Five Questions for John Boileau

Five questions for John Boileau author of 6•12•17: The Halifax Explosion

 Boileau author pic

1. You have written extensively on historical events. What is your fascination with history?

As a teenager I used to wish that our Canadian history was as exciting as American history. As I grew older, my fascination with our history started when I began to realize that our stories were just as exciting as any other country's—we just had not been telling them very well. My goal in writing about history is to tell some of those many stories in a way that makes Canadians want to read about them—and more.

2. There has been a great deal written over the years on the Halifax Explosion. What makes 6•12•17 different from the other "Explosion" books?

6•12•17 is different in the way it combines text and images in what I believe is a fast-paced, visually stunning way. Not only do the images run the gamut of photographs, prints, paintings, artefacts and maps, but the text is also broken up into various elements, including sidebars, factsheets and quotes. I think that the net result is an eye-catching medley that grabs readers and literally pulls them along. Additionally, the book has the largest format of any explosion book, as well as having more images than any other one. It also goes beyond the explosion to include the inquiry and reconstruction efforts immediately afterward, and then on to the explosion after the Second World War, plus two close calls during that war.


John Boileau releases his latest book 6•12•17: The Halifax Explosion

From The Masthead News Aug. 23, 2017 Edition

 Masthead 6 12-17


"At first, I couldn't believe it when I heard the proposal," notes author John Boileau, "and my first reaction was 'What? Not another Halifax Explosion book!'"

Boileau of Glen Margaret and the author of a dozen books, as well as several hundred magazine and newspaper articles, describes his reaction to a January 2016 telephone call from John MacIntyre of Lunenburg's MacIntyre & Purcell Publishing. "I was aware of some seven or eight new explosion books to be published in 2017 for the explosion's centennial," Boileau continues, "and, quite frankly, I just couldn't see adding any more to an already crowded market. But then John explained his concept and I was hooked."


You Might Be From Hamilton If... by Graeme MacKay

From The Hamilton Spectator Aug. 29, 2017 Edition

Hamilton Spec Article


Graeme MacKay has spent two decades drawing local politicians, celebrities, electoral candidates, prime ministers, presidents, and just about anyone lucky enough — or unlucky enough — to grace the headlines.

Now, MacKay is turning his keen eye and wry wit to his hometown.

Click here to read the full article at The Hamilton Spectator

Saskatoon: A History in Words and Pictures a Bestseller

Congratulations to Amy Jo Ehman. Her new release, Saskatoon: A History in Words and Pictures, is the number one bestselling non-fiction book on the McNally Robinson booksellers list in Saskatchewan.

Sask History 1 McNally 2

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