Article: Showtime! - Friday, January 10, 2003 - by Erin McKay
"When I attended SFU as a 'mature student,' I was surprised to find most of my fellow, younger students yawning through Canadian history," said Dobbie. "Having been born and raised in Scotland, where tales of Culloden and Bannockburn still stir the blood, I thought it was a pity that students here didn't feel more of the passion of their past."
To make readers more aware of that past, and to hold their attention, Dobbie chose the novel form to express her ideas and information.
"I wanted the licence to add feeling to the history of the early days through imagination, specifically as experienced by the young Hawaiian who came here as a servant of the Hudson's Bay Company," she said.
When Eagles Call tells the tale of Kimo Kanui, a young Kanaka who left his native Hawaii in the early 19th Century, at a time when thousands of his people were leaving to find work abroad.
Kimo signs on with the Hudson's Bay Company and is sent as a labourer to Fort Langley, where he encounters the wild men of the fur brigades, and falls in love with a woman who is half Kwantlen, half French Canadian.
"I have taken liberties with dates and events, altering as necessary to accommodate the plot," said Dobbie, who has worked as a volunteer docent at the Langley Centennial Museum for 10 years. "It's not a definitive history of our area. Rather, it is a fictionalized account of the journey of a young man who, though his trials and tribulations, comes to maturity and finds his place in the world through overcoming the challenges and hardship of Langley's early days."
When Eagles Call will be available through Ronsdale Press March 2003.