Lethbridge artist and writer, Rick Gillis officially releases his new novel “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” at Casa this Saturday, March 4 from 1 to 4 p.m.
The novel is loosely based on his life growing up in the Crowsnest Pass in the 1950s and 60s. It was a time when the Pass was a booming coal mining and lumbering centre. The novel, titled traces a period of time in the life of the Callaghan family, more specifically that of Little Ricky Callaghan, as told through the memories of his older sister, Kathryn.
The novel runs its reader through a rollercoaster of emotions, from humour, love, sadness and a surprising twist to its plot line.
The book is currently being made available through Casa in Lethbridge. Gillis returned to the Pass in March of last year and took a residency at the Gushul Writers’ Cottage in Blairmore for a month, a return to his hometown and more importantly to the very neighbourhood in which he grew up. It was at the Gushul that he wrote the lion’s share of “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die.”
“Though the novel draws upon my own life experiences growing up in that neighbourhood, the story line diverts sharply from reality as the tale unfolds,” says Gillis.
“It definitely is not your standard fare, since few elements resemble anything close to a formulaic novel. Much of it seems reminiscent, but it is far more than that. As ridiculous as it appears at times, the anecdotes as told through the memories of Kathryn Callaghan are all, without exception, true, though at times altered or embellished in the interest of good story telling.
“To say that my decision to return home to write this novel was inspirational would be an understatement,” Gillis added.
“Though sequestered for long periods of time at the writers’ cottage, my frequent walks through the old neighborhood brought back long buried memories, and with them a host of emotions and deeply-felt sentiments.”
In addition to being made available locally, “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die” is also available on line through Amazon.com (not Amazon.ca) as well as http://www.createspace.com/6890547.