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Strange Possession at Viner Sound: Compelling Novel Explores Mystery of Secret Japanese Radio Base

Inspired by a real-life experience, Robin Percival Smith’s gripping new novel melds love, determination, pacifism and the real-world possible existence of a secret Japanese radio base off the coast of British Columbia. With its unique fusion of fact and fiction, the book is resonating with readers from coast to coast.


Richmond, British Columbia -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/14/2013 -- The world’s most renowned writers often let their creativity flow in the most unlikely of places. From J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh coffee shop to Stephen King’s locked attic, the world’s best fiction has eclectic roots. For British Columbia’s Robin Percival Smith, annual summer trips on his beloved sailing vessel provided the perfect setting for literary inspiration. In 1996, an evening aboard Tremethick II brought Smith the sudden feeling that he wasn’t alone; an experience that would later spawn a page-gripping story.

‘Strange Possession at Viner Sound’ is that story; a fusion of fact and fiction that holds readers in suspense from cover to cover.


When Matti Wilson is anchored in Viner Sound he is possessed by the spirit of Jojo, a young Kwakiutl boy held prisoner at a secret Japanese radio base during World War II. Jojo tells Matti the story of his life at the base in a series of seven visions.

Matti takes on a contract to map all the clear-cut logging sites on the coast and employs Bessie David as crew on his sailing vessel. She is a feisty young woman who needs the money for university. During the summer she falls in love with this old man. Over three summers she manages to convince him to accept her as his partner.

Matti tells his cousin, Caring-well, a shaman at the village of Gwayasdums about his visioins.

Caring-well identifies Jojo as her cheif’s son who went missing in the war. Chief Joseph is head of a rival tribe at Gwayasdums. He had assisted the Japanese to set up the radio base at Viner Sound on the understanding that the Japanese government would return their traditional lands when they won the war. However, the Japanese lost the war and Joseph carefully covers his tracks so that his hand in Jojo’s fate is not revealed until news of Matti’s visions reaches him.

As the author explains, that fateful night in 1996 provided bold inspiration for his book.

“In the evening I was reading and had an uncanny sense of company aboard Tremethick II. I do not think that there are more than the five senses that input our brains but the experience set off a chain of imaginings in my brain over the next few days that eventually formed the story for this novel,” says Smith.

Continuing, “There has always been a rumour that during WW II the Japanese set up a secret base on the west coast. Quite plausible in this huge deserted area that has changed little since Captain George Vancouver visited to chart this coast here in 1792.”

And so his novel was born. Dedicated to his Father, who became a pacifist after his experiences in WWI, Smith hopes readers will also be empowered to question their own beliefs.

“Both Matti and Bessie are half breeds and sceptics at first. I wanted to use the religious ideas of the Kwakuitl in the hope that the readers will find it ridiculous and then perhaps question their own beliefs. I think that science is the only hope for humanity,” he adds.

‘Strange Possession at Viner Sound’ is available now: http://amzn.to/12UxiyI

About Robin Percival Smith
Robin Percival Smith was born in London and educated in England at St John’s School, Leatherhead, Surrey. After school he was drafted into the army for national service. He was selected for officer training in the Royal Artillery and posted to Hong Kong in the 34th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. After finishing service he was accepted by Gonville and Caius College (1950), Cambridge, to study medicine. He continued his clinical studies at The Westminster Hospital Medical School in London and in 1956 graduated MB Bchir.

In 1958 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and immigrated to Canada. He was posted to 442 Search and Rescue Squadron in Vancouver. In 1961 he went into private practice in Richmond, BC. In 1971 he was appointed Staff Physician at the Student Health Service of the University of British Columbia. Because of his interest in Women’s Health, he was invited to be an investigator on The Canadian Committee for Fertility Research and later a member of that committee. He developed a research interest in the development of Post Coital Contraception and other women’s health issues. In 1976 he was a founder member of the Canadian Andrology Society and was appointed a member of the WHO Task Force on Male Fertility Control, Clinical Trials Division. In 1981 he was appointed Director of Student Health and in 1989 retired from the university.

After retirement he pursued his passion for single handed sailing in his vessel Tremethick II on the west coast of Canada and Alaska. He wrote two books, a novel, A Tale of Whales(under Robin Kingsley), and a biography, Captain McNeill and his Wife the Nishga Chief. Both these books as well as, Strange Possession at Viner Sound are set on the west coast of Canada.