FALL RIVER: Allan Billard felt like he was going to the circus as he penned his latest novel.
It took the Fall River author just a couple of months to put together Port of Call, mostly because all the information he required was readily available. Or as he put it “Tall Ships are famous worldwide. Everybody wants to read about them so there’s a lot of information on the Internet.”
“If you dig down deep into them, most of them are European so you have to go back to Holland, England, Spain, even Italy and Greece to get some of the details,” said Billard. “I had to do that. That was fun too.”
Writing about the Tall Ships kind of left Billard tempted to take up a new career.
“The thing about Tall Ships is, it’s like going to the circus, I don’t care how old or young you are, everyone has that passing fancy,” he said. I wanted to run away and join these guys and gals because they’re going to see the world.”
He said when he researched some of the Tall Ships and found out that they were 100-years old, it was kind of a fun task for him to do.
“It only took two months, but it was a really fascinating two months,” said Billard.
Billard said the Tall Ships are travelling across the Maritimes.
“They’re going to Pugwash, Pictou, Port Hawkesbury, Caraquet, N.B.; Miramichi, N.B. That is the neat part,” he said. “People who live in Miramichi for example they have a history of building Tall Ships; sending them to England; loading them with wood and fish products, and they don’t get to see them anymore.
“Now the Tall Ships are going to go to Chatham and Newcastle, and for the first time in years they’re going to get a Tall Ships experience. I think that’s worth writing about. I think that’s special.”
He said Port of Call, published by Nimbus Publishing, also details other stops the Tall Ships will make, including Shelburne; Digby; Annapolis; and many places that don’t often get to see the world travellers.
Billard said Port of Call, which is available at most bookstores, will also be available at gift shops for tourists to purchase.
“Every one of the Tall Ships that’s going to be in Pugwash, Shelburne, and Lunenburg, they all have a double and triple page spread in the book,” he said. “It’s so cool to write about these mysteries of the sea, these Tall Ships.”
What’s the next book Billard will be writing? He gave The Laker a hint.
“I’m going to write about the lonely, lonely cod fish,” he said. “Cod fish is the reason Atlantic Canada was founded. It’s the reason that John Cabot came over here and said he could get a basket just by throwing it overboard.
“I’m going to write about it’s history, the reason we were founded, and sadly the demise of the cod fishery and when it will come back. I’m going to see if I can write a story about cod fish.”