Author Tags: Biography, War
Gordon Wagner was born in Markinch, Saskatchewan in 1914, where he grew up. Torn between disbelief in war and dislike of underground Sudbury mining in 1940, he joined the RCAF in Regina and logged time in 21 countries. Many years later he recalled his experiences in How Papa Won the War, a 1989 follow-up to his self-marketed collection of family stories and poems, From My Window, which had three printings. He settled in Courtenay after the war, retired from surveying in 1980, and took his writing course in 1985.
[BCBW 2003] "War" "Biography"
From My Window (Flying W. Publishing)
"I sent my manuscript to four or five publishers," says Gordon Wagner, "and everyone wanted me to delay. Well, when you're 73, you can't wait around." Wagner went to a Campbell River printer and self-published From My Window (Flying W. Publishing/ Soules distributing $12.95), a collection of personal Comox Valley short stories and reminiscences that quickly sold out a first printing of 1,700 copies. Now successfully marketing a much larger second printing, Wagner has an employee for marketing, 300 hardcover copies he's selling to libraries, representation in 40 Pharmasave stores, coverage from CTV News Hour and CBC's Early Edition and numerous other media outlets, a mention on the B.C. Bestseller List, and a memoir slated for Christmas titled How Papa Won The War. "All you have to do is get out there and push a little," he says, "But I'm kind of fed up with bookstores. You walk in to see them and they put their hands up and practically push you back out the door."
[BCBW Summer 1988]