Durham author Doug Hall and his wife Joyce have a rhythm that comes easily after 68 years of marriage.
Doug, 93 spend about half of the work day putting his ideas to paper and Joyce edits his pages – a relaxed but steadily routine that has helped the author put out more than 25 books.
“Of course, we miss the odd day, he said. We try to keep on schedule.”
Doug’s latest mystery novel “Murder Unchained” follows private investigator Paul West on a case that seems easy at first but takes him into one of the most complex cases in a long and illustrious career – to Ebony River, a small town on Vancouver Island, where he finds a two-year old unsolved murder for which he goes undercover to help solve.
Doug dedicated the book to Joyce, noting she encouraged him to choose the plot that he ran with because it had a strong woman in it.
“Her encouragement, love and unstinting help made this a book that hopefully wwill hold the reader to the last page, he wrote.
Joyce can also be thanked for giving her husband the push he needed to write fiction in the first place.
Doug was the Senior Press Officer for IBM Canada Inc. for seven years before moving on to broadcasting for a 33 -year career as a television and radio personality. Doug was travelling for work when he told his wife he’d like to write a book one day.
And so he did, starting “The Brittle Thread” by punching out words on his electric typewriter while he was on the road in 1968.
More than 30 years later, Joyce, a now retired registered nurse, encouraged her husband to make writing his full-time job.
“She said we can have a great life, he said.
Both retired, they travelled to England and took two trips on the Orient Express.
The former Pickering resident have moved to Whitby, but their writing routine remains the same.
Doug doesn’t suffer from writer’s block and plots his books out well in advance.
“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and somethging will come to mind and I’ll get up and write it, “he said. Normally I have it all laid out.”
The people he meets inspire his characters.
“Ever since I started in broadcasting and radio, I watch people and take the good and bad from the,” he said.
Paul West is loosely based on the couples son-in-law.
Doug, who writes a book every none months or so, currently has several plotted and another Paul West novel “Murder In Season” well underway.
Murder Unchained is available on-line at Indigo and Amazon.

By: Kirsten Callis
Senior Reporter
Durham Region
Metroland Media

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