Newsman thrives on fictional beat
BY ANGELA BROWN
News Staff Alexandria has a new writer in its midst: retired long-time Montréal news anchor Bill Haugland, who recently released his third mystery novel, The Informants.
The Montréal native and his wife, Linda, moved to Alexandria from Vermont in November, 2015.
“We are definitely enjoying our experience here,” said Mr. Haugland. “This is a lovely little town. It’s a perfectly central locale for us.”
He said economically it made more sense to come back to Canada and decided to live in Alexandria since it is close to friends and family.
Mr. Haugland gained fame as a CFCF Pulse News anchor for 29 years, and prior to that as a reporter before retiring in 2006, after working 45 years in the business. He was also an editor while at Pulse News.
He has “always been a writer” since he was 10 years old and first entered a contest with a story called Room Without
Windows. Over the years, he wrote novels as well as poems, in what he calls “a learning experience” while honing his craft as a storyteller.
Since retiring he has been successful in having four books accepted for publication -- three mystery novels as part of a trilogy, Mobile 9, The Bidding, and
The Informants, and a book of short stories, After It Rains. The mystery novels focus on a fictional TV news reporter, named Ty Davis.
Mr. Haugland, who is receiving positive response for his novels, said his first book was a top seller.
“Sales have been very good. I have had so many compliments from people who have read them,” he said. “I am very gratified that my writing is enjoyed by people,” he added.
The Informants harkens back to the biker wars in Québec. Mr. Haugland often uses his journalism experience to give him ideas for stories.
Writing and speaking engagements keep him busy.
He writes four hours a day and often spends about a yearand-a-half completing a novel.
Even in the middle of the night he will often get up to jot down some ideas on his bedside table as he continues to work on new stories.
“I will get up in the morning and say: ‘That’s a good idea for a new plot,’” he said.
Mr. Haugland, 73, has three grown children – Heidi, Matthew and James. One of his sons, Hugh, 44, was killed in a helicopter crash in Mont Laurier in 2009 while on the job as a CTV cameraman.