THE BOOK: Pacific.


THE AUTHOR: Trevor J. Houser.


SUMMARY: On a remote Puget Sound Island, police chief Bell navigates his job and marriage in the wake of his son’s near-death brain surgery. When his wife no longer wants to tempt the fates of experimental medicine, he takes matters into his own hands. With the help of his spaced-out fisherman friend, Bell kidnaps his boy and sets sail for Guatemala in search of the mysterious Dr. Haas. On the way, they’ll brave the seventh biggest storm, befriend two behemoth fly-fishing Nords, and try to outrun the ex-Navy captain hired by his wife to find them.

With mesmerizing descriptions of the Pacific Northwest, Central America, and the miles in between, Houser captures the heartbreak and hope of a desperate parent, while still maintaining a sense of dark humor and playful language that turns the mundane into something mythic. For fans of Denis Johnson, Richard Brautigan and Jenny Offill, Pacific reminds us that while life can sometimes be crushing there’s also magic, beauty and hope in the world, if we’re just willing to go and look for it.


THE BACK STORY: My son was diagnosed at 6 months with a rare brain disease. Through those early years of navigating this new world of specialists and treatments, I was surprised by my inability to write about what was undoubtedly the most difficult, transformative period of my life. After years of uncertainty surrounding his prognosis, there was suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel, and I began writing a short story that ultimately turned into this book.

WHY THIS TITLE?: Pacific means a lot of things in this book. It is one of the settings obviously and even helps propel the plot. Of course, metaphorically, like Chief Bell’s son, the Pacific is beautiful in so many ways, but underneath that beauty lurks all kinds of danger and potential tragedy.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? There isn’t much in the way of literary fiction that tackles fatherhood and the rare disease of a child in what I hope is a unique and unexpected way. I hope this book appeals to all the readers out there who like language and a good yarn.


“Very heartfelt and amazing story, loved it.” -– Gus Van Sant

“If you are a father, or know one, Trevor Houser’s Pacific, is a wild, quixotic ride that will challenge your understanding of what it is to be a parent.” — -Larry Colton, author of Southern League and Counting Coup

“Poetic. Suspenseful. And at times darkly comic. Get ready for an adventure in heartbreak.” — Michael Mazza, author of That Crazy Perfect Someday.

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m an advertising copywriter living with my family in Seattle. Before that I worked as a bookseller in Mill Valley, a private eye in San Francisco and a miserable wine salesman in New York. Although this is my first novel I’ve published dozens of short stories and have been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: Pacific is somewhat based on the experiences I’ve been through with our son, but a lot of it is the made up fantasy of a parent who wishes they could do something more just than talk to a million doctors and not sleep at night. And even though the way in which Chief Bell shows his love for his son might be considered unconventional, it demonstrates how fathers are just as capable as mothers in the depths of their feelings and devotion.


LOCAL OUTLETS: Third Place Books.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon,, Barnes & noble, etc.

PRICE: $15.99


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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