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Mar 04

Eric Wright Interview

Celebrating Riptide

 

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I’m pleased to welcome Canadian author Eric Wright and to talk about writing and his newest novel, Riptide.

Hi Eric.

Can you tell us about your varied writing experience and how you came to write romantic suspense?

 

I’ve been writing ever since I went to Pakistan as a missionary in 1964 when I was challenged to write prayer letters every month. I wanted to make sure they were interesting to read. Then I got involved in theological education by extension where we had to write our own self-teaching texts. In the 6 or 7 years following I wrote 5 courses. When I returned to Canada and took a pastorate, I felt deeply about two things; the need for all of us to have a forgiving spirit and our need to minister in the area of our gifts. Out of those came two books, Church–No Spectator Sport and Revolutionary Forgiveness. A missionary colleague had recommended me to a British publisher.

So I’ve done five non-fiction books including books about missions. Then in 1992 I began to write what became two books on country living because we moved to a country home. These two books reflect my love for nature.

I began writing suspense in about 2004 when I became frustrated with the books I was reading. I enjoy books with contemporary suspense and realistic characters in a realistic setting. Also a neighbour suggested that I write in story form, not just in prose, non-fiction style.

 

What three words would you use to describe Riptide?

That’s hard!

Suspense, Christian, romance

 

Riptide is set in the southern U.S. but you live in Canada. What’s the secret to your ability to bring this town and culture to life?

 

When I was writing one of my books, we took a sabbatical from the pastorate in St. Simons Island and fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve also vacationed there a couple of times. Plus, Mary Helen, is from the south.

 

Riptide is written from a woman’s point of view. What were some of the challenges of writing from a woman’s point of view?

 

I found it very challenging to put myself into the persona of a 40ish woman, but I feel considerable compassion for single mothers, divorcees, many of whom are the more innocent victims of male insensitivity. My all female critique group helped immensely where I stumbled.

 

Usually I ask if there’s a little of you in the hero/heroine. Does she reflect you in any way?

 

The heroine reflects what I would hope to do in such situations; persevere in spite of pain, fight for her freedom.

 

Did Riptide require much research? What was the most surprising thing you learned?

 

It required research in money laundering and shrimping. I was shocked at the amount of money laundered into the world economy without any taxation or accountability. I learned most about shrimping from a couple of books I read on the subject; the different kinds of shrimp, the high quality of shrimp from this area of the coastline, the devastation of shrimp beds by industrial pollutants in the Gulf, the effect on the industry of Asian shrimp farms, the competition against shrimpers by sport fishermen and the turtle conservation lobby.

 

Do you have another book in the works?

 

Yes, I have a third Josh Radley suspense novel in the works. This one is set in Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Seattle. It concerns smuggling of illegal immigrants, etc. I also have a children’s adventure book in revision.

 

You are a busy man, Eric. Thank you for taking the time to drop by and share.

 

You can visit Eric’s website.

www.countrywindow.ca

and sign up to receive his blog: Country Inspiration

ericewright.wordpress.com/

 

 

Feb 25

Review: Riptide

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Riptide

by Eric Wright

Harbourlight (2014)

Craig and Ashlyn Forsyth stand at the back of the church listening to the choir. He hands her a sealed envelope, and walks out. Leaving Ashlyn alone, and her hope that this romantic vacation would rekindle their marriage destroyed.

Ashlyn is a Christian marriage councillor who thought she had her life in order, thought she was in tune with God’s plan. But as her life falls apart—between run-ins with FBI agents and Russian mobsters, her life really is imploding—Ashlyn must reassess who she is, and what is really important.

Canadian author, Eric Wright, gave himself an interesting challenge by writing this novel from Ashlyn’s point of view. He does a commendable job portraying her thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. He also paints the setting for most of this novel, St Simon’s Island, Georgia, with believable strokes. From waitresses to shrimp fishermen, the characters come alive.

Pacing is a bit of an issue in the first part of the novel. I would have liked the action to start a bit sooner. But once it does start, there is no time for Ashlyn or the reader to catch their breath.

Riptide is a fun, satisfying read

Feb 12

Review: A Small Death in the Great Glen

 

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A Small Death in the Great Glen

by A.D. Scott

Atria (2010)

The year: 1956

The place: a highland village, Scotland

The crime: a murdered child

 

Tucked away from the world, trying to balance traditions and modernity of post-war Britain, this village has welcomed foreigners and embraced the wounded. It’s an idyllic place full of tight-knit families, and highland charm. Until little Jamie is murdered.

 

And the village’s friendly facade cracks.

  • Joanne, trapped in an abusive marriage, struggles to belong
  • Annie and Jean, frightened little girls who see too much
  • McAllister, new to the village, haunted by old demons that won’t stay hidden
  • Chiara and Gino, betrayed by neighbours
  • The man with the unpronounceable name, villain or scapegoat?

 

A Small Death in the Great Glen is more than a mystery. It explores the deep wounds of a murdered boy, and the world’s murdered innocence. It’s the kind of book you want to take time with.

Savour Scott’s beautiful prose.

Ponder her insights.

Reflect on the deeper questions she poses.

 

This is the most beautifully written book I have read in a very long time. Turn any page and you’ll find something to delight.

 

It was hard to pick, but here are a few samples of Scott’s skill.

 

“That week, the last in October, the town smelled of toffee and turnips. Treadle sewing machines clunked as children changed their minds a dozen times on what to wear but settled for whatever their mothers could produce, old clothes being at a premium, cloth and clothes rationing a not-too-distant memory for most.” P 188

 

“In Scotland, Halloween was a Celtic festival with the night promising a delicious frisson of fear. The evening star hovered above the horizon, the starting signal of the annual visitation from the undead. …Outside the church hall, a newly built rectangular construction of no architectural merit whatsoever, men and boys, like a stream of worker ants, were adding branches, off-cuts of wood, anything that would burn, to a dark teepee shape. This bonfire would blaze well into the night.” P 205

 

“At the far end of the hall below the stage, children jiggled and shrieked, impatient for their turn, mocking their friends, as they had a go at dooking for apples. Scones dangled on strings from a clothesline, treacle dripping dark gelatinous globs onto the painter’s drop cloths and the unwary, and hands behind backs, mouths open like little baby cuckoos, the children would try to bite through a scone as it swayed in front of them.” P 206

 

Despite the serious subject matter, this was a ‘safe’ read. I look forward to devouring her other works.

A Double Death on the Black Isle

Beneath The Abbey Wall

North Sea Requiem

Nov 28

Review: The Body on the T

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The Body on the T

by Mike Martin

Baico Publishing (2013)

 

RCMP Sgt. Winston Windflower’s been three years in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. He’s set down roots, built friendships, fallen in love. He enjoys east-coast life. He loves cod tongues. And thanks to the odd murder, boredom—if it does come—never lasts for long.

 

Mike Martin’s second mystery, The Body on the T, launches quickly.

  • An unidentified body
  • A mysterious bonfire
  • An unethical police officer

 

Are these related? Do they have anything to do with a local drug smuggling operation? The Body on the T kept me asking questions to the very last page.

 

This is a pleasant little mystery filled with local names, local delicacies, local history, and a sampling of local dialects. The mystery’s details take second place to Windflower’s personal issues. His girlfriend, Sheila Hillier, is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and her recovery seems in doubt. Time spent with Sheila fills more pages than detective work. This is both the books weakness and strength—depending on your perspective.

 

Windflower is thoughtful, attentive, polite. He’s not the brash-talking, shoot-now-ask-questions-later kind of hero you’ll find in many police-based mysteries. Martin sensitively expresses Windflower’s First Nation’s spirituality without judgment.

 

Although it does not seriously detract from the story, this book would have benefitted from another edit.

 

Readers who prefer the gentler atmosphere of a cozy mystery should enjoy this book.

 

Other books by Mike Martin

The Walker on the Cape (2012)

 

 

Nov 26

Mike Martin Interview

Canadian Maritime mystery author and freelance writer, Mike Martin, drops by to talk about writing, and his newest novel

The Body on the T

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Hi Mike, and welcome.

 

What inspired you to set your mysteries in Newfoundland, and not in your new home, Ottawa?

 

I guess I didn’t really pick the location, it picked me. When I first visited Grand Bank I saw the lighthouse (which is on the cover of the first book, The Walker on the Cape) and I knew that this was where the story would begin. Then the character, Windflower, appeared almost out of the fog, and I just started writing. So far I haven’t bothered to stop and ask too many questions. I just keep writing.

 

Some writers say it’s difficult to find a US publisher who will accept stories set in Canada. What are your thoughts on that?

 

That is true. And I know some Canadian writers who have chosen to relocate their stories to the States or international venues. I wish them well. But for me it is very important that I am part of telling stories set in Canada, because if we don’t do it, then who will? Part of the great joy that I have about my fiction books are that they are telling the world a little bit of the story of Newfoundland, and the east coast of Canada. Maybe Sgt. Windflower could be a State Trooper in Maine, but then he wouldn’t be Windflower. Would he?

 

What is your favourite part of writing?

 

I like so many things but I think the freedom that I feel when I write is my favourite part. When I get to the place that I am really able to let go and just tap into that endless river of creativity that flows inside all of us. I love that feeling.

 

And of course, having a finished product, a story or a whole book that I can share with others.

 

And seeing my book in someone else’s hands. I love that!!

 

How much research did you do for The Body on the T?

 

A lot. It was easy to come up with story lines but then you have to make them make sense. I tried to stay away from being too technical, for both my own and reader’s benefit, but if you start a story with a dead body washing up on shore then you have to know how a body decomposes in that water. And when you are writing a mystery you have to know that almost every person who will read the book probably knows more about mysteries and crime than you do it. I use the K.I.S.S. model and it seems to work.

 

What is the most fascinating thing you discovered during your research?

 

The most fascinating things that I discover are always the little known pieces of history about communities like Burin in Newfoundland. Like the fact that Captain Cook had his headquarters there when the English were still battling the French over who would run that part of the world.

 

What is your favourite part of The Body on the T?

 

My favorite part is the food. I love writing about it and reading about it. I especially enjoyed the pan fried scallops and cod tongues meal that Sheila cooks for Windflower. It makes me hungry just thinking about it right now.

 

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

 

I hope that people will feel good after they finish the book. I also hope that they will want to visit Newfoundland to get a taste of what Windflower and I have experienced. It truly is a magical place.

 

Where can people get your books?

 

My books are available at Chapters/Indigo/Coles all over Canada, in every province including Quebec. They are also available at independent book stores in eastern Canada. There are Kindle and Kobo versions available on Chapters.ca and Amazon.com

 

How can fans connect with you?

E-Mail mike54martin@sympatico.ca

 

Thanks, Mike.

Thank you Jayne. This was fun!!

 

Coming soon: a review of Mike’s new book, The Body on the T

 

 

The Body on the T FC

 

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