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NLC staff member publishes his first book

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Jack NapierDAWSON CREEK – Every author can point to someone who provided the inspiration for his work. For Jack Napier, who works in the Facilities department at the Dawson Creek Campus of Northern Lights College, his inspiration comes from two college instructors several years and four provinces apart.

Napier, who goes by the pen name J. Logan Napier, recently published his first book Satsujinken: The Sword that Spares Life.

“I was going to George Brown College in Toronto, and I had an English instructor who said I should pursue a writing career,” Napier said. “But I didn’t think I had the maturity to write at that time.

So, the idea of a book went onto Napier’s bucket list.

Over the years, he pursued interests that included reading and research and the compilation of binders of information about a variety of topics, but most notably African cultures and martial arts. He also took some courses at NLC, including Anthropology 101 with Dr. Zahra Montazer.

“I will always remember what Zahra said about when you are researching other cultures – don’t compare them to ours,” Napier said. “She made all the difference in helping get this book completed.”

In 2006, Napier turned 55, and decided it was time to write his book. He wrote the entire first draft – approximately 100,000 words over two years – in long hand. The second draft took another two years. A third and final edit occurred at the request of his publisher, PublishAmerica.

At the same time, he was balancing full-time work at the College (spending his days off writing in the NLC library), and spending time with family.

The result is a 346-page adventure novel based in Canada and on the continent of Africa, with its main focus on how struggling peoples from different cultures with different customs can work together to achieve their common endeavours.

“Africa has always been of interest to me. Even when I’m writing fiction, it’s got to be realistic. I wish I could have experienced the desert. But I’ve gone onto Bedouin websites and done research, because we experience a few cultures in this book,” Napier said.

The following is a short description of the book:

The Satos, a modern Canadian family with a Japanese martial arts background have lost their daughter in Northern Sudan. The United Nations, the Canadian Government and the Sudanese Government can’t seem to find her. Through the help of a close friend, who becomes an intermediary of sorts, the family manages to find a way to get to the Sudan through the country of Ethiopia…. The family is not prepared for what it finds; the onslaught of extreme environmental factors, the gathering of numerous characters from various cultures, the theatre of civil unrest and the blending of ancient and modern ways, yet all seem to play a role in the finding of Setsuko Sato.

In addition to writing and editing the book, Napier also had to find a publisher. He received rejection letters from a couple of publishers in Canada, and considered the literary agent process. Eventually, PublishAmerica agreed to cover the printing costs.

“I’ve heard of so many people who get a rejection letter and their books get put back on the shelf and forgotten,” said Napier.

Napier is already working on his second book, a novel based in Baltimore about a female vigilante. He hopes to have it completed sometime next year.

Satsujinken: The Sword that Spares Life is available through and Barnes and Noble. It will also be published soon as an e-book. Once the book is available in Canada, Napier is planning to do some book signing events, including one at NLC.