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People often ask me after reading one of my Stillwaters Run
Deep books involving the Haida Ska-ga or shaman, Charlie Stillwaters, have I
ever done anything woo-woo in my life.
Well I’ve done a lot of crazy things including: white water
rafting on the Grand Canyon, bungee-jumping (in a tuxedo), firewalking over a
bed of hot coals, and got married four times. Sorry, the last one was merely a
joke. Hope the ladies don’t send their woo-woo stuff after me after that remark
or their lawyers.
Actually if you ask my current wife, Jenny, she would
definitely tell you I’ve got woo-wooness running in my bones. She gets mad,
because I’ll often say something and she responds with “How did you know I was
just thinking that?” Her nickname for me is Spooky Mulder (after what’s his
name from the X-files.
I have pretty good intuition, well except for picking
winning lottery numbers. I did many Self Improvement courses, (the Context
series), amazing learnings, if anyone is interested. One time we had to perform
a major incomplete before the course ended. The idea being to free up space in
our lives by finishing any incompletes which would be draining energy from us.
At that time I had missed going to my friend Eric’s funeral.
He was a dragster fan and I had this vision of always putting the Snake and the
Mongoose (two top professional NHRA dragsters) on his gravestone. I had the
Mattel Hot Wheels models he’d given me.
So one day at work I had this woo-woo feeling that today was
the day. I phoned about four cemeteries and no one had records of him being
buried there. I gave up, but my guts said today is the day and I knew I had to
do this. So I remember opening the Yellow Pages (remember those) and saying to
myself if I had to make one more call which one to make. This one number in the
book drew my attention and I made the call.
She asked, “how did you know this man?”
I told her the story.
“He’s my brother in law,” she replied. “I’m here on temporary relief for two weeks,
don’t usually have to answer the phone, but the call person is on a lunch
break. He is also buried under his mother’s Maiden name and if you don’t know
that you’ll never find him.” She was correct, because I had called that cemetery
and they said no one by that name is buried there.
I thanked her and told her the real reason for my calling. I
think she was as amazed as I was and later in the summer I went to his
grave and left the two race cars on his tombstone.
I have lots of other wild stories, but I like that one. So
if someone asks, I guess it just feels natural for me to write about Shamans and those
unexplainable bizarre events that make you go, “hmm.” Perhaps the gypsy blood inside.
Oh, and if you’re wondering yes, I’m still currently married
to my English mad wife, Jenny. Who swears she has to wear a tinfoil hat every
time we play any kind of games, because I read her mind all the time. Now, if I
can just get those lottery numbers.
Just when I was beginning to wonder where the next
great Canadian story teller would emerge from, Frank Talaber has written a
modern crime mystery with a twist. In “Thunderbird’s Wake” Talaber weaves the
richness of Canada’s west coast aboriginal spirituality into the science of
modern forensics. CSI comes to Haida Gwaii as the shaman and the detective
conduct an investigation that will take them and the reader on a journey to a
place where murder, redemption and ancient mysticism intersect.
Michael G de Jong, QC
Minister of Finance, Government House Leader,
Province of British Columbia
There are many aspects true to First Nation’s beliefs.
For example the transformation of animals and anomalies within our realm. Frank
Talaber’s writing is clear and concise, leaving no grey areas. But his true
talent as a writer is not only a sense of time, history and capturing First
Nation’s humor, but going from the real to the surreal and the supernatural. A
gift he plies very well.
Nuu-Cha-Nulth Artist and Master Carver
Back Cover Blurb
Agatha Christie, roll over in your grave,
new sleuths on the prowl. Haida shaman
Charlie Stillwaters convinces Carol Ainsworth, a Vancouver detective, to join
him as he breaks his way into a high security prison. The duo
are determined to find out who killed the previous native elder before all
lightning and thunder breaks loose. They encounter deranged inmates, mystical
beings, ancient serpents, wood sprites and someone who should have been dead
Not your usual crime/mystery!
Not your usual criminal investigators!
You thought Jack Nicholson was mad in The Shining…
Wait until you meet Charlie Stillwaters in
the Sweat lodge.
Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The
Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad
scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues).
PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining)
and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller
(Bridges Of Madison County).
as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps.