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Author prefers fans over critics

His books have sold over a million copies in Canada alone, but Kelownaauthor Jack Whyte remains snubbed by Canada’s literary establishment.

His books have sold over a million copies in Canada alone, but Kelowna author Jack Whyte remains snubbed by Canada’s literary establishment.

“I can not address, nor can I answer to the CanLit critics and censors,” said Whyte, 69, at a hotel in Vancouver yesterday.

“All I can do is thank God that Canadian readers disagree with them. A million books in Canada means: screw CanLit.”

Whyte, the Scottish-born Canadian author whose novels include the Dream of Eagles series about King Arthur and Camelot, was in Vancouver to promote Order In Chaos, the final novel in his Templar Trilogy.

He said CanLit doesn’t acknowledge his work because it is “genre writing, not literature.”

And he believes that there are few Canadian authors with more than a million Canadian sales.

Whyte, a former professional musician who came to Canada in 1967, made a living performing Spanish guitar in pubs. He began writing in 1975 and toiled for 14 years, not telling anyone he was writing.

“I had a story inside that wanted to come out and it just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

When he finally approached a publisher, he had three finished manuscripts (the first volumes of Dream of Eagles).

Whyte, who was born near Glasgow five miles from the birthplace of Scottish hero William Wallace, is working on his next trilogy. It will be called The Guardians and will focus on Wallace, Robert the Bruce and James Douglas.

 
 
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