President’s Message: Meet Charles Mossop

by Kim Charlson

Each year at the ACB convention, we have the opportunity to hear from a leader in the blindness field from another country working to make things better for people who are blind in their own country and for the global community. In July at the convention, ACB will have the privilege to welcome Charles Mossop, who is the president of the North America/Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union (WBU). He has had a fascinating and distinguished career from which I will share with you some highlights.
 
Charles is now retired from a 42-year career as a post-secondary educator, administrator and private consultant in international development. He lives on Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast. Partially sighted since the age of 19 due to Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, he enjoys gardening and playing piano and classical guitar when he is not traveling.
 
He has recently completed a six-year term as a member of the national Board of Directors of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), and continues his service to CNIB as a member of divisional and regional boards. In addition, he currently serves as an advisor on governance to the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB).
 
At the convention, Library Users of America (LUA) will be holding an author presentation with Charles Mossop. You will have the opportunity to delve into his writing career and hear about his experiences as a published writer. You can learn what it is like to write a mainstream thriller if you are blind. How does one get published, and how are descriptions of far-flung parts of the world managed if you can’t see those places?
 
In his first book, “Jade Hunter,” a sinologist becomes involved in exploring the history of an extremely valuable jade item which has, for centuries, gone all over the world and been changed many times. Now it appears that it has been destroyed in a fire. But is that truly the end of its story? In his second book, “Devil at my Heels,” he tells the story of a mild-mannered college professor of history who, after his friend’s murder, goes to Europe in search of an ancient manuscript that holds clues to the murder and to the whereabouts of an ancient royal treasure. He must use his intellect, fast footwork and deception before the answers are finally revealed.
 
How does a blind author manage to successfully write to compete in a market that already has lots of bestsellers by folks like Dan Brown? Does a blind person have any advantages in writing this kind of book? Find out the answers to these questions and a host of others by attending the LUA “Two Books, One ACB” presentation at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6th.
 
Both of Mossop’s books are being made available in digital audio format on a single cartridge that can be requested by sending an e-mail to me, in my work role as the director of the Perkins Library, at kim.charlson@perkins.org with “Charles Mossop Books” placed in the subject line. You should provide your name, address, and phone number, and I will fill your request from the Perkins Library holdings. This is the international copyright arrangement that has been made with CNIB, where the books were produced, to facilitate more rapid distribution. You then return the digital cartridge when you finish reading the titles so others can enjoy reading Charles’ books. E-mail requests are best, but if you don’t have that capability, then you can call the Perkins Library directly at (617) 972-7240 and provide the necessary information via phone. Happy reading!