By creator to www.timescolonist.com
The transition from musician to creator wasn’t a troublesome one for Vince Ditrich, whose creative pursuits have all the time run the gamut.
“I’ve all the time been writing — not significantly, however always,” stated Ditrich, 58, who spent 30 years behind the drum equipment with Vancouver folk-rockers Spirit of the West. “It was all the time one thing I needed to do. It’s an enormous bucket-list accomplishment.”
Ditrich, who lives in Nanoose Bay, crossed “printed creator” off his want listing with The Liquor Vicar, his debut novel. The ebook follows the exploits of hopeful musician Tony Vicar, who by no means fairly made it within the enterprise however turns into one thing of a celeb after saving a lady from a near-fatal automotive accident.
Ditrich wrote it over a interval of 4 years, and drew upon private expertise in spots. He took liberties — resembling calling a Vancouver rock group, Previous Man Odor, and naming a Seattle act Marrakesh Espresso — to guard the harmless. “There are threads of issues that occurred to me 40 years in the past in there,” Ditrich stated.
The ebook takes place within the fictional city of Tyee Lagoon however is about on Vancouver Island, certainly one of many real-life remnants scattered all through the ebook. Vicar is equal elements anti-hero and saviour, identifiable character traits of many musicians he’s met, Ditrich stated with fun.
“Little quips and little quotations, and unhealthy hairdos from the 1980s, all this stuff I’ve saved in my psychological scrapbook. I bust all of this stuff into shards and reassemble them into this ebook mosaic.”
He liked engaged on the ebook with editors and confidants, which helped him discover his voice as a author. However writing is an oddly isolating expertise, Ditrich stated, particularly when in comparison with his time with Spirit of the West, who favoured a democratic strategy.
Even-keel however, Spirit of the West was led by two strong-willed frontmen, Geoffrey Kelly and the late John Mann, which meant Ditrich usually may solely watch in awe — regardless that he was the group’s supervisor, and moonlighted as the author behind nearly all of the band’s promotional materials.
In writing the ebook, Ditrich felt “an unbelievable sense of enjoyment and cosiness, as a result of it was all me,” he stated. “I made all the choices, I didn’t should say, ‘What do you suppose, guys?’ There was no asking permission to desert issues and circle again to them later. It was liberating.”
The journey to convey The Liquor Vicar to life wasn’t with out its struggles. Ditrich started engaged on the ebook in 2016, across the time Spirit of the West got here to an finish, however information of an identical kidney donor (Ditrich had been battling well being points for years) led to a kidney transplant three months afterward. He took a 12 months off to recuperate.
“I used to be subsequent to lifeless,” Ditrich stated.
Writing turned his remedy. He regarded to a number of pals for steerage alongside the way in which, together with filmmaker and creator Pete McCormack (Going through Ali), who filmed the band’s 2015 efficiency at Massey Corridor in Toronto, certainly one of their final with Mann, for the acclaimed documentary, Spirit Unforgettable. It was McCormack who urged that The Liquor Vicar be written in a manner that it may very well be simply tailored to TV, in line with Ditrich.
He signed a three-book cope with Toronto’s Dundurn imprint, the second of which is already written and slated for launch subsequent 12 months, which explains why the cautionary story involves an in depth on a foreboding, open-ended observe. Tony Vicar can be right here to remain, for the quick future, Ditrich stated.
“The entire aim behind that is to have a world that turns into actually interesting to folks and have them purchase in.”
Which begs the query: How a lot of Vince is in Vicar? He was all the time the wildcard in Spirit of the West, one who usually eschewed pants throughout efficiency and was keen on singing the occasional Dean Martin in live performance.
Maybe it’s a query that wants no reply. “I’ve a type of personalities,” Ditrich stated. “It’s not an act I’m placing on. I’m a really invaluable particular person to have at a stiff celebration.”
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