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Blair Wylie Author Interview

The Perils of Isolation is a collection of short stories that are connected by your love of fishing. Did you write these stories for this collection or did you write them over time and decided later to publish them?

The Perils of Isolation is my first book. I wrote it while I was in the process of retiring after a 35 year career in upstream oil and gas. I took some advice from a friend, and wrote about things I knew something about. The three stories include some real life experiences, with a stretch or two!

The stories are connected by your love of fishing. Where is your favorite place to fish?

It’s a toss up between two places described in the book. Mik Muk Mac is set at the headwater of the French River, or Lake Nipissing in Ontario, Canada. It is still a remarkably wild and scenic place, but fishing has waned over the years as rod pressure has increased. The Tesla Terrorist is set in Labrador, Canada. My favorite rivers in Labrador for Atlantic salmon are the Eagle and the White Bear, both of which flow into Sandwich Bay. The only fishing allowed there is fly fishing, with a single, barbless hook. So, a large fish usually wins the battle, and escapes untouched… but that’s okay!

I really like The Tesla Terrorist story. Do you have a story that stands out to you from this collection?

The Tesla Terrorist is both an adventure story, and my first venture into science fiction, my favorite genre. It also is a bit of a political statement. Weldon Purdy, the mad scientist villain and the Tesla fanatic, destroys the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric installation. Muskrat Falls will be late and vastly overspent when it finally produces power. It will put Newfoundland and Labrador in dire financial trouble, and it will not meet the full power needs of the province as originally pitched.

Do you have plans to publish more short stories?

I just wrote a short story for inclusion in the first Science Fiction Novelists Anthology. It is called Lunar Salvation. I really enjoy the short stories of the true masters of the field, like Ray Bradbury. I have just started another sci-fi adventure novel called Robo Lord, which may evolve into a another series.
And Pegasus will be publishing Martian Hermitage soon, which will complete the Master Defiance series.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

The Perils of Isolation contains three separate stories about how people survive the unusual situations in which they find themselves. Connecting the three stories is the author’s obvious love of fishing, always in remote, hard to get to areas.
‘Mic Muk Mac’ is set in the wilds of Ontario, Canada, when a group of school friends go on an annual fishing holiday.
‘The Naïve Neftyanik’ is a story of Canadian oilman, Blake McTavish, whose contract is to set up his company’s operations in western Siberia. It’s a very different working environment but he goes fishing with some of his new-found, Russian friends.
Finally, find out what happens to a group of fishing friends on their trip to a remote area of Labrador, Canada, in ‘The Tesla Terrorist’ and how they survive the biggest electrical storm ever known.

Stranded on Thin Ice

Sharon CassanoLochman’s Stranded on Thin Ice takes readers through a day-long class on Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Pre-teens Tanner and Richie quickly became fast friends on the day of an ice fishing derby. Tanner had bad luck at last year’s competition, but now has his eyes set on a brand new prize 4-wheeler and a fishing hut. Richie, a little less starry-eyed, is sort of dragged along for the ride with his uncle, at least at first. Reminiscent of John Reynolds Gardiner’s Little Willy of Stone Fox, the boys are thrown into a winter competition against big, burly, sometimes ornery grown men. They are met with one obstacle after another as they brace themselves against both the competition and the frigid, unforgiving weather conditions.

We meet loveable 12-year-old Tanner Phillips as he’s pushing his way through a mob of bearded, smoky-smelling men at Popper’s Bait Shop in an all-but-failed attempt to buy minnows. Tanner gets passed over time and time again as he juts his money out at Dom, the store owner. Tanner feels invisible to everyone over the age of 13. He feels overlooked by his father, the bait shop patrons, Dom, and basically everyone else in the world. He doesn’t feel like a little kid anymore, but he knows everyone else still sees him that way. He also feels that he is a failure in the eyes of his father. He made a pretty big mistake at last year’s ice fishing derby by letting a fishing pole get yanked down through the ice by a fish. He paid for it by staring into an ice hole empty-handed for the entire day, and still has not lived it down. He desperately wants to redeem himself and gain the approval of his father by winning the grand prize for the derby, a new 4-wheeler and a new fishing hut.

Tanner meets Richie Donald as he decides to just help himself to the minnow tanks. Richie is a tall, skinny boy in ill-fitting clothing. Not only are his clothes ill-fitting, but they are not a match for the frigid day he’s about to face. He is accompanied by a hateful uncle who doesn’t really want him around, but has been forced to spend time with him. He seems like he really needs a friend, and is lucky to have found Tanner.

It isn’t long before Tanner’s Dad has to leave Lake Oneida, leaving Tanner to set up the fishing hut and get started on his own. This is the first time Tanner will have to prove himself on derby day. It won’t be the last. Almost instantly, “whatever can go wrong” starts going wrong. Richie isn’t much help through most of the day’s obstacles, but they still work together to meet them head on. Together they face menacing competitors, an unrelenting winter storm, a fight against the possibility of frostbite, and of course, getting stranded on thin ice.

This fast-paced tale of determination, friendship, and redemption is great for readers of all ages. I cheered Tanner and Richie on from the edge of my seat as I watched them navigate through their horrific day. I also hoped for the redemption of some of the more menacing characters. Sharon CassanoLochman did not disappoint in either area. Comic relief provided by the boys’ dialogue keeps things from getting too heavy. The story is written brilliantly, and keeps interest piqued until the very end. I did not want to put it down.

Pages: 170 | ASIN: B07732BKVM

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An Accumulation of Many True Events

David J. Shepard Author Interview

David J. Shepard Author Interview

The Midnight Bite takes readers into a world of an avid fisherman, Johnny, who’s nearing the twilight years of life and seeks his ultimate underwater foe. What was the inspiration for this short and engaging story?

My Sister. This story is an accumulation of many true events in my life that take place in a fictional setting. The Midnight bite is real for several species such as the Mutton, Tuna, and Grouper. My fishing companion is my brother-in-law, who has a hard time waking up at midnight to fish. I was unable to go on the trip with him this year due to my health. Since I wasn’t there to wake him he slept right through an exceptionally hot Midnight tuna bite and was unable to deliver the fresh tuna my sister had requested. Since I’m the writer in the family she just mentioned that I should write a story called the Midnight bite.

What I liked most about Johnny was that he was relateable; he was flawed and wasn’t afraid to admit it. What were the morals you were trying to capture when developing his character?

Sometimes we see ourselves as too perfect and don’t take the time to listen to others or to what they are saying about us. We tend to tune people out and get ourselves in an emotional rut oblivious to new ideas and the story that others have to tell.

The story follows an avid fisherman and is filled with lots of fishing references. What has been your experience with fishing and how did that translate in the novel?

All of Johnny’s flashbacks and fishing stories are true events that have happened to me at one time or another. The part where he forgets his battery is a reoccurring nightmare I’ve had for years. There really is an AAHA and I do have the shirt and jacket to prove it. Our membership totals 9.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on a new book called “The Old Man” which should be available after the first of the year.

This is the story of an elderly man that intervenes and foils an attempted bank robbery by four gang members. The gang retaliates and swears revenge but they don’t know who they are dealing with as one by one their best ideas are spoiled by this older gentleman.  Embarrassed and made a laughing stock on their own turf they devise a plan to eliminate the old man and save face.

My other books available on Amazon are:

They Don’t Know Jack

The Jack Henry Saga Begins

Summer Heat

The Jack Henry Saga Continues

Just a Man Named Jack

The Jack Henry Saga Concludes

The Jack Henry Saga, Complete

All three books in the Jack Henry Saga under one cover.  Jack Henry, a man from simple middle-class roots embraces his life to the fullest. This series compiles his adventures into multiple stories about his life. As you journey with Jack you will witness his resolve about his  God, family, friends, country and get to know and love this guy Jack. If only everyone had a friend like Jack.

Surrogate Sisters

Follow two sisters and one man on their life’s journey as they perform a great service to the future of mankind. What they discover is the true love trumps all things and finds its own way.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

The Midnight Bite by [Shepard, David J.]Many saltwater fish are regulated. The Department of fisheries establishes weight and size measurements and open and closed seasons for all fish regulated or not, intended to manage the fishery for present and future anglers.

If there is an established open and closed season the season officially begins at 12:01 AM or one minute past midnight of the opening day. This is referred to by anglers as the 12:01 or midnight bite. It holds the theory that the fish are just as anxious for the season to begin as the fisherman and produces the largest bounty of the season.

This is a story about an avid fisherman who in his youth developed a love for a special breed of fish. His family grown, his working life over and his fishing buddy passing on, he now feels alone and returns to face his underwater foe, the one remaining constant in his life. Not for the Midnight Bite of the opening of the season but his own version of the Midnight Bite as a one on one confrontation with his worthy opponent. Along the

Along the way, he makes several discoveries that give him a new perspective on his life and the meaning of the Midnight Bite.

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The Midnight Bite

The Midnight Bite

The Midnight Bite (A Fishy Story) by David J Shepard takes the reader into a world of an avid fisherman, Johnny, who develops a love of fishing in his youth. However, it is one specific breed that catches his eye and this is where the story begins.

Once the character in the story realizes that his children are grown up, his working life is finished and his fishing buddy no longer wants to fish with him, he is aware that he has still not caught his ideal fish.

I liked this book as it threw me headfirst into the world of fishing. However, just because it’s a book about fishing doesn’t mean that it’s filled with fishing jargon. I found it very easy to read and the author has an immersive style of writing that makes you feel like you’re catching the fish alongside him.

It’s also an interesting read as you learn that the character is coming to terms with his own mortality through fishing and that’s what eventually drives him to seek out this breed of fish. It paints a very clear and refreshing picture of a man who is bitter, resentful and scared of his own life coming to a close.

It’s not until the 16th page of the book that you learn more about Johnny’s love of fishing from a young age. I enjoyed these flashbacks as it was interesting to read where his love came from, which was the days spent with his dad and family.

The author’s knowledge of fishing is clear throughout the book, as there are so many little details about the bait and fish that you feel like you’re learning while also exploring. It was eyeopening to realize that fishing can be more than a past time and become an art, in a sense. If you jerk the line too quickly, the fish will know something is up and therefore not choose to eat your bait. It was also interesting to realize that this man is a flawed individual who is open about his feelings of jealousy and resentment towards people who do better than he does. I really enjoyed reading his thoughts and perspectives on life.

The Midnight Bite (A Fishy Story) is an enjoyable and quick read for anyone who wants to learn a bit more about the complexities of life with a bit of fishing involved. Can’t get out to fish? Don’t have a fishing buddy? Well sit back and enjoy this book instead. 

Pages: 72 | ASIN: B073Q6KD2Q

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