Sometimes, we come across an author and their work quite by accident. In June, 2017, MRP had a booth at the Warkworth Lilac Festival. Located about two hours east of Toronto, Warkworth is home to many painters, sculptors, photographers and writers—you could say it’s a haven for all artists.

On the first day of the festival, an older gentleman approached our booth and quietly began to talk about his life, his wife, and the book he had written. The following day, he appeared again, book in hand, excited to share more.

Immediately, Jaclyn said, “We need to publish this. It’s an important part of our history.” We read the words, considered the content, perused the photographs, and decided that John’s story needed to be shared with the world.

What makes the book special isn’t the plethora of old photographs or the history of World War II; it’s the telling of a story so many Canadians can relate to. John speaks of his early years in England and how he survived the Blitz. He goes on to talk about being stationed in Japan and how the aftereffects of the atomic bomb shaped his decision to move. His narrative brings to life the immigration of his family to Canada, his desire to shelter his wife and child, and his need for artistic pursuits.

John Ottewill passed away peacefully on August 3, 2017 in his 90th year in Warkworth, Ontario, just a few days after signing his contract with Morning Rain Publishing. Our intention is to honour his life, and those who followed similar paths, by sharing his story and preserving this piece of Canada’s history.

For more information, or to purchase your copy, please visit the book page!

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