After a 10-year full-time successful writing career, I've decided to change course, once again and gave birth to the Spirit Hills winery.
Over the past decade my goal was to write entertaining and thought-provoking stories to make people think about the inter-connection between social injustices, both in North America and developing countries and the environmental stresses on Mother Earth. Both are symptoms of a system that devours and plunders instead of creating, growing and caring. In my last novel, A People's Power, I touched on the importance of rebuilding local markets and food systems as they are the only way forward to a sustainable, free, just and diverse society.
The writing of my first book, In the Eyes of Anahita, was in many ways a reflective and healing journey for me. The 10 years of studying the root causes of a system that keeps creating the same outcome despite the good intentions of so many people who want to create a better world, gave me a deep understanding of how we can create a solution. And so in a way, David, the protaganist in my last book, A People's Power, is now leading me. I've decided to take a break from writing and actually participate in the creation of a local food system. I've become a farmer.
Over the past year my wife, Ilse, and I have given birth to the Spirit Hills farm and winery. At our farm we grow all of our food for an entire year. We freeze, dry and can the harvest. We keep goats for milk and make our own cheese and yoghurt. Our chickens provide us with eggs and I hunt with bow and arrow deer, elk and moose for meat. We buy our grain from an organic local farm, mill it and bake our own bread. Besides providing for our own food we keep 110 beehives which provide us with honey which we use in a grape-less province, together with local berries to ferment and turn into some delicious and award winning wines. The winery allows us to live much more local and make a cash income from the farm. Our wines and lifestyle inspire, bring hope and make people happy; my new goal. Spirit Hills has truly become a place of transformation where people from across the world come and volunteer via wwoof.ca to learn how to live of the land and be touched and inspired by the joy of seeding, growing, harvesting, resting and celebrating together.
I thank the 100,000+ readers, educators, teachers and all bookstore managers from across the country who have supported me over the past decade. Without your support I could not have made this journey and paid the bills while researching this important topic and writing stories. I am proud not to have taken any tax payers money through the subsidies from the Canada Council of the Arts, an organization that with your money creates a falls literary market in our country. I hope to see the day when some brave elected politicians cut the funds for the literary industry and spend tax payers money on better things. The result would be that better story tellers would have a chance to surface in Canada and would not have to fight the attacks and barriers of an organization that insists on preserving a literary industry where the Emperor has no clothes.
The books remain available via the bookstores and the winery. Below you will find the trailer for my latest book, A People's Power. ". . . a story of corporate power and abuse and the strength of the human spirit to rise above it."- Percy Schmeiser, of the documentary film, Percy Schmeiser: David versus Monsanto. Check out the website and book trailer at www.APeoplesPower.com