Name: Rolly A. Chabot
Age: 68 and holding (Actually reversing the aging process.)
Where are you from?
I call home Alberta Canada, living in the foothills to the Canadian Rockies in the South Central region. Currently I am living on the West Coast for the next several months. A place called Vancouver Island where the weather is fair and the fishing is awesome. It is a wonderful older home situated on 35 acres of pristine old growth Cedar and Arbutus trees. Other than a few residents squirrels there are no neighbours, loving the peace and quiet.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
First and foremost thank you Fiona for asking me to participate. You are offering a wonderful service to fellow writers to share. I have enjoyed all your interviews and they are many. Well-done Fiona.
I was born and raised in small town Alberta, the second child of four. Dad owned and operated a Barbershop and Pool Hall. I attended school there until I completed grade 9 and then quit, venturing out into the world. A few years later I attended night school and completed my grade 12.
Over the years I worked many different trades, underground mining, logging, oil and gas. At the age of 42 I attended college where I received my Degrees in Turf Management, Golf Course Design and Construction, Horticulture, Arboriculture, Aquaculture and Plant Pathology. I had the privilege of renovating several existing golf courses. In later years I owned and operated a Landscape Design and Construction firm with one client who had 4 very exclusive properties.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The latest news is I have recently relocated for the winter months to Vancouver Island here off of the West Coast of Canada. The change has been good as I love the setting. Very laid back people with very little of the rushed lifestyle.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It started in June of 2009; it has been a pleasure to record and put life experience into words.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I am still asking myself that question; I suppose the answer would have to be when I received my first royalty check.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I spent the majority of my working life throughout Northern Canada. My favorite was the Yukon and the experiences I had living in some of the most remote and harsh environments one could experience. Having met several people whom I would consider true characters. The first book called “The Quiet: led to another 6 books in the series I named “Quiet Reflections.”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Readers often email me sharing how my words have impacted them. The word honesty, down to earth keep have repeated themselves. The original series Quiet Reflections was autobiographical. From there I expanded into what could be identified as Christian/Fiction where I cater to both interests without forcing my own beliefs onto the readers at times it is a balancing act.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Some days they pop out at me before I write, while other times a title hides just outside my grasp. Eventually I find they create themselves.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, if anything there is hope no matter the situation. Claim what belongs to you; change where needed to find inner peace. Forgive the offender and as well forgive yourself, which at times is the greatest test.
Fiona: How much of what you write is realistic:
The majority of what I write is very realistic as either I have lived it or someone I have encountered has. Writing of real life is essential as I can connect with the reader at times one on one. I like to think there is an emotional connection.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As explained above they are a combination of both. Reaching into your own heart and soul creates a connection. I am a veracious reader myself and I so appreciate a writer who can carry myself and or my imagination to those places.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I would have to say Farley Mowat, Robert Frost, Robert Service, Margret Atwood and lately James Patterson.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Martian by Andy Weir, I see the movie is now available on Apple TV. Thanks for the reminder, as I do want to see it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, many of whom I find here on Facebook, all excellent writers. Christy D. Birmingham. PJ Webb, Wayne Brown, Bill Holland. KL Silver, Vincent Moore. All are excellent writers who I highly recommend.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Presently 2 new series, I called Malahat Crimson, a man who fell from success to rock bottom. In the process of finding his way he discovers his own true worth in the wilderness.
As well another I have titled Branded-Operation Quantum. It is a new venture for me writing of the world of International conflict. This will be my first foray into the mystery/thriller genre. At last count there were 22 characters, keeping their roles and identities can be a challenge.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Facebook has been a great support, I wrote as well on Hub Pages and other social media sites. As a rule people are very supportive of each other.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I retired in 2011; writing has become a passion along with Fly Fishing and Tidal Water fishing. I find it hard at times to find a balance. Nature gives me inspiration and rebounds the creative side.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Certainly, I would say never publish until you have a good Editor and never be in a rush to have a book hit the market.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It started several years ago as I recall. I wrote in a local newspaper in the North. I took over a popular column was called the Colorful 5%. It was a temporary gig, but it opened the doors to writing in several of the northern publications. The bases of the articles were to tell the story of the few near homeless people of the North most people overlooked.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is an excerpt from a three novel series I wrote a while back called “Arctic Island Mist”
Over breakfast the following morning they held hands and talked about what the future would mean to them and Small Wave. Where they would live and how that would affect them. The choice was an easy one. The trailer he had would never be suitable so it would be Nitto’s house. She was excited and already planning a few changes to the small home. “We can make it work Todd. Do you know that once we are married you automatically qualify for your indefinite work visa and Treaty Status?
He smiled, “That was not what I had in mind Nitto?
She laughed, “I know but there are several things that come into play when you marry a native. You qualify for all sorts of benefits as well, tax breaks, health care and many other things. You will be treated the same as any of my people.”
“Still not what I had in mind Nitto,” He smiled and took her hand. “I was thinking more of the fact that we will be together all the time, you know the three of us.”
Nitto blushed and looked at him. “Todd I do pray you will not be disappointed. This has all happened so very quickly?
“Nitto, never doubt that you are beautiful and very desirable and have a great deal to offer. We will be fine and I know that we will have the blessing of Small Wave and the community. Now we need to go shopping, he took her hand and they walked down main street until they found a small jewelry store. “Lets get a ring on your finger and make this official.”
An hour later Nitto stood looking at the ring on her hand. It is perfect Todd. I know you wanted more but I love this and the design is perfect. One small diamond is all that is needed. Thank you.”
Todd had something else in mind but Nitto had insisted on simplicity and it was what she wanted. He was one not to argue. He only smiled watching the joy she had. “As long as you are sure Nitto?
“Positive, thank you Nanuq.”
They packed up at the hotel and took a cab to the airport. An hour later after doing all his ground checks and securing the cargo, filed their flight plan, they had clearance to take off.
The day was clear as he applied full throttle and the plane started to take off. He sensed it was a little sluggish on take off but it seemed to clear itself and lifted off the south end of the runway. He made a long sweeping turn over the city of Whitehorse and they turned to the Northeast towards home. Nitto sat looking at her hand and the ring and smiled.
They had flown a few hours when again he heard the same sound that he heard at take off. The plane shuddered a few times There was no hiding his concern this time because Nitto had heard it as well.
“What is that Todd?
“Not sure, thinking it may be a fuel problem. He checked the gauges and said. “We have lots of fuel but I wonder if there may have been some water in the fuel in Whitehorse.” The engines sputtered at the same time, again coughed and died completely. They were flying at the 9500-foot assigned level. He reached for the microphone and called in Whiskey-Whiskey-Alpha-Bravo 29 we have lost power, at 9500, mark location.”
“Roger WWAB 29 we have your co-ordinates.” He looked at Nitto who had turned far lighter in color than normal.
He reached over his hand. “Nitto all will be fine, make sure your seat belt is done up well. We are going to have to land.” He tipped the wings side-to-side and attempting to get some new fuel into the lines. It fired coughed and caught. They climbed 1000 feet and it sputtered again and died and all went quiet. He rocked the wings again and attempted to start the engine. It would only sputter and stop again.
“WWAB 29 we are going to have to put down. The only clearing I have is a large lake. I would say it might be Great Bear Lake the Northern end. I see a long beach I may be able to land on. Better call search and rescue and Sal in Sachs Harbor and give him our position. Starting our decent now.” Nitto was busy making sure she was secure and helped him get into his seat belt while he fought the dead plane. The beach was shorter than he thought the closer they got. Todd made a long low approach only a few feet over the treetops and at the very last minute adjusted to full flaps and pulled the plane into a steep stall to slow it. Then pushed the yoke fully forward, the wheels touched down and immediately cut ruts into the mucky sand. He feathered the nose up and the end of the sandy beach came fast. At the very last minute the nose dropped and both props cut into the muddy sand and crashed to the ground and they came to a stopped thrusting them both forward. His head slammed into the yoke and his world went black.
The next thing he heard was a rustling beside him. Nitto was moaning, an acidy smell filled the air. Shorted out wiring was the smell. He opened his eyes and the cabin was filled with a light haze of smoke. He willed himself awake and looked at Nitto. She was moving at least, are you ok?
She lifted her head and moaned again. Yes I think so. I have a great deal of pain in my right shoulder but I think I am fine. How about you?
“I think so, a bad bump on the head but all seems ok.” His vision was clouded with a crimson mist and he could see her looking at him with horror in her eyes. He reached up and attempted to wipe his eyes and looked at his hand. It was bright red with blood. “We had better get out of here Nitto to safety and see what we can salvage.
“Here I better check that cut. It is very deep Todd.”
“Later lets get what we can from the plane. First aid kit, emergency supplies and rifle. Take your entire luggage. Best get it all away in case we have a fire started from the electrical damage.” He again wiped the blood from his eyes and unsnapped her seat belt. His side door was buckled, He called out, “Check your yous.”
Nitto reached with her left hand and pulled the handle. The door popped open but was jammed as well. She put her shoulder to it and cried out in pain. “Looks to me you may have something more than just a sore shoulder happening. Here let me get turned around.” He positioned himself and with one swift kick the door flew open and the cold draft filled the cabin. “You first Nitto, lean back into me and get your feet out. Try and hold your arm and shoulder steady. Just slide down the wing and I will be right out.”
She cried out as she moved. Once out she slid down the wing as her feet hit the ground she gave another cry. He slid out next to her and helped her get several yards away from the wreckage. The cold wind was coming off the water and he went to the emergency compartment and took out an extra large down filled sleeping bag and helped Nitto slide inside and he zipped her in. “I should be taking care of that nasty cut,” she whispered.
“Later. Right now you stay put. I will get the rest of the stuff I can. I will be right here. You need to stay warm.”
“Thanks for getting us safely on the ground Todd. I will go on a date with you anytime.” Nitto closed her eyes. He checked her forehead and he could tell she was going into shock. He left and started to rummage through the plane to see what he could find for supplies. He carried it all out and covered it with a small tarp. The snow had started to come down and in the western skies the clouds had turned a deep blue/black. This was going to be a bad storm. He would need to build a shelter.
Todd found a large orange tarp; an axe and some wire and got started. Within an hour he had built a structure around Nitto. It resembled a tent open on one side. The closed side stopped the wind from blowing in. Nitto was still resting but was shivering from the cold and the shock she was in. He built a fire and climbed in beside her for a few minutes. “I will need to get some firewood for the night and get some water boiling. We have a few things to eat, some raisins, peanuts, two chocolate bars and some packaged soup. I found some fishing line and a hook and some snare wire. Sal was fairly well prepared.” He touched her forehead again and it was cold and clammy. “Do you think you can sit up? I think we better check that shoulder of yours. I found some Aspirin. It is all we have for medication.”
Nitto sat up grimacing at the pain and he helped her out of her winter parka and she started to open her blouse. She stopped long enough to smile. “I guess you will get to see more of me than I wanted,” and she laughed. “Lets just say this is a sneak peek. I would say keep your eyes closed but afraid that would do no good. I really am a modest girl you know, but right now this is very different.”
She slipped the blouse over her shoulder and it was obvious her shoulder had been dislocated. The bruises she had on her chest and shoulder showed she had slammed hard against the yoke on her side of the plane. “I think considering where we are, lets just say I had my eyes closed.”
“You will need to reset this for me Todd. You will need to straighten my arm and give one hard pull. I have seen this done before. Be prepared because I will likely pass out with the pain.”
“Oh I hate to bring you more pain Nitto. Can I just wrap and immobilize your arm instead?
“You could but this will need to be reset. Please go ahead. Better give me a few of those aspirin now. Leave this for a few minutes and then lets get this over with.”
“Here,” he said and gave her the aspirin. I will be back in a few minutes better be getting you covered again.” He pulled the sleeping bag up over her shoulders. Now rest a while I will be right back.”
Todd busied himself with getting more wood, got a fire started and checked the radio, which was dead. He took a few bright red berries from a tree, attached one to the hook; next he tied a small rock to the end of the line. He tossed it out and let it settle to the bottom and tied the line to an overhead branch. He filled a small aluminum cooking pot with water and set it beside the fire. Nitto was resting. He twisted the snare wire into three snares and placed them on what he thought were rabbit or Ptarmigan runs. He made a large pile of wood into a signal fire with plenty of green boughs to generate lots of smoke, with plenty of dry material below. He cut several small spruce bows with an axe and stacked them all around to keep the kindling dry in case they had to light it fast if a search plane would be heard.
Next he cut a large pile of boughs for the inside of the shelter to insulate them from the cold ground. He carried them all over and again Nitto stirred in pain. “Sorry honey we are going to have to move you outside for a minute while I make the bed for us. This will keep us up off the ground. Then we will need to reset that shoulder. I have some soup ready for you. Better get something warm inside of you while you are awake.” He helped her outside and covered her again while he spread a foot of boughs all over the inside. He poured two packages of soup mix into the boiling water and stirred it with a small stick. He helped her inside again and gave her a cup of steaming broth.”
“It is time Todd, lets do this and get it over with. I am no good to you like this. I see that the wound on your forehead has finally stopped bleeding. That moss over there, the bright green moss will draw out any infection. Just hold it in place with your hand or tie something around your head to hold it there. Remember to have some soup as well. Promise me that you look after yourself.”
“I promise he smiled and helped her lay down.”
Sorry while you were away I had to take off my bra. It was cutting into my shoulder. Please do not think less of me.”
“Quiet now Nitto. Lay back and let me do this for you. I reset a friends shoulder once on the football team’ so you will need to trust me.”
Nitto lowered the sleeping bag and blushed slightly. He took her arm into his hands and smiled and said, “I love you.” Before she could respond he gave a sharp pull and he heard a pop. Nitto just looked at him as she started to fall into a world of blackness. “So sorry sweetheart, better to not be waiting for it. Now you rest as he reached over and buttoned her blouse and slipped the parka over her shoulders and zipped up the sleeping bag. He rolled up some of his extra clothes and made a pillow and slipped it under her head.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
If anything is a challenge it is editing, I have found a process, which does help. I set my word count at 3000 words per day. The following day I will go back and rework the previous day making all the changes, then move forward with the new days challenge. I have found in doing so the story remains fresh in my mind. I generally do two rewrites then hand it off to the professionals.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Farley Mowat as he writes from so many different voices. His clean and easy read interests me after spending so many years living in the North.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but I do attend several conferences each year, some local, some provincial. I found it to be a great way to network with other writers and hopefully grow in the craft.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Generally I do, I have had a few done professionally. All the pictures on the covers are ones I have taken in nature.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Having someone read my work, after time you learn to accept critique better as others are reading from new fresh eyes.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Being more observant of what is taking place around me. Listening with an open mind, always carry a note pad or a phone as you can never be certain when and idea or situation may enter your book.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write from the heart if you want to touch people, never be afraid to write of your own hardships and struggles. It gives your words validity, in the process you may be amazed about what you uncover about yourself.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Draw into the characters and the characters will draw into you as well. Writers create from experience with others.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
That was easy, “Call of the Wild,” by Mowat. Next I moved on the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” by Twain.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Happy is standing in a river casting the perfect arc with the fly rod. Laughing, it would have to be the antics of young animals domestic and wild. Cry… well it would be the loss of life and of late the way our world is going.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Being a Christian I would answer that as my Lord. Present day be James Patterson, I have come to appreciate his style and attention to detail.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
“Limits Exist Only in Your Mind,” The why is simple really, what is holding anyone back from accomplishing what they desire. Feed a child the negative and correct them at every turn and they soon loose faith and confidence in themselves, sadly it is carried forth for years to come.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Anything to do with the outdoors, Fly Fishing, Hiking, Photography, during the winter months it would be painting and woodcarving or reading. I recently ticked off another bucket list item. I chartered a boat and guide; we sought after the prehistoric fish in the Fraser River in British Columbia. They have been caught weighing as much as a 1000 pounds, reaching lengths of 11 feet. I caught 16 that day ranging in size from 4 feet and up. The catch of the day was 7.4 feet and coming in at 350 pounds… go ahead and ask me if I was smiling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I spend a few hours in the evening watching T.V. most often it is a reality nature show. Very little interests me.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Smiles… I eat almost anything, especially if it the heat sneaks up on me. Vietnamese soup is a favorite. Colors would have to be fall colors and a touch of winter. Music I lean towards Country, I guess it is the redneck in me.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
The task never seem to end, my greatest enemy is procrastination. Might be one of the reasons I can close my office door and forget about all there is to do.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I did carry a website a few years back and still own a few domain names. Of late I have only been marketing through social media. Marketing can be very time consuming. I have a new website which is being constructed, as soon as it is up and running I will post it on my author page on Facebook and link it to the Amazon account. Here are a few links if people would like to check them out… Thank you again Fiona for the privilege of the interview.