July 25, 2011

Made It Moment: David Antrobus

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 1:53 am

Dissolute Kinship

David Antrobus planned to depart for NYC from his home near Vancouver on September 11, 2001, a road trip of discovery and hopefully an antidote to the depression he was struggling with. When the towers came down, David decided to go anyway. To learn what his journey was like, you’ll have to buy his book. To learn how he knew he’d made it, read David’s words below.

David Antrobus

In one very mundane sense, I made it when I uploaded my book to Amazon and Smashwords—my first published book! exciting times!—but in a more profound sense, I made it when I actually wrote the book, which was in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001. At the end of 2000, I’d been forced to take a stress leave from my job working with street kids, and when my emotional health showed no signs of improving through the summer of 2001, I decided kind of randomly that a road trip to New York City from my home near Vancouver, Canada might somehow help. I had friends along the way, as well as a friend in Brooklyn, and I had never been to the Big Apple, so it seemed like as good an idea as anything, and infinitely better than brooding at home on antidepressants.

Only problem was—and here’s the sole justification for a unique book on this topic—I picked Tuesday, September 11 as my departure date.

But I won’t recreate it here; suffice it to say, the experience of driving to that wounded city across a silent, shocked continent was apocalyptic and unforgettable. Yet for me, the key was writing it. Writing is a calling that I’ve heard, and occasionally even resisted, since I was a young child growing up in England, although there are long years when I wrote almost nothing—working with damaged kids, as rewarding as it is in other ways, tends to suck the creativity out of you, or at least channel it in different ways. So this short redemptive book was my proof that I could change tack, turn it around, move in a different direction.

I may never publish another nonfiction book again, as my passion lies more in dark, literary fiction, but this book is my heart laid bare, essentially, and for that will always be treasured by me, its very existence proof that I (all of us, in fact) can “make it”.

As a former youth worker, in the United Kingdom and in Canada, David has continued his life’s work of trying to understand others and to be understood. Communication is at the root of everything. And to do it with both humour and elegance, or even beauty, would be the most fulfilling of all.


  1. Sounds like a fascinating read!

    Comment by Kathleen Barker — July 25, 2011 @ 9:09 am

  2. Wow, this sounds intense yet uplifting! I would like to read this because I have ties to NY and knew people who were there at the time. For a long time I could not bear to watch any of the news stories on TV, but I have come to grips with it now and your story sounds like one that I would enjoy reading. Thank you Jenny, as always, for sharing these authors with us who I might not have found on my own! I am a faithful fan, Rae

    Comment by Rae — July 25, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  3. Sounds like a gripping take on the 9/11 story. I would love to read this book!

    Comment by Alison DeLuca — July 25, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  4. That is an amazing story in itself. What an interesting man Mr Antrobus iw, and what an interesting life. This is a book I would never have searched out, but now I will!

    Comment by Connie — July 25, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  5. David,

    My breath caught, as I’m sure everyone breath did, when I read the date you left for your road trip. What a fascinating perspective. Good luck with your book.


    Comment by Sandy — July 25, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  6. A beautiful interview with a great author. This book is a must read. Not only is it a powerful story, David is a true wordsmith with a gift for putting the reader in his shoes, seeing what he sees, feeling what he feels.

    Thanks Jenny for featuring one of my favorite indies, and thanks to you David for writing your story.

    Comment by mountainmama — July 26, 2011 @ 4:48 am

  7. David has a fascinating story to tell. And good taste in music.

    Comment by JD Mader — July 30, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  8. David, your passion may be dark, literary fiction, but I can’t imagine anything more powerful than this personal story. As someone who also sees writing as a calling, I commend you for saying yes, for being willing to lay your heart bare. It is only when we reveal our humanity that we find true kinship. I sincerely look forward to reading this book.

    Comment by Roxanne Ivey — July 30, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  9. A fascinating and heart-felt interview, so thanks, Jenny. And (obviously)thanks, David. It was very interesting for me to read the ‘back story’ to your book. Good luck with you next writing project – whether it be fiction or non-fiction.

    Comment by R J Dent — July 30, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

  10. Thank you, everyone — sincerely — for the kind and thoughtful comments here. This is the exact point where the rewards of writing become evident, when your words have an impact on others.

    Comment by David Antrobus — July 31, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

  11. Great interview, David. Sounds like an intriguing story. Keep on writing.

    Comment by Sheron — August 2, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  12. This is a very good, concise feature I enjoyed reading. It’s always good going away wanting more. David’s book certainly sounds like a heart-felt account of a devastating experience. Shall look out for it.

    Comment by Rosanne Dingli — August 2, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

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