Meet Dale Trigg, member of our Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) team at our Birstall site, UK, and published author of seven books! He tells us about his journey of becoming a writer and what he loves most about it.
In high school, Dale dreamed of making films and would write scripts for films and plays. Then, as that dream became more and more difficult, he started writing stories.
There is a fun evolution that happens as you write, where the story takes you to places you never expect – and you can find out a lot about yourself through this process.
He wrote his first novella, ‘Mark of a Traitor,’ at the age of seventeen, an effort he now looks back on and laughs!
Writing isn’t simply putting words on a page. It is research, structure, plotting, storyboarding, character development, story arcs. All of which have to come together to form something tangible.
A Bitter-Sweet Success
In 2009, Dale saw the publication of his first novel ‘The Calivari Tale’. It should have been a great day, but he was let down by the publishing house. They had both agreed that the story needed a lot of work before being published, but then they went and released it without any proofreading or editing! The experience put him off publishing altogether for a while.
But then, one day, he had a “mini-epiphany” and realized he was proud of that book. Therefore, Dale decided to do a remake.
I used the old book as a base and rewrote it completely from the ground up. It swelled to nearly twice the size but it was richer, more fluid and more interesting. It became ‘In the Eye of Wolf – A Calivari Tale’.
The story was a big success. In fact, Dale has just released the fifth novel in the series (The Butchers Apron – A Calivari Tale) and is finishing writing the seventh and final part.
Finding Inspiration at Work
Dale has been with us now for nearly seventeen years and finds his role in the EHS department at our Birstall site challenging yet rewarding.
You have to be flexible and have a wide range of knowledge. You can be inputting data and researching changes to policy one day, then in the factory doing risk assessments or advising on chemicals and raw materials the next.
He believes the beauty of PPG is its people.
We have such a rich and varied selection of people around the world that it is hard not to be inspired by some of them and the stories they tell.
He hastens to add that no specific characters are based on anyone at work, but there are “certain quirks or motions that people do” he finds interesting.
The Stories Can Take You Anywhere You Want
Dale considers his first love to be history, so one of his favorite things about writing is the “education behind it all”. For him, this aspect couldn’t be truer as he was also finishing his degree in ancient history while writing stories based on Ancient Egypt. This nicely coincided with his dissertation, which was about a theme running through one of his books.
I get so excited with all the new knowledge I have gathered that I just want to write it down and tell everyone.
While Dale used to consider his genre to be “thrillers with a hint of the supernatural or religious”, he no longer feels restricted by genre and writes almost anything he wants to.
He tells us that one of his stories starts as a serious archaeological adventure that turns into a “warped and weird fantasy story” featuring aliens, terraforming planets and souls that flick between bodies to survive.
It just happened, and it was liberating to know that it could just happen.
Tales Yet to Be Told
Dale now considers himself “realistic” when it comes to publication.
Not everything will be published. Once I got my head around this, I was quite relaxed about the entire process. If no publisher wants it, I will self-publish and still complete the cycle.
Even though he is a well-respected published author, Dale says that he’s not sure he’ll ever see himself as a writer. He still considers it a hobby and something he does for fun.
He enjoys that when people discover he writes, they tell him stories of parts of their life they are proud of.
It is moments like these that inspire as you realize just how many great tales have not yet been told.