When you meet yourself on the battlefield who is it that survives?
The only reason Henry Ryzak went to war in the mud and cold of France was to protect his older brother Will and escape his father’s ire. With some patented Henry Ryzak sleight of hand, Henry sends Will home, safe from the bullets, shelling, and freezing rain of the trenches. Having recovered from his injuries, Henry returns to the front where he comes face to face with his true enemy in the war: himself.
Henry’s only guiding light through the horrors of the war is his memory of Abbigail, the Bluebird who tended to his injuries and whose light illuminated truths Henry had long denied. With no prospect of a relationship with Abbigail, Henry resumes his reckless tendencies on the battlefield. Torn between his hopeless disregard for himself and a responsibility to his unit, Henry embarks on the most hazardous of all campaigns: confronting his failings to become a man worthy of his comrades’ respect – and the man Abbigail inspired him to be.
With his own life and the fate of his unit in the balance, will all of Henry’s bad decisions overtake him on the battlefield of the Great War?
I have heard a few comments now regarding “the ending” of The Light Attendant, Part I (which, of course, is not actually the end of a three-part story). What I am hearing is: it is abrupt, it is unexpected. One reader “hated it”.
Good. That is exactly what one ought to be thinking and feeling at the end of Part I of my story.
Let me explain:
What was intended to be one simple and short manuscript turned into two long and somewhat involved narratives once I became entrenched in my research. In the end, the book was too long to be a manageable read in one sitting.
I had to break up the story into its respective parts but to do that, I had to decide where to place the section breaks.
I chose the breaks in the story intentionally, each having a purpose.
I don’t want any spoilers here so let me simply ask this: how do you think Abbigail and Henry felt at the conclusion of Part I—a situation common to many, many people at that time and in those circumstances?
THAT—that—is what I want readers to feel and consider while waiting for Part II.
Of course, as I have indicated, the “ending” of Part I is not the “end” of the story—there are still two acts left and the next is coming out in June, 2022.
Our team is proud to present the Cover of our latest work, The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel!
Thank you Sarina for your sewing talents in making the costume. Thank you Callan for your assistance with both photography and cover art. Thank you Mason for you rendering of the cover. Thank you Stuart for your expertise in putting it all together.
The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel, is the story of a Canadian Nurse and her experiences in Wold War I and the pandemic of 1918.
We are diligently working on our latest project: The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel (working title). The story follows a Canadian Nurse through her experiences in Wold War I and the pandemic of 1918. The book has been a long time in the making and I am thrilled to see the project in its final phase.
This story actually began as an anecdote told by one of the characters in our first trilogy: Horizons, Winding Roads, and Coming Home, initially published in 2014. I had long been interested in World War I and the Spanish Influenza pandemic which followed at the end of the war in 1918. As a result, I used that bit of history in one of my character’s background stories in Coming Home, never knowing it would go on to become so much more. (For those of you familiar with Coming Home, you might just recognize the “guest appearance” by two of the characters as they help out in our new book.) Continue reading “The Light Attendant: A Canadian Bluebird Novel – story origin”
I knew exactly what I wanted for the cover of The Light Attendant and The Bluebird which is why I knew it would be a challenge to put such a cover together. The concept involved an actual human in the picture. Beyond that, said person would need to be wearing a Canadian World War I army-issued nursing uniform.
That sort of original image could not be fashioned by sitting at a computer, no matter how many hours one spent doing it. At least, it was not something any of our team could conjure digitally. Continue reading “The Making of a Cover”
It has been a number of years since our Creative Collective published our first book: Horizons, Part I of the Renate Saga and the first of the trilogy. While I still love the original covers for the series, I feel it might be time to freshen up the look of the work.
We are planning to re-release an updated version of the Renate Saga early in 2022. Stay tuned…
My latest work in progress began quite some time ago. I have always had a fascination of the World War I era and the ensuing Spanish Influenza outbreak—a pandemic that wreaked as much devastation as the war itself in some parts of the world. One could think endlessly on the parallels between man-made destruction versus the destruction of nature…talk about a battle between two colossuses.
In addition to my interest in the Spanish Flu pandemic, I have always had a great respect for the men and women who fought and worked in the first world war. I am completely in awe of their deeds. These men and women accomplished a monumental task with equipment and tools—both military and medical—that were in their formative stages and they did so in the worst of conditions. They endured hardships and circumstances we have not seen since and they did it so we could have the life we now enjoy.
I cannot comprehend the sacrifices they made.
I have worked with the elderly and have always been amazed at the wealth of stories and knowledge they have collected over their lives. It disturbed me to think we were losing the generation of knowledge-keepers from the first world war and an early pandemic experience. One could only guess what significant information would be lost along with them. I feared the disappearance of stories that told of gritty fortitude, determined sacrifice, and breath-stopping adventures. The stories of those who had served in the war and had survived the pandemic were far too rich and far too consequential for them to be forgotten. After all, those acts of courage form the underpinnings of what each of us have become. And, thus, I began doing some research, gleaning what stories I may—and there are a great many indeed.
The Light Attendant and The Bluebird (working title) evolved over many years, its beginnings tracing back to an anecdotal story mentioned briefly in the third book of the Shifters trilogy. My resolve hardened into firm research in the summer of 2019 when I mis-read a book title in some dyslexic moment of scanning a book store shelf too quickly. The title as I had read it stuck in my head, attached itself to my musings of WWI and the Spanish Influenza and turned those thoughts into a story. Over the summer and fall and into the next year, I researched the war and developed my characters and plot.
Timing is everything, as they say, and in March, 2020, I was re-deployed to the COVID Assessment and Testing Centre as our very own, real-life pandemic took hold of our country. I began a fascinating journey of writing about the war and the following 1918 pandemic as our own pandemic matched pace with my story.
It was an interesting year.
I have now finished the first draft of my story and have turned it over to other members of our Creative Collective for a first edit. I already know there are a few changes to be made—I thought of one addition at 04:00 one night, an occurrence with which most authors will be familiar. The manuscript will take a bit of refining, but I am excited about this work and wanted to begin sharing it with others.