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Park goes digital with Deadline



"I’d rather meet up with the grim reapers when I’m ninety-two, not when I’m thirty-eight, though I have to admit I haven’t felt an adrenaline rush like that since skiing the Haanenkam Downhill in Kitzbuhel, back in ninety-nine."

— Patrick Parker, Deadline

Local author Patrick Parker has had his first novel, Deadline, published just two and a half weeks ago.

The suspense thriller was published by Adventure Book Publishers, an online publishing house.

A long term resident of Whistler and Pemberton, Parker was a familiar face as manager at Tapley’s Neighbourhood Pub, and later Jimmy D’s. He currently co-owns The Pemberton Trail Steakhouse. On the writing side, he formerly wrote a sports column for the Whistler Question, the Whistler Citizen , and the Squamish Times .

His different roles make fodder for stories.

"Everyday experiences always give me ideas for characters," says Parker, who began writing the outline for the story in 1999.

His murder mystery is set against the backdrop of a World Alpine downhill event on the slopes of "Powder Mountain, B.C." in the year 2005. The opening scene of the book brings you right into the action, as two characters are swept up in an avalanche.

Look for descriptions of local hangouts, bars and other reference points, all under pseudonyms. Re-naming faces and places was the last aspect to the story, as Parker adapted his original copy to the fictional Powder Mountain. Thus the Rim Rock becomes the Swordfish Café, and so on.

With the setting already mapped out Parker would sit down each morning and work on his story.

"I always write the best in the morning, after a coffee jag. Some days I wrote two pages, some days I wrote 30," Parker says.

And the best part about getting the completed work published?

"It’s fun listening to people talk about the book in the abstract," he says.

"The hardest part to writing the book was definitely the completion."

Rewriting and proofing, the mainstays to any novel, included a second set of eyes for every chapter.

"I had a lot of help from friends reading the book; and Janet Love Morrison critiqued the book for me," he says.

Researching a publisher for the book was the second leg of the work. Parker located "small, Canadian publishers who accepted unsolicited work."

"The publishers down south are so big, and they won’t even look at you unless you have an agent," he says.

The electronic book is an emerging publishing form and an appealing alternative to the traditional method of a hard copy text.

Readers can print chapters or read stories per page, or order a CD-ROM version for less than the cost of a trade paperback or hardcover version. Deadline currently sells for $6.49 online. Go to: www.puzzlesbyshar.com/adventurebooks/

Adventure Book Publishers will decide whether a trade paper of Deadline will be published, according to the number of hits the novel receives.

The release of Parker’s book was delayed by one year, owing to a virus that Adventure picked up last summer that added thousands of pages to book requests online.

And Parker already has another novel is in the works. Goldbridge, B.C. provides the backdrop for the book, which will follow a family from Seattle who trace their roots through the old gold mining town.

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