Friday, May 29, 2015

"Soldier of the Horse" and Bloody Jack

Bloody Jack Krafchenko was executed for murder in 1914, after a bizarre series of events that included an escape from the Winnipeg jail using a pistol smuggled in to him by--perhaps--his lawyer.

One version of the story was included in "Soldier of the Horse", when Tom is accused of having a part in the plot. The real-life Tom isn't around to answer any more questions, but the gun is. It's pictured here in the Winnipeg Police Museum, along with museum personnel Jack Templeman and Bruce Honey.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Terror on the Alert" going to Kamloops

When my first novel, Soldier of the Horse, came out in 2011 I was surprised how much work has to go in to make a book successful after the writing is finished and the book is in the stores. That's the new reality, however, and among other efforts I did a tour in BC and Alberta to get the word out.

One of the places where I spoke to a very friendly audience was at the Kamloops Library. I snapped the photo at left early the next day, as I was leaving town to head for Alberta. It was a chilly start, but the photo reminds me of the majestic sweep of the hills surrounding the city.

Terror on the Alert will also be featured at the Kamloops Library on September 19th this year. I'm looking forward to renewing acquaintances with friends in the area, as well as the very helpful staff at the library.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Battle of the Atlantic Dinner

The 70th anniversary of the end of the longest battle of the Second World War, the Battle of the Atlantic, was celebrated at HMCS Discovery, Vancouver's reserve naval base, on May 2nd.

Present and pictured at left as Guest of Honour was The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Brian Cook, president of the Naval Officers Association on BC was mess president for the occasion. At left, the Lieutenant Governor was presented with a history of Discovery.

To the right are John Horton (left), prominent marine artist, and Dr James Boutilier, Special Advisor to Commander MARPAC (Maritime Command Pacific, RCN). Dr. Boutilier spoke about the Battle of the Atlantic, and drew attention to the appalling losses suffered by the German U-boat fleet during the battle.

Friday, May 8, 2015

IPPY Strikes Again

Here's what Soldier of the Horse's Independent Publishers (IPPY) gold medal looked like three years ago. Soldier won top prize in the category Military/Wartime Fiction.

Now my second novel, Terror on the Alert, has almost duplicated the feat, receiving a silver medal in the same category.

Very exciting and rewarding.

There is a lot of encouragement out there for writers. Not to mention a heap of support from publishers, writing organizations such as Canadian Authors Association, BC Federation of Writers, and many others.

And like others writers, a big thanks for all the support from family and friends.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Authors For Indies--Lots of Fun

"Authors For Indies" was celebrated across Canada on May 2nd. More than 700 authors swooped down on 120 independent bookstores across Canada.

Preliminary returns show an 18% increase in sales over previous Saturdays, which is very rewarding. It certainly reinforces my own feeling, which was that it was a fun and successful occasion.

I attended at two Black Bond stores in Surrey. The photo above shows a couple of happy Californians who were good enough to chat about books in the 24th Avenue store.

Depicted at right are store manager Susan and me, outside the lively Samiahmoo Mall outlet.

A total of seven authors participated in those two stores alone. The whole country was abuzz with books.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Busy Days for Writers

Tomorrow, May 2nd, is Authors for Indies Day across Canada. The idea is that writers can show their support for independent bookstores, those stubborn and determined booksellers who havecarried on in spite of the onslaught of the large chains. To show appreciation, writers are appearing in local stores to talk to customers and show their appreciation for booksellers, without whom most authors would be unknown.

E-books and the internet have gained a large part of the market, but the battle is by no means lost. Interestingly, Black Bond Books have expanded in the lower mainland of British Columbia. I'll be appearing in two local Black Bond outlets. For a list of authors and booksellers taking part, visit Authors for Indies.

A week later, May 9th, will be a busy Saturday for local authors. I'll be part of a panel titled "History Writes: Inspired and Remembered". There are a whole day's worth of events Write Here Read Now at the City Centre branch of the Surrey Public Library. I'm thrilled to see "Terror on the Alert" listed as a new book in the Library.