Community

Newspaper clippings inspire novel

Mel McIlveen with his latest writings, Treachery and Treason in Canada’s Sealing Fleet, inspired by the tales of a real sealing captain. - Christine van Reeuwyk/News staff
Mel McIlveen with his latest writings, Treachery and Treason in Canada’s Sealing Fleet, inspired by the tales of a real sealing captain.
— image credit: Christine van Reeuwyk/News staff

Newspaper clippings fill a drawer in Mel McIlveen’s desk.

His head overflows with stories of historical families. At least one outstanding member of Victoria’s history, has inspired him to write.

The inking of Treachery and Treason in Canada’s Sailing Fleet, McIlveen’s latest novel, started 20 years ago, with a story he wrote for his Esquimalt writing group’s book Beyond the Blue Bridge. The Central Saanich senior based that tale on Victor Jacobson — after a fellow writer suggested he write about a large house on the shore of West Bay. “It’s a tall white house with a cupola on top,” McIlveen said. Victor, based on a real-life Victoria sealing captain, has germinated many stories since.

“He told so many stories. So I wrote this book about him,” McIlveen said. “The stories he told were published in the papers and the rest came from my imagination.”

Treachery and Treason follows Victor Aland in conquests in love, court and at sea.

“I like the way I’ve discussed the seal hunt, because it’s really honest,” he said. “It was quite an industry.”

McIlveen enjoys the art of developing his characters.

“They’re mostly people I’d like to be,” he said with a grin.

“The thing I like best was the final confrontation in court,” he said. “I enjoy that, because I love to characterize the various people in court.”

The lawyer for Victor is depicted as a “smart little Frenchman” while opposing counsel “thought he was smart and wasn’t.”

This is the fourth book the Central Saanich senior has written.

“The first one was a bit of a disaster,” McIlveen said, noting his improvement over the years. “This is the last thing I’ll ever write. I’m 89.”

Treachery and Treason in Canada’s Sailing Fleet is available at Tanner’s Books.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Lava slows but still on track to hit Hawaii market
 
Heather Forsyth named Wildrose interim leader
 
Cdn devastated over outcome of related trial
Artemis Place Society a refuge for young mothers
 
FAMILY: Families the focus at Christmas for Salvation Army
 
The Scandinavian Loggers
The masks of Owechemis
 
Bring home Brickley and help
 
Calm before the storm

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.