Williams Lake author Stan Cowie recently published his first fiction novel The Boy, The Man.
Cowie was at sea off the coast of West Africa when the idea to write a book popped into his head.
“I was working as a fibre-optics technician and was on a tug boat off the coast of Ghana about nine years ago. I was sitting in my bunk on our piece of junk boat bobbing in the ocean when I picked up a pen and paper and started writing,” Cowie said. “If you would have told me the day before that I would write a book I’d of said ‘you’re out of your mind.’”
After writing the novel on pencil and paper Cowie threw the book in the corner where it would collect dust for years.
“The book just sat there for years until I finally took the time to type it out and then sought out an editor and publisher and so on,” Cowie said.
The book is about young James Gordon Cowen who from his quiet farm home in the north of Scotland, dreamed of more than just a life tending sheep.
When he’s offered the opportunity to join a Nantucket whaling crew, he signs on to set out for a new life.
On the journey, the young boy becomes a man as he experiences the worst the North Sea can throw at him.
He also comes to know the meaning of true friendship.
On board, he an a new friend dive into life on the high seas, riding out ferocious deep-water storms in pursuit of the whale harvest.
From the beautiful shores of Brazil to the mountains of New Caledonia, the crew battles the elements in search of their own goals.
Once in America, they find themselves in the middle of Mexican conflict while on a wagon train on the Oregon Trail.
They try their hands at fur trapping and gold mining as they attempt to secure their share of the frontier’s bounty and do their best to avoid encounters with the dreaded Red Coats.
With hope the only thing that keeps them going some days, James and his companion clamber up out of a life of poverty to build new lives for their family in the New Land.
Through it all, their friendship only grows deeper.
It’s all put to the test when they make the final push across the Great Divide. In the New World, they find that they must make their own fate.
The original book was more than 700 pages but publisher iUniverse was told to cut it down to around 500 pages.
The Boy, The Man is 519 pages so readers should be prepared to give themselves a few weeks to read it.
The book is available locally at Save on Foods, The Book Bin and Open Book.It is also available at major outlets Barnes and noble and Chapter.
Cowie began working as an apprentice in the shipyards of his native Aberdeen at age 15. Two years later, he began a five year stint in the British Army.
In 1967, he immigrated to Canada, where he ended up working in Vernon, B.C. as a lineman with B.C. Hydro.
After taking a buyout package from Hydro Cowie was contracted out to places like Florida, California and as far as Egypt.
Seven years ago Stan and his wife Louella retired to the Cariboo, buying property at Springhouse.
The Cowies keep busy enjoying gardening, riding their two horses, and enjoying their cats and dogs.
Cowie says he was first introduced to the Cariboo while working for B.C Hydro inspecting poles in the northern part of B.C.
He and his wife decided to retire here because the Vernon area where they lived was becoming too busy and congested.
Cowie says copies of his book have been sent to family and friends in Scotland.
“I had some pretty good comments an reports from bak home and these people are blatantly hones with me, if it was no good they’d tell me,” says Cowie who is working on a second novel.