How long have you been a member of NOWW? Many years a member.
What do you normally write? Regional history, non-fiction articles, humour pieces, mystery thrillers.
Do you have a favourite book or favourite author? The writer/historian whose subject matter I love and whose prose style I seek to emulate is the late Pierre Berton. In the mystery novel genre, I long admired and collected the works of Ross Macdonald (The Moving Target), and was analyzing his story structures long before I published my first novel, The Beardmore Relics, in 2011. In the field of humorous and whimsical writing, I recall that Stephen Leacock, Eric Nicol, and Arthur Black have been major influences. A lot of my current serio-comic posts aim to raise awareness of the great country we live in and the opportunities to preserve and to improve our way of life
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found your way to writing: Born in Saskatchewan, I grew up in the bilingual streets of Sherbrooke, Quebec, before returning to the Lloydminster area for a bucolic sojourn of three years. My family moved to Geraldton (Greenstone) in 1953, and in many ways I have never left. When I travelled as a high school Air Cadet to summer camp in B.C., I wrote letters home inspired by the scenery and the experience. From thence I date my writing compulsion. Sadly, no letters have survived. I married Olga Fedorus, and together we raised Rob and Laura, now retiring from their careers. I began my teaching career in elementary schools and moved into high schools, specializing in English language and literature. I settled permanently in Geraldton in 1970, and immersed myself in community activities and volunteerism. In 1975 I launched the region's first little magazine of arts, literature, and history. It was called The Squatchberry Journal. I also conducted interviews of old-timers with no other aim than to record their experiences for posterity. The Town of Geraldton commissioned me to write an official history for the town's 50th Anniversary in 1987. From that point on, history became my passion, and I continued to develop my writing skills in other genres. For the record, I am an indie publisher. I cannot abide the complicated and years-consuming process of agents and submissions that legacy publishers require.
Tell us a bit about your writing? My current book project has the working title of The Last Link: Completing the First Trans-Canada Highway. In mid-winter of this year (2016), a former resident of Geraldton phoned me up and asked if I were aware of an important date approaching. The year 2018 will mark the 75th Anniversary of the completion of Highway 11 between Geraldton and Hearst. In 1943, for the first time, there was an all-Canadian road connection between East and West. Very few people today seem to be aware of the historic event that occurred when Canada was fighting in a World War. By the time we're finished, we anticipate that a huge number of Canadians will recognize the national significance of the event, which can be compared to hammering home the last spike at Craigellachie in 1885. So much of this history has been lost forever, and the research is the most challenging I have ever faced. At every trade show and craft market that I can afford to attend, I set up a table and preach the gospel. In Thunder Bay, come visit my tables in November and December.
Can we see you at any upcoming events in Thunder Bay? I will have a booth set up at the December Dreams Exhibition at the CLE Coliseum December 3-4th!
Where can we learn more about you and your writing? E.J. Lavoie's Blog : ejlavoie.wordpress.com, WhiskyJack Publishing Website: WhiskyJackPublishing.ca, Facebook Pages: Edgar Lavoie, Edgar J. Lavoie, Greenstone History, Twitter Handle: @WhiskyJackPub and on my website is a list of 13 published works, with the latest (Bush Histories I) being released this fall. Several regional outlets carry selected titles, including Chapters/Indigo and Thunder Bay Airport Gift Shop. Enquiries can be directed to me at email@example.com.
And to end things off, tell us something surprising about yourself! I never work so hard as when I am having fun, as in portaging canoe and baggage over the Diablo Portage into Santoy Lake, or climbing the Palisades of the Pijitawabik simply to enjoy the view.
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