by Sandy Coelho
I’m pleased to bring back Sandy Coelho to answer questions about why she wrote, Black Loon Lake. I’m including the book description to help set the context of our conversation.
Black Loon Lake Book Description
The novelette Black Loon Lake is rooted in the back-country of British Columbia’s wilderness, where it sets the stage for a tension building, suspenseful read. Three tree planters take advantage of a short break between planting seasons, rest and rejuvenation are on the agenda. What actually happens, no one could have predicted. Engrossing, chilling, and creepy; this vivid, fast paced story is written to entertain.
Tranquil, timeless and treacherous. Those who venture there, are dying to see it!
Welcome back, Sandy. I found Black Loon Lake to be thrilling fiction. Your description of the landscape and the characters within the story gave me a sense of genuine authenticity. While the story is fiction, I’m convinced much of it is based in reality.
- I believe you’ve mentioned that you and your, family have camped in the British Columbia wilderness which is the setting for the story. Would you like to share some of those experiences?
You’re correct. Before we had our two youngest children, my husband and I spent nearly every weekend from mid-May to mid-September camping at Forestry Reserve sites. Many of these sites are deep in the back country of British Columbia and have zero amenities, but have some of the most spectacular scenery and fishing you can imagine. You must be prepared for every contingency because you are over 2 hours from the nearest town, and there is no cell phone reception. The Conservation officers are strict on rules, what you pack in, you pack out – they take preservation seriously. If you ever have the opportunity to camp like this – it should be tried at least once. It is a serene, beautiful experience.
- The central characters are tree planters. How did you happen to choose this as background of your characters?
Living in B.C. we’ve come to know a few tree planters. I also researched the profession. It is a difficult way to make money, but their stories have kept us entertained for hours. They are an important part of the green movement and reforestation. If it wasn’t for the hard work of a tree planter – future generations may not have wood to build homes, furniture or know the importance the eco-system plays in the health of our planet. We owe them much IMHO.
- You feature a Conservation Officer in the story. What has your typical experience with these professionals and do you know what their usual roll is?
I have friends in this diverse profession, I asked questions and conducted research. In a nutshell, they conserve and protect our natural resources, enforce provincial compliance with environmental laws, and are involved in search and rescue. They have a special investigations unit which deals with criminal behavior which may have an environmental impact.
- Have you had contact with dangerous creatures in the wilderness?
Yes. This province is primarily forest so wildlife encounters are unavoidable. We’ve encountered Bears (Black, Brown) and have seen Grizzlies from a distance; Moose (which can be extremely dangerous), and Cougar not far from our current home. In fact, this morning we had Conservation Officers knock at our door to warn us a large black bear was spotted in our neighbor’s yard earlier in the day. My husband has had a close encounter with a rattlesnake, he just missed stepping on it – he was warned by its rattle. You have to be aware of your surroundings and go out prepared – then you can enjoy the beauty without fear.
- My purpose with this interview is to draw more readers to your compelling story. Are there other comments you would like to add?
Without giving anything away, I think Black Loon Lake is a relevant, fun read. It’s a novelette so not too big a time commitment. If you enjoy a thrill, pick it up, in fact…download it to your e-device and enjoy it while you’re camping!
Rich, thank you for taking the time to feature my story. You have said you enjoyed it and I hope others will also find it entertaining. I appreciate being here and your support. I’m deeply grateful.