Storytelling for me represents an act of gratitude to the books and people who have shaped my life. As a writer I feel more akin to a ‘test pilot’ who is never quite sure whether the plane will either get off the ground or return safely, but would never give up that moment to do anything else. “Success” according to Winston Churchill, “is stumbling from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I heartily agree.
My first venture into publication was as co-author for the first mathematics series for Prentice-Hall Canada. My degrees in mathematics and education were leading me down a different path until a friend encouraged me to try out for an acting role in a local theatre group. I think my interest in writing really took hold while learning how to transform to a character and interact with other characters within a play. The tools I learned during the thespian stage of my life I continue to apply in my writing now.
When ‘the rubber met the road’ was when I published my first novel, Betrayal of Trust, in 2012. It was shortly after that I turned my attention to short story writing.
Short story writing affords me an opportunity to experiment with my literary voice, different ideas, styles, and approaches to writing. The stories come from a variety of sources: life experiences, photos, a variety of articles, songs, on-line courses. In other words, anything that captures my interest usually ends up in one of my short stories. They are a depository for future novels.
One five-part, short story series I wrote, entitled, The Murder of Arthur Brodley, became the seed for my new novel, Angel Maker. The idea for the opening chapter came from an article I read of the murder of a young child in northern England in 1948.
My decision to begin my first chapter with the graphic murder of Rebecca Grynberg was not taken lightly. I wanted the evil of the man, and the Nazi regime he represented, to be seared into the mind of the reader. The ‘no holds barred’ first chapter went through several drafts and many consultations before I finally agreed to the final version.
Angel Maker is a historical espionage adventure which starts off on the eve of World War II. The crime investigation will take you for an action adventure thrill ride from the shores of Bournemouth, England, across the English Channel to Paris France and into the heart of Berlin, Nazi Germany. Events irrevocably change the characters and endanger the future of their communities and families.
Inspector Alexander Collier’s investigation into the gruesome murder of Rebecca Grynberg soon places his family in jeopardy. Several seemingly unconnected murders propel him into a world of espionage and spies as he seeks the psychopathic killer responsible for her death. To help him, Inspector Collier joins forces with an unlikely group of people that includes a psychic medium, a NKVD Soviet agent, and a British agent with a prosthetic leg she calls “Cuthbert.”
You will meet Collier’s son, Richard, and learn about the strained relationship between them; his son’s fiancée, Elsa, and her Jewish family and their attempt to escape the clutches of Nazi Germany. You will also meet the inspector’s wife, Lila, and experience the deep love and affection between them.
A historical spy thriller, Angel Maker will take you into the murderous mind of a psychopathic child killer. And if, as a writer, I have done my job correctly, the reader will meet evil, impossible to forget. So, hold on to your pages, things will go bump in the dark.
A lot of research has gone into creating a sense of the period for the reader. Many of the events did happen, but some timelines were adjusted to fit in with the story. Angel Maker is a page turner, difficult to put down. And I should know, because I read it through several times before handing it over for publication. I hope, after the final page is read, the reader will step out of their time bubble, and reflect on the present times we live in. As an educator, I could not resist an attempt to teach. What was taught only the reader can decide.
One of my goals is for Angel Maker to be part of a series. Presently, I am working on the next book in that series as well as a novel entitled, Sunnyvale, and my book of short stories, Welcome to My Garden. Anything beyond that will be icing on the cake.
The key is to keep challenging myself; to continue to push the envelope. An example of what I mean is Aidan, the early draft of a fantasy novel. The first drafts of anything I am working on may be found at www.wrightba.com, just tap on the CB app.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes from the ‘Four Quartets’ by T.S. Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Poetry is an essential resource in any writer’s toolbox. In my youth I would never have said that. Maturity has opened my mind and made me, dare I say, sage in my viewpoint. I sure hope so.
Angel Maker is suitable for youth to adult, and may be bought at:
The Canadian site: : https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1777432103
and the US site: : https://www.amazon.com/dp/1777432103