Echo Bay native John Hurley is a roofer by profession.
But, his passion is writing.
When Hurley decided to write his first book, he combined the two, but certainly not in the form of a ‘how-to” roofing book.
The Roofers, self-published by Hurley two months ago, is a humorous work of fiction, inspired by his own life as a member of a roofing family.
The book tells the tale of a fictional group of roofers who work hard, play hard, and meet colourful characters along the way.
“When I wrote the book, I literally wrote it by hand,” Hurley told SooToday.
“I’m a hands-on guy, I’m not electronic at all…there were a lot of hand cramps, but I enjoyed writing it,” he chuckled.
Hurley said the book was originally written as a screenplay and submitted to actor/producer Mark Wahlberg in September 2014.
“It’s still sitting on his desk in Hollywood, and the last I heard it’s number 32 in line for him to read,” Hurley said.
After Hurley spoke to Friesen Press, the company encouraged him to have the story published.
“There are lots of twists and turns in the book and a lot of colourful characters who work with the roofers, called the Brew Crew,” Hurley said.
The roofers head off to the southern U.S. to help rebuild houses after a hurricane.
“In the book, there’s a crew of Mexican roofers who don’t like what the roofers are doing, they think they’re trying to take the roofing business away in the area, there’s confrontation…that’s one of the fictional parts added in.”
“Roofers 2 is already done and ready for publishing, but I really want to get Roofers to a screen,” Hurley said.
The Roofers is on sale at both Coles Bookstore locations in Sault Ste. Marie, Chapters in Sudbury, bookstores in Toronto and around the world, Hurley said.
The book is also available online
“It’s doing well at Coles, a lot of people who’ve read it have liked it,” Hurley said.
“Writing’s been a passion of mine since high school and I’ll continue to write, I’m going to stick with it…this one was near and dear to my heart and I wanted to get the story out.”
Since writing The Roofers, Hurley said his wife and two teenaged daughters have helped him get up to speed on computers, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, adding he would like to receive feedback on his work through social media.
Hurley, who still gets it done as a roofer in Echo Bay, will be at a book signing at Chapters in Sudbury from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 17.