'It's really taken off': 94-year-old Ontario author celebrates release of latest book
Published Friday, October 13, 2023 8:26AM EDT
The release of 94-year-old Douglas Hall's latest book has been an inspiration for many at his retirement home east of Toronto.
So much so, the staff members of Amica Whitby put on a murder mystery performance for residents inspired by his fourth book in a series.
"It was released on the 15th of September and it's really taken off,” Hall told CTV News Toronto.
The series follows police officer turned private investigator Paul West, explained Hall.
Hall wrote his first book in 1968 on a type of dare by his wife. He was working at IBM at the time as the senior press officer when a colleague wrote a book.
"I thought it was god awful," said Hall. "The characters were not believable, his plot, you could shoot a cannon through it. So she said to me, 'do you think you can do better?' And I said, 'if I couldn't, I'd quit.' She said 'do it', and I said, 'on one condition, you edit.'"
His wife, Joyce, who was a registered nurse, began editing his books when she worked the night shift, and has edited every single one of his more than two dozen books ever since.
"She's still editing," said Hall, "it's just slower. Well anybody who has somebody with Alzheimer's knows what I'm talking about. Her attention span is slower, and she'll only do one page or page and a half a day, which is fine. I got all the time in the world."
When his latest book came out, “Murder in Season,” staff at Hall’s retirement home decided to put on a murder mystery for residents, inspired by Hall.
"He's written so many novels and he's been so kind to share them with our residents and us as team members," said Alyssa Almeida, life enrichment coordinator, "so it's been really great to take that inspiration and spin it into something all residents can enjoy."
The staff members started getting the play together in September and performed it having Hall there as a guest of honour.
"It's unbelievable. The people that I meet here at Amica Whitby that come and they live here and the things that they've done and can still do is mind boggling," said Mark Jordan, general manager, "there's inspirations everywhere in the job. I don't even know how to describe it and how to describe the feeling."
Hall said he has no plans of slowing down and he still writes every day.
"I did three more plots for Paul West," said Hall, who is already working on his next book in the series.