Q&A with Douglas Warren Greenfield, CEO of Artscript Canada

Douglas Warren Greenfield, right, presents a copy of his book, “A Time to Run,” to Barry Lazoruk, past vice president of the The Royal Canadian Legion Alberta-Northwest Territories Command. Lazoruk will, in turn, present the book to the Royal Canadian Legion’s head office.

Give Douglas Warren Greenfield a gem of a thought, and chances are he will turn it into a manuscript. He is a storyteller, and he credited her daughters for how he developed a knack for telling stories. As a young father, he said, he would tell his children bedtime stories at their prodding – the lights would go out, and the story would begin and often continue on for hours.

He soon began writing poetry, booklets, and articles. Eventually, he started writing books; he has two published books so far.

“Inspiration for writing comes the moment I close my eyes,” he said. “Stories just flow from my heart.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised on a humble homestead in Eaglesham. At 17, I joined the Royal Canadian Navy and traveled with the military for 10 years. Upon release I joined the British Columbia Parks Branch and spent the next 24 years serving as a Park Ranger and Operations Supervisor with BC and Alberta provincial parks. After leaving the parks, my wife, Maggie, and I served with the Salvation Army in street missions on the West Coast. I have started and run many private businesses throughout the years and continue as CEO of Artscript Canada, a web design and business promotion company in the Peace River Region.

What was the title of your first published book?
My first book, titled Child of the Land, is an autobiography, and it tells of my growing-up years in homestead and my travels around the world. The book is now being re-written, re-published and re-named With My Heart in the Land.

Please take us through the process of developing a story idea into a book? Where do you get your inspiration to write? Who are some of your favorite authors?
Inspiration for writing comes the moment I close my eyes. Stories just flow from my heart, and it is often difficult to turn that inspiration off. All you have to do is give me a title or a phrase to start the story, and it flows into perspective. My daughters gave me this when, at bedtime, they would say, “Tell us a story about this or that.” The lights would go out, the story would begin and often it would go on for hours.

As a dyslexic person I find it quite difficult to read. Consequently, the books I enjoy must be fairly large print, easy to read and captivating enough to hold my attention.

Some of the authors I enjoy include C.S. Lewis, Bill Bryson and DD Ander.

You’ve published a second book titled A Time to Run. Tell us a little bit about it. How did the idea for the book germinate? Why must the story be told?
I wrote A Time to Run as a result of the frustration we experienced on the West Coast with this new apathetic generation. We found that many, many people believed that the world wars were only a figment of Hollywood’s movie imagination. They don’t understand that our many wonderful freedoms in Canada are as a direct result of the sacrifices our soldiers, airmen and sailors paid.

The theme of this book is taken from Spanish philosopher George Santayana, who penned, “Those who do not remember the past will be condemned to relive it!” A Time to Run is a historical novel with every area of the story and every theater of battle written within the actual events of the day.

How has the book publishing industry evolved over the years for self-published authors?
An author today will find a new and exciting change from the days when one would submit a manuscript to a publisher and spend the next several months praying and waiting to see if the manuscript was accepted.

Unless you were an accomplished author it was nearly impossible to get started and have your book published. Today, however, with the advent of print-on-demand (POD) technology, aspiring authors can tell their story, find a POD publisher to print and soon you are holding your masterpiece in your hand. The difference is that self-published authors are fully responsible for the marketing of their own work. This can be a daunting task.

How did your path crossed with that of artist Robert Bailey, whose artwork became the cover page of A Time to Run?
The cover of A Time to Run is a painting by world-class Alberta artist Robert Bailey. I discovered this image when I was researching for information on the German BF 109 fighter aircraft. This image could well have been painted to describe the critical turning point of the story when allied forces attacked a German supply train that was carrying POWs. It is here when my main character, Lt. Albert Connor, is able to escape and finds himself free in Hitler’s backyard. Robert Bailey does original motion picture art works for George Lucas of Star Wars fame. He is licensed for Marvel characters and does a great deal of independent art work.