Mess Manager Pens Novel

Adam Arbiter

Adam Arbiter

Adam Arbiter, 22 Wing CFB North Bay Mess Manager, has always had a passion for writing. For years he struggled to finish a story until he discovered one he really wanted to tell.

Emily Nakeff
Borden Citizen

His debut novel “I’m Here” tells the story of Garret and Simon, two soldiers that fall in love while fighting on the front lines in the Second World War.

Arbiter pulled inspiration from war poetry, but the heart of the story fell into place when he came across an old photo. The black and white image depicted two male soldiers dancing together, a joyful moment in time. With no source, the mystery image became the foundation for the story.

“That idea was just beautiful to me,” Arbiter says. “That the war somehow brought these boys, who felt different and alone and wrong, to a place where suddenly they were just like other men, and they found each other, and they found love, and a sense of peace.”

This first novel is the product of two and a half years work. Finding the time between his job and spending time with his husband and young son wasn’t always easy. He jokes that keeping a notebook in every room of the house helped.

But he was eager to tell a story that was missing from other historical fiction work.

“I really enjoy uncovering the stories we aren’t told in history class,” he says. “A lot of those stories are LGBTQ+ that got washed away because it wasn’t the thing people wanted to talk about. It was shameful, or it was a misconduct of some kind, especially for soldiers in the Armed Forces.”

He is very connected to the LGBTQ+ community, volunteering as a positive space ambassador on the Pride Committee at CFB North Bay, which he says played into his desire to tell this story.

“Part of it is this idea of shedding light, not only on the people of the past, but the people who are here now. I just hope readers fall in love with the characters like I did. I hope it opens their eyes to a part of history that they may not have been aware of. I just hope they feel, and they understand, the struggles these young men went through. Not even my characters, but all the young men who went to war. As much as it’s a work of fiction, it tells a very real story.”

The novel officially releases in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon just in time for Remembrance Day.

“Remembrance Day is a very important date for me – growing up, now, always. I did think it was a poignant story to release around that time of loss in the war and of remembering those people and those friendships and those relationships.”

Arbiter has discovered a love for historical fiction and has plans for future projects including an LGBTQ+ retelling of Frankenstein.


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