Multiple murders in the High Arctic of Alaska and northern Canada have a detective from Alaska and one from Canada stumped. When they find the link, they must try to convince their superiors that they’ve found a serious threat to North American oil. Will they be in time?
Are these murders a serious threat to North American oil? Will the murders be able to be stopped? To explore the wilds of the American north, Lyle Nicholson, the mind behind of ‘Polar Bear Dawn’ has kindly set aside some time to tour us through the fictional tundra. Lyle, what inspired you to write a book set in the very cold north?
I started with the image of a Polar Bear walking from the nearby Arctic Ocean to the Oilfield camp.
Have you spent much time in that part of the world?
I spent many years travelling to the High Arctic of Alaska to do business and also to Northern Canada. My experiences came from staying in the far north, always in winter, and I experienced what a Polar Dawn looked like, it’s eerie.
Do you think about the image of a polar dawn when you wrote this book, or did you tend to focus on something else?
I see the characters, I see them in action, I watch them as they walk into a room and exit it.
How did you develop the characters that readers will see in action in this novel?
My characters came to me from all my years of working in the oil industry and my travels to Alaska. I don’t believe there is anything like the hard-working people of Alaska. They are a rare breed.
Was showcasing the people of Alaska the central idea you wanted to share with readers in this book or was there another point that was more important? And if so, what’s that point?
That greed is the most harmful thing in our world.
Do you feel this message is of its time, or will it be stronger in the future?
Perhaps it will. There is a lot of things now possible in genetics that was never possible before. I just linked them together to make my story.
Thinking about the links in the story, which readers do you think may not appreciate them, and therefore shouldn’t read your book?
People who don’t enjoy black humour.
What did you learn by writing a book about greed in the Arctic?
I learned that some of the characters took off on their own and I let it happen. That’s just the experience of writing. When the Muse hits you’ll never know where it’s going, you have to let it flow.
Have you ever taken the time to prepare to become a writer by building a pathway to the Muse, or other techniques to help you get into the flow?
I was at one time a FreeLance Writer for newspapers and magazines many years ago. Then, when I tried to write novels, I froze, I was blocked. Years later I took a writing course both online and a University to get back into the Novel writing process.
At any time have you joined a writing group to help your process, and has it worked for you?
I have been involved in a few writing groups and they were quite helpful.
Out of all of those places, where do you think you really learned to write?
My greatest learning in writing was in Literature 101 at the University of Alberta. My professor returned my first paper to me covered in red correction marks. I approached her and asked how I could do better. She told me to find the book, The Elements of Style. That book taught me that writing wasn’t just throwing words on a page, there is an art to it. I never forgot that, it changed the way I saw words.
Was those red marks back in the day the toughest criticism you’ve ever received?
Someone told me I should take more time to review my work in my first draft and to outline more.
Ouch, that’s not good. How about the best compliment?
My best compliment was recently, someone read my third draft and was amazed a the research I put into it.
Awesome, it sounds like you’ve really moved past any outlining and reviewing problems. Would that be fair to say when you think about the responses for this book?
I’ve had some great responses. I recently received a “well done,” from a fan in England. He posted his 5-star review on Amazon.Uk and also on Goodreads.
Well, it sounds to me like your voice has matured quite nicely. Do you think so?
My voice and writing style has changed quite a bit, I’d say my work from 2012 to now has had a 180-degree change.
Has that 180-degree change also included the creation of your own author brand?
Yes, I’ve created my own webpage, revamped my covers and developed a monthly newsletter to my readers.
Nice work. Who did your covers?
I have my covers done by Damonza.com in New Zealand. I just started with them this year. Polar Bear Dawn and Pipeline Killers were done by them.
They’ve done a great job and I think that choice will really help your brand. Of course, the best way to help your author brand is to keep writing. What can readers who love your work expect to see coming soon?
I’ve finished my 6th novel, Caught in the Crossfire. The book is with my editor and I should have it published by the end of July.
July will be here sooner than we think, so I’ll leave you to go back and get everything ready for your upcoming release. Lyle, thanks so much for sharing a taste of the polar dawn with us, and I can’t wait to hear about the next steps in your author journey.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Polar Bear Dawn ( ASIN: B00GK3FNN0 )‘.
Want to find out more about Lyle Nicholson? Connect here!