The pen is mightier than the sword.
– Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I received a typewriter as a Christmas present when I was six years old and have been writing ever since. My passion is history, especially the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up variety. I’m intrigued by the notion some people have about its value—or lack thereof. Most of us know a variation of George Santayana’s statement, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” But not paying attention to it, and learning from it, have led us to live in what Winston Churchill called “the most thoughtless of ages. Every day headlines and short views.” I believe it’s time to pay attention.
I’ve written several historical plays include Rex, about Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King who talked to his dead mother at séances; Flora, about journalist, suffragette and bon vivant Flora Macdonald Denison; All That Glitters about the mysterious past of Chicago-born Yukon Gold Rush pioneer Martha Black; In The Bedrooms of the Nation about the sensational 1936 trial of Dorothea Palmer, accused of disseminating birth control information; and the book and lyrics for a musical about the War of 1812. I also won a CBC Radio playwriting competition and on-air production for my play, Millennium Madness.
There was a federal election here in Canada in 2004, and like electoral campaigns everywhere, the political parties hurled dirt at each other. As a citizen and voter, I was annoyed with the attitude of all the parties that their own party was squeaky clean, whereas the others were scandal-ridden. That’s when I researched and wrote Scandals? We Don’t Got No Stinking Scandals to prove that all the parties that had held power had scandals in their history.
My interest in Armenia grew from my four international development assignments there, which led me to write The Dark Triumph of Daniel Sarkisyan, a young adult novel about a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Most of the articles I’ve had published were written during the period I was researching and writing Grit and Grace in a World Gone Mad: Humanitarianism in Talas, Turkey 1908-1923.