Tomorrow is 100th commemoration of the battle at Vimy Ridge, considered to be the battle that moved Canada from the status of a dominion to a full fledged country in the eyes of the British Empire. Right now I’m reading Tim Cook’s book, “At the Sharp End,” a history of Canada’s involvement in the first world War from 1914 to 1916. It is a great book and one I wish had been around when we were studying Canada’s involvement in the first world War when I was in school. The book has many first-person accounts of life in the trenches. The unfortunate thing for many of the people’s recollections are being used is they are posthumous from that period. I don’t think that many of us can even conceptualize the wholesale slaughter of the first world War. Slaughter that was confined for the most part to a narrow but wide ribbon about 20 miles deep and hundreds of miles long. I’ll be honest, I can only read the accounts in short bursts.
My wife remarked this morning after watching a historical drama about a very small story but a very interesting person that there are millions of stores like that out there remain untold, unseen, known only to a few wider through word-of-mouth or access to some small text are told. I’m currently writing a screenplay set in the latter days all of the second world war about just such a story. The kind of true story I had no idea existed until it was told to me. It was a kind of story that when you hear it you know it needs to be told in a bigger arena. The kind of story that when it’s presented to you, you know this is something you have to seize and run with. I wish I could tell you more but the rough draft is almost done and I’ve got a fair bit of rewriting to do before I can present it to a producer. And then there’s another part of you but wonders why take the time to create new stories when are so many other great ready stories to be told and the answers of course life rights. And the fact that period pieces tend to scare Hollywood executives.
Well that plus the fact that I’d do enjoy creating brand-new stories from nothing. It used to amuse me greatly when I’d be hired to write a screenplay or I optioned a spec. In some ways it felt like a bit of a con. Somebody was paying me a decent amount of cash for something that I’d literally thought up out of thin air. Strangely enough I don’t feel the same way about my books. Probably because it’s my money I’m spending to get the damn things produced. Money I spend gladly though. You don’t want to put out an inferior product, especially when the platforms are out there for you to succeed in that respect.
So here’s an update on the current works as a stand: Devil’s Ante is about halfway through its edit and should be back in my hands by the third week of this month. Reliance, starts its audiobook journey in two weeks. Devil’s Gambit is in the last quarter of the creation of the audio files. My narrator Edward James Beesley is fantastic and the added audio production he has brought to the project only makes the book better. I’m looking forward to working with him on the sequel. And last night I revisited Augmented and did some work on that manuscript. I’m also preparing myself and my motorcycle for the trip out West to do the Vancouver Island loop. This trip will become the backend of my next motorcycle travel book currently titled, “The big backyard-more tales from a two-wheeled maniac.”