Retired Nurse and Academic Melodie Hull had no problem adapting her father’s stories to the page after penning six nursing text books herself over the years.
Hull's first delve into fiction is a collection of tales from the area specifically Rolla. The stories are set here by Hull’s father, Raymond Hull who recounted them to her.
The new book, Jollyboy and other Tales From the Peace (Stories My Father Told Me) is exactly as advertised and billed - it is a collection of short stories of the early years of settlement. She was inspired to pull the trigger on the book when Hull attended Rolla 100 celebrations in 2012 with her father and husband.
“I made a promise to my Dad that I would try to publish his stories. He was a great storyteller,” says Hull noting the themes are common to any family with settler and pioneer roots.
Hull notes that the book while, about family, it is not just about her own family. It’s about the people and the places in the Peace. It is full of tales and tall tales: historical fiction. She writes in her father’s voice. Raymond Hull was born in Rolla in 1928. His father, Zene settled there after fighting in WW1. But the Hull brother’s Jay and Lute arrived years before that.
“My Dad, Gramma and Grampa, Rosa (Moore) and Zene Hull never forgot their roots and kept in touch with family and friends still living here.”
Hull says it was not hard capturing her father’s gregarious, adventuresome spirit – it comes through in the stories he told. Melodie Hull, who lives in Cranbrook, said the work involved in assembling the book was done over the course of a lifetime, but really over the course of just over a year as far as the prep for publishing.
Jollyboy and other Tales From the Peace takes readers back in time 80 – 100 years ago for stories of farmers and rangers; horses and bears; wild adventures and wooly characters of northern BC.
She says the research into the history of the area and physical geographical locations was almost as important as the tales themselves. She said while her father told many different kinds of over his lifteime stories, for this project she only kept the Rolla and Peace related tales.
“This is a collection of stories that shed light on the strong and courageous, loving people of the time and some of their adventures.”
It’s a glimpse of Canadiana.
Available in paperback and e-book.