Saturday 28 March 2015


This is my very first blog post and I wonder why I didn’t start sooner. I have lots to write about, beginning with a play I wrote back in 2001, which premiered at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.
The play was called Running: The Alex Decoteau Story (1887-1917). This true tale about Canada’s first aboriginal policeman, who was also an Olympic runner and a WW I soldier, captured the imagination of the Fringe audience, just as it had captured mine.

A lot of great things happened after the Fringe, but I had no idea that the play would lead to the publication of the book in 2014 by Fictive Press, a new digital publisher on Gabriola Island, BC, our home since 2005.

Gloria Hatfield, owner, Pages Marina & Resort Bookstore
It was November 8, 2014 and people wearing poppies were already standing outside the Gabriola library when my husband, Tom Cameron, and I arrived for my first-ever book launch. I was nervous and excited but determined to stay calm and focused. I was carrying a box of my books, confident that this was a story for our times, and it needed to be told.

The books looked and felt beautiful. Gloria Hatfield, owner of Pages Marina & Resort Bookstore, set up the book display to feature the cover designed by Morri Mostow, my editor and publisher at Fictive Press – a portrait of Alex Decoteau super-imposed on a photograph of Edmontonians reading a blown up copy of the front page of the Edmonton Journal, dated August 4, 2014. The headline announced the start of World War I.

Morri and I originally considered using an action shot of Alex running for the cover, and I was leaning towards the one used on my Fringe poster. But the more we searched, the more entranced we became with his portrait. There was another photo taken on the same day showing a full-length view of Alex standing beside a display of the silver cups won for racing. I thought it was cool to see his prizes, but Morri made the final choice and she was right.

The portrait has a timeless quality. It evokes an emotional response. It shows how vibrant Alex was just a few years before his tragic death, running a message at the Battle of Passchendaele.

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