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This was my father's last book. Growing up I remember seeing an oar, and other debris from the Carl D. Bradley shipwreck displayed around the house. The significance of them really never dawned on me. Then later when the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwrecked, that story was later added to the book. When the song about it was written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot, he actually came over to our house and sang the song for my mom and dad as he played my grandmothers piano. I could just barely see the pride and joy he was feeling watching this. I had no idea how fortunate I was at the time to experience that. And I was never really able to appreciate what a great writer he was until I matured more as an adult.
My father was a journalist - writer, and a very good one at that. I had a lot to live up to if I was going to even attempt to write a book. It meant a lot to me to write the best possible book that I could in order to make him proud, and pass on as much helpful information to people as possible.
I finally self published mine in 2009. It's 300 pages of text. It has many of my life experiences woven into it. It surprised me how much of your life you share when you write a book. Some of it is very personal, and you don't know the person on the other side finding out all these things about your life. So I have a new found appreciation of what writers must go through. It gives you a whole new perspective when you're the writer and not the reader!
SL Ratigan

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