Published by TellWell, The Librarian is the debut novel of author Philip Wilson.

Published by TellWell, The Librarian is the debut novel of author Philip Wilson.

Debut novel takes revenge thriller to new heights

Victoria indie publishing house helps launch author to literary limelight

“I set out to write the kind of book that I would want to read.”

It’s a simple enough concept, but one not always as easily executed … unless you’re Philip Wilson.

The author of The Librarian, a revenge thriller released last spring, has penned just such a read, and as his debut novel, at that.

Published through Victoria’s TellWell, The Librarian follows Sarah, a shy librarian who accidentally stumbles on a conspiracy by a group of rogue cops. Assaulted, framed and sent to prison to ensure her silence, Sarah discovers a fierce will to live and a startling capacity for violence that enables her to survive the harsh prison environment.

Discovering upon her release that her father died alone and her old life is gone forever, she devises a chilling revenge for those responsible. As she plans and prepares, she meets a former US Navy Seal who shares the skills she needs but also love and the promise of a new life.

While on the surface the book is a satisfying thriller, Sarah’s transformation is interesting at a deeper level, says Francesca Jackman from TellWell, an assisted self-publishing company. “It’s like she’s triggered into this whole new personality.”

Plot points

What prompted Wilson, a retired financial advisor, to devise a character like Sarah?

“I want what I write to resonate with people,” Wilson says from his home in Toronto.

“It’s a big world and we all feel a little powerless at times. We enjoy stories of victims finding a way to fight back and overcoming their oppressors. As I wrote it, the story became as much about Sarah’s discovery of her own inner strength and her capacity for anger, as it was about her specific acts of revenge … It’s not quite the story I set out to write, but I like it better.”

What are readers saying?

“Wilson has taken a tired old genre, and breathed new life into it by giving what has been a male superhero fantasy to a female, and a desk-bound one at that.”

The IndieReader review is typical of readers’ reactions, and with the site’s five-star rating, The Librarian was selected by Huffington Post as one of their profiled books for July.

The book is available locally at Bolen Books and online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters/Indigo.

Turning the page on a new title

The many who enjoyed The Librarian will be pleased to know Wilson is currently working on his second title with TellWell. Songs for Lucy is a departure from his first novel, but one Wilson is pleased with. Exploring the world of a young woman seemingly at the start of a wonderful life who is struck by brain cancer, “the second book is nothing like the first. I just started writing and it flowed.

“I’m having fun with this writing thing,” he says with a laugh.

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TellWell provides a variety of book publishing services, connecting writers with designers, illustrators and editors. “They can focus on the writing and marketing, and we help them along with everything else,” Jackman says.

Learn more about author Philip Wilson at philipmwilson.com or on Facebook.