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St. Paul writer uses her own experience to create a historical fantasy

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Heather Bouwman
Heather Bouwman and her new book, "The Remarkable and Very True Story of Lucy and Snowcap."
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

In her new children's novel "The Remarkable and Very True Story of Lucy and Snowcap," St. Paul writer Heather Bouwman has created a historical fantasy set in isolated islands just off the North American continent in 1787. 

It's about two little girls. There's Lucy, the daughter of the native islanders, and Snowcap, the daughter of the governor of a colony of shipwrecked convicts.

"Both of them are facing some pretty serious problems, and end up having to run away from home," Bouwman said. "They meet up, and they don't like each other. By the end of the book they still don't like each other, but do sort of  learn to work together. And that is what the book is following, their journey and their constant  negotiation about how they are going to work together."

Novelists are often told to write what they know, and Heather Bouwman did just that. 

She teaches American colonial literature at the University of St. Thomas, but she had also spent time as a tour guide on one of the remote Apostle Islands. 

Bouwman talked with Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr about the story she decided to tell.