5 Questions for Danny Gillis:
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Danny: I wrote a number of articles for magazines while I was living among tribal people in the Philippines. One was about a wild boar hunt. Another was about the organizing of a logging blockade to stop deforestation. It felt good and important to put these experiences into print.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
Danny: Fifteen years ago, when I returned home to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, after many years of being abroad, my earliest memories came flooding back. I just had to write about them.
3. Did you plot out the book before you started or did you just allow it to flow freestyle?
Danny: Completely freestyle. Interesting, because in the end I needed and created a very strong structure based on the passage of time. Twelve chapters: one for each month between August 1961 and July 1962.
4. What was the most challenging part about writing a book?
Danny: The solitary nature of the task is a challenge. What was also difficult was not knowing if it would even be published despite the amount of time, creativity and life experience expended. Only once I knew it would be published did I really buckle down and make everything work together, to perfect the book. That was a tremendous motivation for me.
5. How does it feel now that you have finished the book and finally see it for sale in the bookstores?
Danny: I took a picture of my novel sitting on the shelves at the Coles in the Antigonish Mall. It feels wonderful. It is very gratifying to know that readers will come to know my characters and, through some of them anyway, the real heroes and heroism they represent.