Brandilyn has a home in Coeur d’Alene and her latest book, Violet Dawn is the first in her new Kanner Lake series. Half-way between Priest River and Spirit Lake near the Spirit Lake Cutoff Road, sits the quaint, fictional town of Kanner Lake.
“I often use the adventures of my youth for stories, and in them readers will recognize the names of many of my Idaho friends,” said Pat. “These characters tell me they don’t recognize the adventures from my stories, but they are all getting old now and their memories probably aren’t as good as they once were.”
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“Tony knows his stuff, so I’ve relied on him a lot to keep the story accurate with law enforcement issues,” said Collins. “He taught me how he watches people for lies, his thought processes while interviewing, his philosophy about handling the media, etc. These nuances helped bring Vince Edwards, my fictional chief of police, alive. I was able to write quite a few chapters from Vince’s point of view, which helps make Violet Dawn an interesting read for men as well as women.”
Brandilyn Collins
hese words are an invitation from Christian suspense writer Brandilyn Collins to climb aboard her latest book and get ready for a gut wrenching ride. After a warning like that, I don’t advise letting Brandilyn take her turn in the carpool.
  “You know the drill. Strap that seat belt on tight, keep your hands inside the car, and don’t forget to b r e a t h e…”

  These words are an invitation from Christian suspense writer Brandilyn Collins to climb aboard her latest book and get ready for a gut wrenching ride. After a warning like that, I don’t advise letting Brandilyn take her turn in the carpool.
But if you want a roller coaster ride with incredible heights, bladder spilling drops and violent spiral twists that leave you quaking with reaction as it slows to a stop, read Violet Dawn. But I warn you--after a few calming breaths, your next words will be--Let’s do it again! And she’s prepared for that, too.

  Brandilyn Collins is credited with writing ‘seat belt suspense’. She’s a Christian writer so you won’t find profanity or sex in her books, but you will find a few dead bodies scattered here and there-- and secrets, and shadows, and questions--everything required for a nail-biting read. But she doesn’t beat you over the head with a sermon.

  “I used to write women’s fiction as well as suspense,” said Collins. “During a marketing meeting with Zondervan Publishing in January of 2005, we decided I should write suspense only. However, my bent toward women’s fiction tends to give my suspense novels more characterization.”

  Brandilyn has a home in Coeur d’Alene and her latest book, Violet Dawn is the first in her new Kanner Lake series. Half-way between Priest River and Spirit Lake near the Spirit Lake Cutoff Road, sits the quaint, fictional town of Kanner Lake.

  “I wanted my fictional town and lake somewhere inA load of research goes into her books to make them authentic. She traveled to the area where Kanner Lake sits, and spent hours talking to law enforcement from the small towns of Priest River and Spirit Lake to find out how a small town police department would handle different scenarios. She met with Spirit Lake Chief of Police, Tony Lamanna last summer and sent e-mails back and forth to make sure her fictional cops would react the way they should. the Panhandle, not too far from Coeur d’Alene,” said Collins. “I looked to find a good-size area where I could place them. To the west of Spirit Lake Cut-off Road looked perfect. I just had to move a few hills.”

  A load of research goes into her books to make them authentic. She traveled to the area where Kanner Lake sits, and spent hours talking to law enforcement from the small towns of Priest River and Spirit Lake to find out how a small town police department would handle different scenarios. She met with Spirit Lake Chief of Police, Tony Lamanna last summer and sent e-mails back and forth to make sure her fictional cops would react the way they should.

  “Tony knows his stuff, so I’ve relied on him a lot to keep the story accurate with law enforcement issues,” said Collins. “He taught me how he watches people for lies, his thought processes while interviewing, his philosophy about handling the media, etc. These nuances helped bring Vince Edwards, my fictional chief of police, alive. I was able to write quite a few chapters from Vince’s point of view, which helps make Violet Dawn an interesting read for men as well as women.”

  Violet Dawn hit the bookstores in August, and it’s sequel, Coral Moon, is expected in March of 2007. For more information about books by Brandilyn Collins go to www.brandilyncollins.com

 

 
 

Pat McManus
GOES FICTION!

Patrick McManus is a legend in the Northwest  Patrick McManus is a legend in the Northwest
and well-known throughout the United States. He could be best known for his humor column in Outdoor Life Magazine. Or maybe he’s best known for some of his books that hit the New York Times Best sellers list. With titles like, Never Sniff a Gift Fish, Deer on a Bicycle, and The Bear in the Attic, it’s not hard to see, the man has a funny bone.

  But after writing numerous factual articles and short humor for magazines, 17 books and four one-man shows over the past 50 years, he’s decided to change gears.

  “About a year ago, I decided to try something
different from my short humor pieces,” said Pat. “Now that I’m 72, I decided it was time to try a novel. It seemed to me that the mystery novel would be the simplest, in that it has a well defined form. So I wrote The Blight Way, which was published last March by Simon & Schuster.”

  McManus fans have searched out his books for years and his new book is no exception.

  “My ambition was simply to get a novel published, but it received some great reviews, so I am now writing a mystery series about my protagonist Sheriff, Bo Tully,” said Pat.

  The paperback of The Blight Way will be out in February 2007. One month later the second novel in the series, Avalanche, will be out in hard cover.

  “In Avalanche, Tully is trapped back in the mountains by an avalanche,” said Pat. “From there he must attempt to solve a murder that occurs in Blight City, on the other side of the avalanche.” Pat, in this paragraph your quote has the word avalanche 3 times. Would it work if I changed the last one to “on the other side of the mountain”?

 

  Sandpoint loves to laySandpoint loves to lay claim to Pat McManus. And why not? He was born and raised here, where many of his stories originate from, as well as some of his characters claim to Pat McManus. And why not? He was born and raised here, where many of his stories originate from, as well as some of his characters.

  “I often use the adventures of my youth for stories, and in them readers will recognize the names of many of my Idaho friends,” said Pat. “These characters tell me they don’t recognize the adventures from my stories, but they are all getting old now and their memories probably aren’t as good as they once were.”

  Mmm hmm, sure Pat. Somebody’s memory could be faulty I suppose.McManus books are read by people from every walk of life, from university professors to elementary students.

  “My books are often used in schools and have been particularly useful in stimulating reluctant readers to read, usually boys who would rather
be out fishing or camping than sitting in school.”

  Right now Pat is busy staying on top of his humor articles for Outdoor Life magazine, he also has a collection of his humor pieces coming out in the fall of 2007. He’ll be back in North Idaho in the spring to sign copies of Avalanche when it’s released.

  “I’m also working on a foreword for The Bean Book, authored and illustrated by my old friend Roy “Boots” Reynolds, who lives on a North Idaho mountain top,” said Pat.

  If you’d like a sneak peek of The Blight Way, you can read the entire first chapter online at www.mcmanusbooks.com

Ben Olson of Sandpoint has seen and done more in his 25 years than most of us will ever do. When he needs money, he heads to Hollywood and helps make commercials and documentaries.

“At one point I was hitch-hiking and two really weird southern homo truckers picked me up in a row. They were propositioning me, and one I had to shove and escape from. It was really scary, it was 1:30 in the morning,” he said. “I ran out of money and had to come home a couple days early. But I was ready, I was eating peanut butter out of a can and drinking only water. Besides after the trucker experience and being broke, I knew that was the climax. That was the weirdest it could get, and the best it could get.”

  Ben Olson of Sandpoint has seen and done more in his 25 years than most of us will ever do. When he needs money, he heads to Hollywood and helps make commercials and documentaries.

  “I make really good money down there but I hate it,” said Ben.

  “I’ll make enough to let me come back up here and be a bum. When I run out of money I go back down.”

  When things are getting stagnant, he’ll take off to parts unknown in hopes that his experiences
will zap his creativity, like a defibrillator can bring a heart back to life.

  “I like putting myself in a position that I’ll have to get out of,” said Ben. “It always produces interesting consequences. But I just have to do it to purge myself, then I come back and I’m fine.”

  Last January, Ben started to feel trapped.

  “My writing wasn’t doing worth a shit, so I thought I’d shake things up,” he said.Back in Sandpoint, Ben sent his articles to every publisher and agent he could find. As the weeks went by, the rejections started coming. In April, Tom Moore of Alphar Publishing called. After a few traded emails Ben received a publishing contract and a deadline of June 1.

  Ben packed, headed for the train station and bought a Rail Pass for $385. It’s a pass that allows you to come and go on Amtrak for 30 days, anywhere you want to go, as many trips as you like.

  “I just wanted to see and observe and write and not be in control of where I was going,” he said.

  Ben writes for the Sandpoint Reader and during his month on the train, he sent articles about his adventures, which were published each week in his absence.

  “At one point I was hitch-hiking and two really weird southern homo truckers picked me up in a row. They were propositioning me, and one I had to shove and escape from. It was really scary, it was 1:30 in the morning,” he said. “I ran out of money and had to come home a couple days early. But I was ready, I was eating peanut butter out of a can and drinking only water. Besides after the trucker experience and being broke, I knew that was the climax. That was the weirdest it could get, and the best it could get.”

  Back in Sandpoint, Ben sent his articles to every publisher and agent he could find. As the weeks went by, the rejections started coming. In April, Tom Moore of Alphar Publishing called. After a few traded emails Ben received a publishing contract and a deadline of June 1.

  It was all a bunch of non-fiction articles, so I had to hurry and make it fiction with a story and dialog. I wrote it in 37 days. I wish I would have had more time to smooth it out. I see errors in the book that I just hate.”

  According to Ben, his book, Wanderlost, is 98% nonfiction, the story of his Amtrak adventure. But he likes the protection fiction provides.

  “There are some very illegal things that happen in the book. Besides,
if I’d gone nonfiction it would have been like a memoir, and I’m too young to write a memoir.”

 

 

North Idaho writers are a must read
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