This is a question I’ve heard so many times and reluctantly had to avoid answering, until now. You see, I didn’t want to make a big deal of it—even though my subject is “a big deal” and I was absolutely pumped about the project, people who know me will attest to this—and I thought it was best to keep it low-key until I actually had a story to tell, or better yet, a book in my hands to talk about.
The people I interviewed knew my main character’s identity (it was difficult to hide), as did those people whose help I enlisted during my research, and they all agreed not to divulge his identity. Then my kids figured it out, just before Christmas. It had become increasingly difficult to hide my whereabouts, and my attendance at a Winnipeg Jets game gave my daughter the final clue she needed to put the final pieces of the puzzle together, surprised to find out that the person I was writing about often worked out next to her at the South-end YMCA-YWCA. A few of my friends who reviewed the manuscript knew as well. But for the most part I managed to keep the book’s subject from my neighbours, friends and co-workers (a former co-worker even snapped a picture of me standing beside my “main man” at that same Jets game, and texted the picture to me—she knew I was writing a biography—but did not associate the other person in the photo with the biography. That was a close one).
I’ve described the person I’ve been writing about as one of the most famous sports personalities in Manitoba, and one of the most recognizable figure in Winnipeg, who is also know across Canada and south of the border. The usual reaction, it seems, has been to think of a player, a coach, an owner, or a broadcaster that would fit the bill. Even listing sports often associated with him—hockey, football, baseball, dance, marathons, and basketball—only seemed to confuse matters more: who could be associated with so many sports? Mentioning autism, St. Amant Centre, Portage la Prairie, Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, and Treherne further muddied the waters.
However, it would surely help if I said “Dancing and cheering,” and added terms like passion, energy, community-minded, omnipresent, number one fan to the description. Finally, if you still needed one more clue and I told you that Mike’s (the person who asked me to write his brother’s biography) last name is Langlois, you would likely have figured out by now that the person I’m writing about is none other than Dancing Gabe Langlois! See DancingGabethebook.com for more info.