MILFORD: What does a struggling writer from Nova Scotia have in common with a wealthy movie star from California? Nothing. Until they are the only survivors of a plane crash in Northern Ontario. Then they share the same goal: escaping the vast wilderness before starvation and the approaching winter weather claims them.
This is the premise that drives “Northern Survival”, a novel local author Diane McGyver describes as one about survival, adventure and the outdoors with a dash of romance.
“I’ve been writing for a long time, and the journey has taught me to not squander words,” McGyver writes from her home in Milford Station. “Each new story is more concise with less clutter and, I hope, better than the previous ones.”
She says, “The concept for ‘Northern Survival’ came about after watching a vlog on YouTube by a pilot who had crashed his small plane in Northern Quebec in the summer of 2019. The only reason he survived was because his plane had a parachute. I’d never heard of this before and after a little research and watching the video again, I was inspired to write.”
Within a week, McGyver had mentally mapped the story in her mind. When she sat down to write, the words poured onto the page and within 25 days, it was complete.
After days lost in the wilderness, John, one of the main characters in the book, has these thoughts about the other survivor, Olive: Lying next to her, watching her sleep, several times he wanted to shake her to ensure she was alive. Her breathing was barely audible, and his hand over her chest felt no heartbeat. Her skin, once vibrant and rosy, was pallor and drawn tight on the jaw. Colour had also disappeared from her lips, leaving them pasty and dry.
McGyver is a long-time member of the East Hants Writers group that meets at the Elmsdale Library each month. There, she shares her experience in writing, editing and publishing and sharpens these skills by listening to other members share their expertise.
The number one advice she gives to new writers is, “Write the books you want to read.” That’s it. The process is long and many writers give up miles from the finish line. If they write books they want to read, they’ll enjoy the experience and have a better chance of finishing the book.
McGyver is launching “Northern Survival” online with sales and giveaways. To learn more about her books and future adventures, visit her website (dianelynnmcgyver.com) or follow her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dianemcgyver).
“Northern Survival” was published by Quarter Castle Publishing and is available in eBook or paperback form at Amazon (https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08GL92CW5). If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read for free.