Great-grandfather’s story retold by Central Saanich author

The action takes place on the cusp of the First World War and manages to incorporate some seafaring military action.

Central Saanich author Brock Clayards’ new book

The story is over a hundred and ten years old, passed down over the course of four generations.

But now, thanks to the imagination and experience of local author Brock Clayards, the tale has come to life in Clayards’ second book,  Chasing the Dragon’s Tail.

Inspired by his great grandfather’s exploits, both during China’s Boxer Rebellion and his subsequent policing experience in Victoria’s Chinatown, this book takes the reader back to a time when drugs, gangs, money, espionage and violence were all a harsh reality of life in Victoria.

The action takes place on the cusp of the First World War and manages to incorporate some seafaring military action alongside the more shadowed world of espionage and crime.

“The whole story is based upon the stories that were passed down from generation to generation,” said Clayards from his Central Saanich home.

“Of course I filled in the gaps and embellished it tremendously for the book, but the core of the story is based on his experience as it was told to me.”

That experience imbues the book with a gritty realism that transports the reader back to the back alleys and opium culture of Victoria’s early Chinatown.

But the realism of the book doesn’t arise solely from Clayards’ great-grandfather’s life; it has at least some of its roots in Clayards’ own eclectic experience. As a twenty-seven year veteran of the RCMP, he has a solid understanding of police work and the seamy underside of espionage and criminal culture.

“Back in the late ‘70s … 1978 and 1979 … I was with the Security Service, what they call  CSIS today, and we were chasing around Saddam Hussein’s agents,” said Clayards. “We managed to get two of them and had them expelled from the country.

“That had its moments of excitement and I draw upon, not the specifics of those situations, but the feelings and emotions I had back then for the characters in my book.”

Garry Ryan, award winning Calgary author, said that the result of Clayards’ unique background in his stories provides a book that is “packed with complex characters, layered intrigue and vivid settings.”

This is Clayards’  second book. His first, Pacific Flyways, was also coloured by his personal experience. It told the story of an imaginary plot that involved international biological terrorism with its roots on Vancouver Island.

At 63, Clayards said that he has more books that he needs to write.

“It’s an artistic outlet for me,” he said with a wry chuckle. “I’ve been around for a while and I’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things. These stories are in me and I need to share them.”

Chasing the Dragon’s Tail and Pacific Flyways are both available on and at

More information on the books and Clayards’ career can be found at


— Tim Collins/News staff

Just Posted

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Bouquet sales support big dreams in Greater Victoria

Country Grocer features holiday bouquets for Help Fill a Dream

‘Book nerds unite!’ Sidney voted one of Canada’s most cozy cities

Coveted for its bookstores and picturesque views, ranks town No. 12 on list of 55 cities

Emerald Gloves boxing brings fights to Langford

Langford’s Matt Daniels dropped weight for debut

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read