Bill Freeman, in his own words
I am a writer rooted in Canada and my writing has been shaped by the communities where I have lived and worked and the people I have met and admire.
I grew up in London, Ontario after the Second World War in a school teacher’s family. Now, as I think of it, we were more than a little touched by the war. My father was away in the Navy for three years and when he returned my parents were eager to expand their understanding of the world.
Some of my fondest memories are of long car trips I took as a boy with my family across Canada. I still remember my first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains gleaming off in the distance, the pounding of the surf at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia and unending Saskatchewan wheat fields. Those images of Canada, and the emotional attachment I feel about the land, remain with me and shape the subjects I choose to write about.
But though I am rooted in the Canadian landscape, I am a man who has lived most of my life in cities. Today I live in Toronto, but I spent ten years as a young man living in Hamilton. The experience of working in this gritty town, spending my time with steelworkers and factory labourers, shaped my perspective. Four of my non-fiction books deal with some aspect of that fascinating city.
It was while I was in Hamilton, doing a PhD in Sociology at McMaster University, that I started writing the Bains series of books for young people. These books are set in Canada during the 1870s. How people relate to the land, their struggles to earn a living and survive, and the diverse types of people that make up our country are built into every one of these books. As well, the books reflect the strength and resilience of ordinary people.
In the last three years I have been working at a series of novels for adults called Mariner's Story. There are 8 books in the series. These are police procedurals. They explore police operations as they attempt to solve crimes and arrest criminals. The first of the books will be published in April and they will roll out one very three weeks until they are all published. The books will only be available on Amazon.
In my youth I was incredibly restless, but today I feel more settled than ever before. I live on Toronto Island, a small community within the largest city of the country. My extended family of children, grandchildren, sisters, cousins and more live not far away. Friends are everywhere.
Every day I get up and spend hours working in my office of my house. Writing is still a struggle. To make the words “lift off the page,” as I like to express it, is the most challenging thing I do. That’s why I do it.