Based on interviews with retired officers and former gang members, the book proved itself immediately by drawing crowds from both sides to last week's launch at the Biltmore, former Clark Park Gang turf.
A writer and musician with an eclectic education in medieval history, religious studies and film-making, Chapman is an entertaining presenter who enjoys sharing stories he's managed to tease out from the vanishing past of this fast-changing city.
Earlier books capture Chapman's special interest in Vancouver entertainment history. Live at the Commodore describes a legendary venue, and one where Chapman once played with his band. Liquor, Lust and the Law is a history of the Penthouse Night Club and the Philliponi family that lost one member to murder while they ran it.
Advice he shared with the audience of writers was to choose a subject that interests you, then "work yourself into enough of a lather to convince yourself you can do it...You have to be obsessed... That fuels the writing." He also mentioned the old advice of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. A tip for non-fiction writers is to interview people at the places where things happened. This evokes memories and elicits information you can never get doing the interview elsewhere.
Aaron Chapman has a new project in mind. Now that he's written about entertainment venues that are still around, he'd like to find out and share the past history of some that have closed, like the Cave and the Egress.
Canadian Authors Vancouver members and guests, we look forward to seeing you on December 7 at the Cottage Bistro for the AGM and Holiday Social.