Spread­ing hope, peace through lit­er­a­ture

The Goderich Signal-Star - - HISTORY - Dar­ryl Coote Ed­i­tor

If there is one mes­sage that W. Paul El­gie hopes read­ers take away from his new novella “His San­dals,” it is to have hope for the future.

And it is hard for one to not walk away from the book with­out notic­ing this in­ten­tion as the story chron­i­cles the jour­ney of Je­sus Christ’s san­dals from the hands of one an­cient his­tor­i­cal fig­ure to the next, and with the holder be­ing changed for hav­ing come into con­tact the hum­ble foot ware.

From his Goderich liv­ing room, the re­tired F.E Madill Sec­ondary School teacher­cum- au­thor said he was in­spired to write nar­ra­tive fol­low­ing a trip to Sulpice, France, specif­i­cally to a 12th cen­tury abbey.

“So I walk into it and the roof was miss­ing and the grass floor, one wall at the back, one wall with a door that has been frozen over for a cou­ple of cen­turies, and a small al­ter at the front and the big al­ter be­side it and a small al­ter over here. And I knelt down and I prayed and it all came to me,” he said.

That was three years ago. And since then he has spent his morn­ings re­search­ing and writ­ing, edit­ing and re­search­ing and with a lit­tle bit more writ­ing thrown in for good mea­sure.

The­book’s cre­ation wasn’t sim­ple, though, he said, and it might not have come to com­ple­tion if he didn’t have the sup­port of his wife, Mar­i­lyn El­gie.

“Many times you get frus­trated and you think, ‘ah it’s too dif­fi­cult.’ And then I prayed and I got help and then I would con­tinue. And I also have a won­der­ful wife, Mar­i­lyn, who in­spired me and sort of kicked me in the pants when I got down,” he said.

Though it is his sec­ond pub­lished book, it is his first tale of fic­tion so it wasn’t as easy as his rookie ef­fort “Choices: Love, Give, Serve.” He com­pared the writ­ing of the story to a jour­ney and that you travel a great dis­tance in writ­ing it but even­tu­ally you come to a place in the nar­ra­tive where you re­alise you still have more dis­tance than you re­alised to go.

And be­ing a book heav­ily in­flu­enced by h i s t o r y re­quired that he do a lot of re­search.

“I had to do a l o t of re­search. Re­search af­ter re­search,” he said into top­ics such as the Cir­cusMax­imus, an­cient slav­ery prac­tices and even into love and mar­riage cus­toms.

“Thank heaven there’s Google,” he said.

The 80-year-old said, what he learned from writ­ing the book is “it takes a lot of time, a lot of con­cen­tra­tion and hard work. A lot of hard work, be­lieve me. It’s over and over and over again. You edit it and you edit it and you edit it and you edit.”

How­ever, it’s all worth it in the end, he said, if read­ers not only en­joy the book but take from it his theme of help­ing peo­ple.

“I to­tally be­lieve … if every­one helped ev­ery­body else there wouldn’t be any wars, and that’s my theme. It’s from the ‘Bi­ble,’ ” he said.

“His San­dals” was pub­lished by Chris­tian book pub­lish­er­sWord Alive Press in late 2016 and is avail­able in Goderich at Fincher’s and Ra­di­ant Li f e Chris­tian Book­store.

Dar­ryl Coote/Ed­i­tor

W. Paul El­gie poses with his sec­ond book and first his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novella “His San­dals” in late 2016.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.