Sunday, November 08, 2009

What's new? Lots!

Sorry to my reader(s) for the lack of recent posts. I am still nipping and tucking my book on the press censorship system in Canada in World War II. This is a huge topic that's never been written about before, except for the odd passage in a few books, and some of them are wrong.
First, I had to read all the documents of the Censorship Branch, the civilian agency that handled press censorship. Imagine a stack of paper as high as a three-storey building.
Then I had to see how what the censors recorded fit with the events of the times and what other people wrote about them. And, of course, I've had to read a lot of wartime history to put this stuff in context. Plus old newspapers. Lots and lots of those.
This is a piece of history, which will mean that a lot of people will try to pick it apart. I've written nothing good about the Vichyite press in Quebec, which included some of the province's most important dailies. I've written about A-bombs, balloon bombs, spies, giant radio transmitters, U-boats, rioting celebrity U-boat captains, convoys, troop movements, crazy publishers, brave editors, weak editors, and Mackenzie King's paranoia.
Right now, I'm working hard to make the whole thing readable, connecting a few more A to B to C's, hunting down pictures and cartoons, and trying to have fun.
Key Porter, probably the best publisher that's still in Canadian hands, will put the book out in the fall of 2010. We've settled on an advance and a royalty structure.
Finding a publisher was not particularly difficult. Non-fiction is somewhat easier to peddle to publishers in this country, but you end up selling it yourself because agents can't be bothered. The money that agents make tends to come from movie or TV royalty rights. In the case of a book like mine, the stories are in the public domain and my book simply provides a map. So I'm easily ripped off for any "story" that's in the book.
But I do expect the book will will be popular with people interested in Canadian history, political junkies, universities, and especially to military buffs.
I should have it all done soon and will be able to turn my attention back to politics.

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