Self-publishing is quite the task for many authors, but releasing four novels in four years has been child’s play for W.D. Frolick.
The Oshawa-based author has written his four novels at a frantic pace, three of which are murder mystery novels. But his fourth book is a children’s novel called The House on River Road, and is now available at Indigo and online at Amazon.
He has also written New York City Murders, and the Cabin, which both centre around Buck Woods, a New York detective. His other novel, Music City Murders, is about Detective Mike McMahon in Nashville.
The House on River Road follows three young boys in the summer of 1951 in the fictitious town of Little Muddy Water. The story is told from the perspective of David “Butch” Fairburn, alongside his friends Marven and Walter.
The three become interested in a house they believed to be haunted.
Frolick, who is turning 80 this summer, says he began writing after his wife challenged him to.
“I got a challenge from my other half when she said, ‘Why don’t you try and write a story or a book or something?’” says Frolick. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been writing songs for years,’ and I’d always wanted to write a story. I actually started when I was about 14 years old on a story about a trapper.”
He used the name of the trapper, Buck Woods, for the protagonist in his first novel, The Cabin: A Murder Mystery, and its sequel.
“So I completed that book… and I was trying to encourage other seniors… by saying ‘Hey, just because you’re retired and you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to roll over and die. You can find something in life if you’ve got a passion for something – pursue it,’” he says.
In 2019, he released another novel about Woods called New York City Murders.
“Then I decided, what the heck? I wouldn’t mind writing a kid’s story,” he says.
He explains The House on River Road isn’t for young children, but geared towards those between 10 and 14 years of age.
“It’d be more for boys probably than girls because it’s the adventures of three boys in a small town,” he says, adding it’s loosely based on his own experiences growing up in a small town of 1,000 people in Manitoba.
He says a number of people from his hometown served as inspirations for characters in his novel, including the town cop he and his friends liked to bother, as well as a teacher, his two friends, and others.
“I started the book in the summer of 1951, and I just used fictitious names, basically, if I’m going to be the guy in here, I called myself David Fairburn instead of David Frolick,” he says.
Frolick notes there wasn’t actually a haunted house in the real life version of the town.
The story follows the kids as a mysterious stranger named Mr. Blackbird appears in town.
“Mr. Blackbird looks really weird, he’s all dressed in black with a black hat, aviator type sunglasses… and he looks really creepy,” explains Frolick, adding Blackbird asks around town about the haunted house.
From there it follows the children as they try to find out Blackbird’s story. Is he an alien? Is he a ghost? Or is he simply just a strange man?
For more information on Frolick’s works, visit wdfpublishing.com, or search on Amazon, where The House on River Road is available for $7.96.