Perseverance and dedication have finally paid off for Stoughton resident Henry Gravelle. Gravelle recently had his 10th novel, The Bamboo Heart, published. He also had the rights to another of his books, The Igloo Boys, optioned by a California film production company.
Perseverance and dedication have finally paid off for Stoughton resident Henry Gravelle.
Gravelle recently had his 10th novel, The Bamboo Heart, published. He also had the rights to another of his books, The Igloo Boys, optioned by a California film production company.
Although not quite ready to give up his truck driver day job, Gravelle is pleased with his success.
“Writing is my life … I put a lot of time and energy into these books and I really appreciate when people read them,” he said.
Raised in Hyde Park, the son of a Boston police detective, Gravelle was privy to countless stories about criminals. He quickly aspired to be like his father and fight crime.
After graduating from Hyde Park High and completing a stint in the United States Air Force, Gravelle started pursuing a career in law enforcement. He took criminal justice classes at Northeastern University, worked as a police officer at UMass Boston, attended the Brookline Police Academy and worked as a corrections officer at Walpole State Prison. All the while, he was hoping to get on the police force. Although Gravelle said he scored well, there were no openings at the time, and he simply moved on to a career driving a truck.
In the mid-1970s, with a wife and two daughters and dozens of ideas in his head, Gravelle sat down at a typewriter and penned his first book, The Banshee.
His reason for writing was quite simple.
“I felt like I had a story to tell,” he said.
The book is about a witch, executed in the 1600s, whose spirit is raised by modern day Satan worshippers. Film rights to the book were considered by High Five Productions (Universal Studios) back in the 1980s.
“It never took off, but it generated a lot of hope and interest,” said Gravelle.
Busy with his family life, Gravelle took a break from writing.
When he picked it up again, he jumped right into his second book.
For two years, he researched and wrote the book which is set in London, England in the 1800s and tells the tale of Jack the Ripper. The book, The Fort Providence Watch, received a Certificate of Merit from Writer’s Digest Magazine.
Gravelle, who has also written short stories and plays, found himself finishing one book and starting another one right away.
“I have so many ideas in my head that I just sit down and start writing and it all comes together,” said Gravelle, 59.
His newest novel, The Bamboo Heart, tells the story of a young American soldier’s experiences as a prisoner of war in the Philippines during World War II.
The book was recently released through Steel Moon Publishing out of Phoenix, Arizona. The book is available through their Web site, http://steelmoonpublishing.us/ and on Amazon.com.
Gravelle said the publisher is currently looking at his other books, including a three-book series about a retired Boston police detective named Buddy Sands.
An imprint of Steel Moon Publishing, Montana Outlaw Publishing, has already published one of those books, Ten Wide, and plans to publish the other two, The Sketcherand The Closet of Lucy Pang.
Variety appears to be the spice of writing for Gravelle, who doesn’t maintain a specific style.
“I don’t have anybody’s style … I just like telling stories,” he said. “I have my own way of telling people a story. I like to open up their imagination and let them envision what they are reading.”
He also doesn’t stick to just one genre.
“I don’t want to get labeled as one kind of writer…right now, I’m still looking for my niche,” he said.
He believes his forte might just be the kind of writing he did in his crime mystery, The Igloo Boys.
The book, set in Westford, Massachusetts, is like The Sopranos, but in a small town, he said. Exclusive films rights to The Igloo Boys were recently optioned by Star July Productions in California.
The author plans to write more mysteries.
As much as Gravelle loves writing, he also realizes he needs to spend some time on getting his works published.
He compared writing a book with being a factory and making your own product.
“I just want to do the production, but I know I have to do everything else,” said Gravelle. “If you want to make it in this business, you really have to invest the time being the whole factory.”
Other books written by Gravelle include the short story collections, Ollie-Ollie Oxen Free and Epitaph. In addition to being a published author, Gravelle creates the published comic strip Mallotown.
For more information on Gravelle or to find out where to purchase his books, log onto his website at www.henrygravelle.comor check out myspace.com/buddysands.
The Stoughton Journal