Well, here’s the story so far…
Since the book’s launch in April, the media reception has been pretty wonderful for The Whisky King. Thanks to the hard work of publicist Mike Millar who set up the radio and TV interviews, the book and yours truly have been featured on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, on the CHCH-TV and Global TV morning shows, on various radio stations, and on CBC’s The Current. Throughout, the discussions have been great, and it’s been rewarding getting word out about the lives and times of Rocco, Bessie and Frank. Is it stressful being interviewed on TV for a good 20 minutes? It is somewhat stressful! But Steve Paikin is very nice, and super suave. I could see him running a hell of a bootleg joint during Prohibition. That’s a compliment.
Reader reaction to The Whisky King has been amazing. Everywhere I’ve gone, talking about the history of bootlegging and the Italian underworld of Southern Ontario in the 1910s, ’20s and ’30s — specifically as it involved Rocco Perri, his gang, and the cops on his case — I’ve seen just how fascinated people are in the subject. And I’ve drunk a lot of free whisky. It’s been fun.
One other bit of news — there has been quite a bit of interest in The Whisky King from TV and film producers, and in June I signed a contract giving the option rights to Vitality Media Productions, headed up by producer Jeff Kopas. Jeff has a great feel for the immense dramatic potential of The Whisky King, in all its suspenseful plot threads and rich, fascinating characters. I’m excited to see what comes next.