This was an interview done on August 14, 2013 by the local weekly newspaper, The Lakefield Herald
Retired LDSS Teacher is a published Author
by Jaclyn Witherly
A retired Lakefield District Secondary School teacher, Al Rennie, has gained popularity in the online world from his published eBooks.
As an English teacher for 32 years, he says he has naturally always enjoyed the written word, but it wasn’t until he was almost retired he really became serious about it.
“The thing that really pushed me over the top was when I had my motorcycle accident about five years before I retired,” Rennie explains.
“I was going to be laid up for three months and in that period of time I decided I could either look at the ceiling or I could do something.”
His early four books are part of a series called ‘Riverview,’ which is based loosely on the people and places of the Lakefield and Peterborough area.
He also wrote a series called ‘Clearwater’ and has 17 books in total and just finished his 18th.
He has a publisher who distributes them online to different eBook readers like Indigo, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Kindle.
He uploaded the Clearwater Journals as free eBooks in September of 2011 and within the year he became number four in the world, for free eBooks.
“It blew me away,” he exclaims. “I sold 30,000 in the first three months, and there’s about 57,000 downloaded now.”
He is also published in print in Turkey; he was contacted by a publisher who was interested in Clearwater Journals. His book was released in Turkey last year and the publisher has come back requesting the second novel.
The novels begin centered around a retired Canadian cop who moves to the states, meets a young woman at an iHop and begins unraveling a murder mystery.
Rennie writes two to four books a year. He says, “I enjoy using the imagination and the activity itself, watching television gets boring after a while. You can read, and I do read alot, but there’s a challenge in writing, it’s like a cross word or a mathematical equation, to be able to take different components and weave them into a story.”
To young, aspiring writers he advises, “Write. Don’t count on anything, you may get really lucky but it doesn’t matter, if you have a desire to write you should do it. The beauty of today is you aren’t confined to that traditional mold.”
Rennie plans to continue writing and publishing his books online.