For a time, I
contemplated a career as a news reporter, even though my popular contribution
to our middle-school newspaper was a monthly series entitled “The Purple People
Eaters.” Clearly neither journalistic reporting nor even an original title. (You
can check out the inspirational old song for that effort here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9H_cI_WCnE )
That fun mini-series eventually caused a
surprising amount of pressure since after about three episodes, I was running
out of ideas for my alien characters and classmates frequently asked what was going
to happen next. I didn’t know but felt compelled to keep going—and kept wondering
if reporting straight-up news was an easier avenue for my writing aspirations.
Time and experience have shown that neither is easy.
I stuck with fiction, maybe because I get
to do what journalists don’t—write a fitting ending. The world can be a messy place
with troublesome loose ends and generations can pass before some chronicles conclude.
Often, the best journalists can do is give us an account of “what happened”. At
other times, they may be able to produce deeper reports that link past influences
with present forces and provide us with context to gain broader understanding.
And while I recognize that reports of current events (like all recorded history)
are to varying degrees filtered accounts, I continue to hold good journalism in
high regard. Because despite the very human imperfections of journalists, we need
them. We need people with the fire and will and integrity to get out there, ask
questions, and report the facts they find to us.
Which is why it’s deeply troubling to see the
prevalence of misinformation and blatant attempts by some in powerful places to
control the narrative of journalists or denigrate their work with accusations
of “Fake News”. Even more horrifying are the increasing incidences of journalists
being imprisoned or even murdered for doing their jobs. Time Magazine honored them
beautifully by naming “Person of the Year” for 2018 “The Guardians of the Truth”.
Long before that article appeared, I knew I
needed to look at some aspects of this disturbing trend and Faster Than Truth is the fictional
result of my exploration. The story’s teen narrator, Declan, is an aspiring
journalist struggling to discover what it means for him to become a
contemporary newsperson. I believe he’s in the company of real people who’ve
gone before and continue now to strive to inform us. His story will be
published May 15, 2019 https://www.crwth.ca/faster-than-truth/
Last June, I was lucky enough to travel from the West coast of Canada to the East coast, to the stunningly beautiful province of Newfoundland. I was even luckier to see this spectacular iceberg off the coast of Bonavista. In this shot, it looks like two bergs, but it actually had three peaks and naturally, the bulk of this amazing travelling island of ice was beneath the surface.
Maybe the chilly weather covering much of the continent at present reminded me of this icy image, or maybe it’s simply the need to update my blog from time to time, something I’m inconsistent with because like a berg, I prefer to be deeply immersed in my current work in progress. Work that I hope will be much like this iceberg, shining on the surface while it conveys hidden depths. It’s early days for this new novel, and I’m loving my job. Here’s to the cold making sitting at the keys a cosy, happy enterprise.
The city of Surrey, BC, is hosting a wonderful arts festival on September 28, 29 and 30th. There will be music, dance, arts and literary readings by some talented authors. Many events are free, including the one I’m participating in. I will be reading from my latest book, Quiz Queens at 2 pm on September 29th at 2 pm.
Okay, maybe it’s not the final time ever that I’ll have books to give away, but the French edition of Perfect Revenge is the last of the foreign language translations of my books I have on hand. It’s been fun to send these books off to the winners (selected through Goodreads), with the hope that they will be read and enjoyed. This contest runs from December 13th to the 21st. You can click on the link in the sidebar to enter.