Michael Saad is the author of All the Devils Are Here, and although he currently lives in Lethbridge Alta, where he works as a teacher, he considers his home town to be Sparwood B.C. Saad was at the Sparwood Library last week for an author event where he launched his new book.
According to Head Librarian of the Sparwood Public Library, Jim Bertoia, Saad used to work at the library.
“Mike Saad was a summer student of ours back in the early 1990s. He was born and raised in Sparwood with many family and relatives in the area. He went on to become a teacher in the Lethbridge area,” said Bertoia. “I know he had published a number of stories in publications and he contacted me early 2016 to say he was publishing a novel and I jumped at the chance to have him come to our library to launch his book.”
While this was the author’s first print novel, it is certainly not his first piece of work.
“I have over 20 other pieces – short stories, novellas, history articles, poems – published in the last 20 years. This novel was literally 25 years in the making. It started off as a short story at Sparwood Secondary School (SSS) in my Writing 11 class taught by longtime SSS teacher Ron Basarab, who liked the story and always encouraged me to take it farther,” said Saad. “Over the years, as the story and characters haunted me as various events in the “War on Drugs” took violent turns in the 1990’s and 2000’s era, I was finally compelled to turn the story into a novella, and I began an extensive research process, interviewing and researching various law enforcement officers, SWAT members, former criminals, non-local drug abusers, and lawyers. Unfortunately, Ron Basarab passed away in October 2014. I resolved to turn it into a publishable print novel shortly after his passing as a tribute to his legacy.”
Bertoia believes there were around 25 people in attendance at the event.
“With a couple just coming in to buy a copy as they could not stay for the entire talk,” he said. “For Sparwood this was a very well attended event. I hope that this will be the first of many visits that Mike makes to the libraries in our region.”
The release has gone so well that Saad has already sold all of his first edition books, according to Bertoia.
“A second printing is in the works for later in the year. Mike is hoping that local bookshops in the area and a grocery chain might sell copies. The Sparwood Public Library also hopes to sell copies as there have been several inquiries from people who were unable to attend the reading,” said Bertoia.
Saad has no intentions to slow down, with a novelette release planned before the end of the year.
“I will be having the second novelette in my ‘Terrors of the Earth’ mystery series due out this December, from Dark Passages Publishing out of New York. The novelette will be entitled Let There Be Night and will feature artwork from the talented local Fernie artist Clayton Cytko, who also did the artwork for the first study, published in Under the Bed Magazine in Massachusetts back in 2014.
Saad also had a Fernie author event last week. For more information on the Sparwood native, he can be found online.
“Mike has a Facebook page and a Pinterest page which has links to many of his stories: if you type in his name on either site you will find his pages,” said Bertoia.