News­man thrives on fic­tional beat

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - The In­for­mants is dis­trib­uted through Mon­treal pub­lisher Véhicule Press.

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.

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