About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Russell Quant on Indefinite Hiatus

Interested in knowing what is happening with Anthony Bidulka and his sleuth, Russell Quant, as it has been quite awhile since the last mystery I exchanged emails with Anthony this week.

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Anthony,

I have been wondering about Russell Quant. It has been over two years since Dos Equis was published. Last year was the debut of Adam Saint in When the Saints Coming In and this fall The Women of Skawa Island will be released. Then I read you are working on a standalone book. There has been nary a mention of Russell.

Last year Metro News in Saskatoon published an article on an interview with you which contained the following paragraph:

While his focus is on his new character, Anthony Bidulka hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to the Russell Quant series someday. “I never say never, but for me the last book ended in a place where if that’s it for Russell, if we don’t meet him again, he’s in a positive place for him to be. But if I go back to it I think there’s a whole new direction to go with it.”

On your blog you did a poll that asked readers how long a series should last with the leading answer being as long as the series is good.

I admit I have been hoping to hear there would be more Russell Quant mysteries. There are a lot of places in the world he has not visited. Following you and Herb on Facebook confirms you are continuing to conduct abundant research on world destinations Russell could also travel to in further adventures.

I have always thought Russell could be involved in an adventure with his mother in the area of the family farm. With a significant number of Saskatchewan people traveling the world on agri-business I know you could come up with reasons for Russell to travel that involve the farm.

Secretly, I have dreamed Russell might have an adventure in which he comes to Melfort to see his sister who might have transformed her life.

Essentially I miss Russell. He had become a part of my annual to bi-annual reading. He remains young at heart and a witty companion.

Dos Equis may have ended in a “positive place for him” but to me he had been re-charged and was ready for new challenges.

If the end of the series has come I would be interested in whatever more detail you would be prepared to share to explain why you have decided not to write more Russell Quant mysteries.

Russell may be in a “positive place” but his author does not have to take him to a negative place to write more mysteries.

If Russell will be back I would be excited to know when we can expect a new book.

If you are willing I would like to post your reply together with this email.

It sounds like you and Herb and the dogs are having a good summer.

Best wishes.
Bill Selnes
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Hello Bill,

I hope all is well with you and Sharon and that you've been enjoying the glorious Saskatchewan summer.

Thank you for your note regarding the future of Russell Quant. Indeed, I too find myself missing Russell and Sereena and Anthony and Barbra and Brutus and the rest of the gang. Hardly a week goes by when someone doesn't ask the same questions you have; which is wonderful. I suppose all that is to be expected after 8 books and a decade of Russell Quant adventures.

I still stand by my never-say-never response which you quoted. For the moment, Russell continues to be on hiatus. I certainly appreciate your interest and the interest of other Quant readers in another book, but for the moment it is simply a matter of not having enough time to pursue all my opportunities and interests. When I began my career as a writer, having left a successful but time-consuming and sometimes grueling career as a CA, although part of the transition was the dream of attempting to write a book, it was also a personal promise to find better balance in life. If I spent more of my time writing, could I crank out another Russell Quant book? Absolutely. Do I have plenty of ideas for Quant stories? Certainly. But I never want to 'crank' out any book. Not good for readers, not good for me.

The time I spend writing continues to be - even fifteen years after I took my first steps down this path - a complete labour of love and joyfulness. I still can barely believe I get to do this every day.

So, Bill, this is a wordy response to your question, but for now I am finding my passion in investigating new writing projects, like the Adam Saint books and the standalone I am currently working on. When time and passion allows, I may revisit our good friend, Russell, and if that happens, it will be a joyous thing and it would be the best, dang Russell Quant book yet! In the meantime, I hope readers can enjoy the results of my current efforts. Similar to my career path, from farmer to shoe salesman to teacher to accountant to writer, change is a good thing.

Thanks again for the interest. Good to hear from you and happy reading.

Best
Anthony

12 comments:

  1. Bill, thanks for reproducing this lively and revealing correspondence between you and Anthony Bidulka. Although I haven't read any of Anthony's books yet it is always good to read about an author and his or her work including those in progress. I think the internet has brought writers and readers much closer than we realise. We also owe it to the writers for being more receptive towards their readers.

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    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I would agree that the internet has made connecting with authors easier. I appreciate every author willing to exchange with me as a blogger.

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    2. I completely agree, Prashant. The relationship between writers and readers has never been so intimate and current. What a change even in the relatively short while since I began writing.

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  2. Great! Well, I suppose picketing his office daily won't sway his mind. Writing letters to his publisher? Sending a petition?

    No. Well, I'll content myself with the Quant books I haven't yet read (thanks for reminding me), and then I'll tackle more Gail Bowen, more Robert Rotenberg, and more R.J. Harlick, whose descriptions of Canada I love to read. And then so many more Canadian writers that have
    been mentioned here. So I may have lost more Quants, but gained other writers.

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    1. Kathy D.: Picketing would be hard as Anthony does not work from an office building. He works from his home on an acreage outside Saskatoon. He might invite you in for a drink beside the pool.

      I am glad you are planning more reading trips to Canada. I have an R.J. Harlick I want to read soon.

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    2. Kathy, I always welcome picketers who are avid readers! And letters to publishers are always a fine idea as well - they like to know this kind of stuff. By the way, you have wonderful taste in writers, Gail and RJ are not only good friends of mine, but especially talented. I have yet to try Robert, but its on the list. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. Bill - Thanks for sharing this. I understand precisely what Anthony means about balancing his life, and of course, I respect his choices. But I can't say I'm happy about this one! Well, I'll be hoping for a new Adam Saint novel, and re-reading the Russell Quant series that's already out there, and.....

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    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I knew you would find a way to kept perspective on the sad news and turn Russell's hiatus into other reading opportunities.

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    2. Last thing I'd want to do is make you unhappy, Margot! Forgive me! :) You, and Bill, are two of the wonderful people who help to keep Russell, and now Adam, alive and kicking. Thanks for that.

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  4. Anthony: Thanks for dropping by and adding your comments. I had not thought about bloogers keeping slueths alive! Now I feel an oblgation to help Russell live. I would not want to feel I contributed to him passing. Let me conclude with a plea that the hiatus is but for an indefinite time not forever.

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  5. Interesting information, Bill. Great correspondence between you two. As I have a way to go in the Russell Quant series, I will bide my time and see if he comes back. And try Adam Saint. Bravo to Bidulka for not wanting to churn out mysteries and looking for balance in his life.

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    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. Anthony is a talented writer and a fine man. If he is appearing in your area sometime it is well worth the effort to meet and speak with him. As his letter demonstrates he is a man of integrity.

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