project caused a controversy. I recall overhearing conversations as I served coffee at my aunt’s coffee shop, the townspeople muttering their frustration over the changes to their town. That attitude hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Just last year, a local was quoted in an interview, threatening vigilante action over changes to the town. The town also came with its own share of mysteries. A few of Louise’s stories in both books came from my father. And some of the plotlines came from real life moments in the community like the fire that took out the dance hall and a lodge in the 1930’s. Each one of these real life moments became sparks of the plot that led to Edge of Wild and The Dark Divide.
When I write about Waterton, I write with a great respect for the people and the land. Though I emphasize that these are fictionalstories in The Dark Divide, they come from a place of awe and admiration. Waterton owns a piece of my heart and I hope that YOU grow to love it, too.
D.K. Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, she now writes novels for both adults (Edge of Wild, The Intaglio Series, and Ctrl Z) and teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous). When not writing, Ms. Stone can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online.