Regina publisher Deana Driver from DriverWorks Ink is excited to introduce Tunnels of Time by Mary Harelkin Bishop to a whole new generation of readers with a revival of Moose Jaw’s most beloved novel.
In a partnership between DriverWorks Ink and Bishop herself, a reprinted and updated edition of the young adult novel set in Moose Jaw’s infamous tunnels is hot off the presses this week and ready to release with SaskBooks during Saskatchewan Book Publishing Week from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.
“We’re looking forward to introducing this book to a whole new generation of young people and educators who have not heard of it before,” said Driver. “It’s a national best-selling book, tens of thousands of copies sold, and we’re hoping people embrace this new volume just as well.”
Tunnels of Time was originally published in 2000 by the now-defunct Coteau Books in Regina, and it instantly became a bestseller for the prairie publisher. The time-travel novel was so popular that Bishop turned it into a series of five books following pre-teen heroine Andrea and her adventures in Moose Jaw’s illustrious past, which have remained very popular over the years since they were originally published.
The new edition of the novel will tell the same beloved story as the original version, but with a few new inclusions to both celebrate the book’s 20th anniversary and also bring Tunnels of Time into 2020.
Driver and Bishop have updated parts of the novel to better reflect new information about the history of the tunnels and the prohibition era in Moose Jaw, in light of new research done since 2000 — including a documentary interviewing Al Capone’s great-niece talking about how important Moose Jaw was to his business.
“Some of the details have been fine-tuned because in 20 years things have changed,” said Driver. “More information is known about the tunnels and the days of gangsters, and all of that history.”
Driver and Bishop even reached out to people in Moose Jaw to put together a more accurate depiction of the city for the novel, using details from local stories to better describe Moose Jaw’s locale.
They have also updated some of the outdated language from the original edition and added a number of resources at the back of the book, including historical notes and a question and answer section with the author for educators to utilize.
The 2020 edition of Tunnels of Time also boasts a new cover and illustrations throughout the novel, something that Bishop had always wanted to do.
“Now people get to see who Mary thinks Andrea is, this 13-year-old girl who’s the heroine of the story,” said Driver. “They now know what she looks like and they can follow along a little better on her journey and all of the different adventures she has as a tunnel rat.”
Tunnels of Time has been a staple in prairie classrooms for a number of years, and Driver said the book’s longevity is thanks to its incredible story.
“Part of the reason we republished is because this book is still relevant. It's a wonderful children’s story based on events that actually happened in Moose Jaw, in the days of Al Capone,” said Driver. “The book is super popular across Canada and we knew that we could not allow it to go out of print.”
DriverWorks Ink will be celebrating the book’s 20th anniversary and republishing on Oct. 2 with a virtual book launch, which will feature a live Q&A with Bishop and a dramatic reading of an excerpt from the novel — filmed in the actual tunnels of Moose Jaw.
“[SaskBooks] thought it would be a wonderful idea to film a videotaped reading from in the tunnels of Moose Jaw,” said Driver. “And we were welcomed with open arms to come into the tunnels [and] it really was a wonderful adventure.”
The launch event is free to attend, with registration available by visiting DriverWorks Ink’s website.
Republishing Tunnels of Time is only the beginning as well, promised Driver, as DriverWorks Ink plans to update and republish all of the books in the Tunnels of Time series over the next few years.
Signed copies of the new edition of Tunnels of Time will be available to purchase from DriverWorks Ink. Regular copies can be found in big bookstores like Indigo and McNally Robinson, and they will also be available locally in Moose Jaw at Yvette Moore Gallery and the Tunnels of Moose Jaw gift shop. The new edition is also available as an eBook, for download where eBooks are available.