Julie Chadwick’s book The Man Who Carried Cash hit the shelves May 27. She is hosting a book launch June 1 at Literacy Vancouver Island at 5:30 p.m. RACHEL STERN / The News Bulletin

VIDEO: Nanaimo author Julie Chadwick’s book chronicles relationship between Johnny Cash and his manager Saul Holiff

Chadwick launches her book Thursday (June 1) at Literacy Central Vancouver Island

At the heart of Julie Chadwick’s novel The Man Who Carried Cash is a story about a bond between two men.

The book recounts the relationship between Johnny Cash and his manager Saul Holiff from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. As she dug deeper, Chadwick said she discovered that Holiff was a “really fascinating” man.

“What made the story really interesting to me was this push and pull between a superstar, a musician and his manager and that the two personalities were equal and how kind of forceful and rich they were, and that to me kind of formed the basis for the book,” said Chadwick. “I think people will find that interesting, because it’s primarily a book about a relationship.”

Chadwick said there were many layers to the relationship. It’s about a manager and an artist and a person who is in the limelight and another behind the scenes. Chadwick said both men were under tremendous pressure and even though they both “achieved massive success” they were both really “tortured men.”

“That says a lot to me about our ideas of success,” she said.

Chadwick said readers might ask themselves what’s new about Cash in this biography, and while there is a lot of material in the book, what it also offers is a chance to view Cash through his relationship with Holiff.

“There are many ways you can look at a person’s life. You can look at it through their creative works or you can look at it through their love relationships,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick began her journey writing The Man Who Carried Cash while working for the Nanaimo Daily News. She met with Holiff’s son Jonathan who had created a documentary film about his father and was screening it in Nanaimo in 2013.

Jonathan began working on the film, My Father and the Man in Black, after his father’s death. His mother gave him a key to his father’s storage locker, which had hundreds of letters, photographs and audio recordings between his father and Cash.

One of the challenges, Chadwick said, was many of the sources she wanted to interview had passed away.

“It just ended up being a lot of the people weren’t alive,” said Chadwick, adding it led to creative ways of working with the information she did have.

“I thought a lot about ancient painters and how they sometimes have to make their own paint or they just don’t have a certain shade of blue, because it’s not even an available colour in paint. So having limited colours will sometimes cause you to do new and creative things,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick is hosting several book launches in the Nanaimo area. On Thursday (June 1) she launches her book at Literacy Central Vancouver Island, located at 19 Commercial St., at 5:30 p.m. On Friday at 7 p.m. she hosts an event which features music by David P. Smith and Ah, Venice at the White Room, located at 4 Church St. Admission is on a sliding scale of $5-$10 at the door. On June 10 she hosts an event featuring Rick Scott at Beacon House, located at 208 Colvilleton Trail on Protection Island.

Books will be available for purchase at the events for $20.

For more information about The Man Who Carried Cash, published by Dundurn, please visit www.dundurn.com/books/Man-Who-Carried-Cash.


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