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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #46  
Old 10-19-2017, 05:39 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is online now
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
I presently have one good editor. But the majority are a product of overall decline in print media. Not sure, but I suspect that publishers don't want to pay qualified editors and get their editors under bridge abutments. I also wonder if computers have opened up writing to less qualified writers. Its complicated further by my own ability to assess the industry. My long time years, dating back to 1968 with 49 years, have enabled me to log an outragious exposure to bad experiences: submissions not reported out by editors which locked up features, that with a timely rejection, could have been sold elsewhere. Inquiry to editors which got no response. Years of loyal regular staff work -- shows, appearances, Insider monthly, features, cover photos -- jettisoned because I exercised firearms protection for my wife and me from the two dog attack I am always bitching about. Frank Woolner would vomit if he were alive to see that stuff. Publications that mistreat writers lower overall interest in the industry resulting in poorer writing drawing from a smaller pool of particapants.

When I first started writing, in those days with a balky typewriter, hitting the wrong key, especially near the end of the page, could ruin your day. And I needed a lot of editing which had already had plenty of spell checking with a dictionary. My wife, Joyce, read everything I wrote and we often quarreled "how can I look up the spelling of something, if I don't know how to spell it?" SWS's Frank Woolner fixed a lot of my crappy prose. When he died he was replaced by a googan editor who married the bosses' daughter. Familiar? Way back if I talked unfavorably about editors like I am doing now I would have been black balled. Today, I don't give a phuck. Were I so inclined, today I have the resources to buy the publication.

I love this subject and plan more. Thanks to John P for the right questions.
Frank, what year was that dog attack? The reason I ask is that, if you wrote an editorial about it today (including the fact that you were black-balled by certain periodicals) would the story go over differently than when the incident occurred? Even myself, as a non-hunter, see what you did as perfectly justified. Any magazine/paper (outdoor or otherwise) that would print that editorial would seem less biased, and have more "street cred" with readers like me.
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  #47  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:19 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

The dog attack happened in 2001, the same month of the terrorist attack of 9/1/1. I remember the time/year vividly because the dog thing was beaten to death in the newspapers until they had another story in the "twin Towers". I had been having heart issues and my cardio wanted me to walk daily. We were in a state woodland on a trail when two unattended dogs charged Joyce and I. The big one, over 100 pounds, knocked her down. That was the one that should have been shot but doing so would have put her at risk. The smaller one was in the air in front of me and I put the bullet down its throat at 18 inches which exited the side of the jaw. The shot ended the confrontation. Neither animal was licensed, inoculated or leashed. Inasmuch as I had/have a permit (LTC), I was never charged with anything.

Nobody from the press actually knew what happened but the story was broken by a reporter of a local newspaper and the other regional papers just picked up on it, apparently copying what the first fiction writer published. Newspaper reporters are swine; they were all over my lawn with so many vehicles hoping for an interview that you would have thought that I was the criminal. My attorney, who cost me a $1,000, told me not to talk to any reporters. Local police chief, very supportive, told me to leave home for a couple of days until things blew over.

My phone listed, I got two kinds of calls: harassing "you sick bastard, I hope you die s-l-o-w-l-y" And, NRA members offering to pay for my defense. The Cape Cod publication told me they didn't want any more submissions and I was barred from the big Mass Bass annual shindig because the publication sponsored the event. Financier Warren Buffet recently said, "you can spend a lifetime building a reputation then lose it in five minutes."
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  #48  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:01 PM
Merlin Merlin is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Question: How did the world find out about the dogs attacking you and Joyce?
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  #49  
Old 10-20-2017, 11:50 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

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Question: How did the world find out about the dogs attacking you and Joyce?
It was in all the newspapers. A Milford Daily, Metro West reporter took it off the police log. I called the police because I had to report the incident or risk losing my LTC.* I had nothing to hide and I did nothing wrong so I had no problem reporting the incident. Once something is in any newspaper, the other papers jump on it and just follow the original version. If it is biased or erroneous that is the way it travels and may even get juiced up. A subsequent newspaper version characterized it as a border collie, same as "Lassie".

* LTC = License to Carry
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:47 PM
Merlin Merlin is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

" It was in all the newspapers. A Milford Daily, Metro West reporter took it off the police log. I called the police because I had to report the incident or risk losing my LTC.* I had nothing to hide and I did nothing wrong so I had no problem reporting the incident."

In my opinion that was a mistake.

" A subsequent newspaper version characterized it as a border collie, same as "Lassie"."

Long way between a Border Collie breed and a look alike "Lassie". I would lock horns and win on that point.

Next time if ever, my friend, just walk away. Why jump into the soup?.
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  #51  
Old 10-21-2017, 03:35 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Next time if ever, my friend, just walk away. Why jump into the soup?.

No, I can't risk my gun permit. If caught, I would end up hunting with a bow which I don't know how to use. This all happened in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. The soup was getting kicked out of one very lousy publication. Incidently, I had no part in it but that angling publication was known for cheating readers on the seminar business. I have no regrets. Just contempt for that publication's failure to support my Second Amendment rights. Remember that many fishermen, their subscribers, belong to the NRA because they hunt. They are stupid. The NRA members calling my home and offering to fund my defense show that I had, and have, friends.
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  #52  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:43 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

The nearer you get to Boston, the more convolute the politics become. The polarization goes something like this: If you are a Democrat, you are anti-gun, anti-NRA, anti hunting. If you hunt you can't be a Democrat. Boston newspapers can't cover outdoor sports with an Outdoor column because that would serve hunting. Once you come west from Boston, there are outdoor columns in the papers, a more diverse population with a greater balance of the two parties. No one in Boston votes Republican; whereas in my area there is more political diversity. My home town carried Trump, more, like my wife and I, because we disliked Hillary.
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  #53  
Old 10-28-2017, 02:03 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Never forget that a book needs two things: knowledge of the subject and writing skills. There are some awful books out there on surfcasting. Here is a list of things NO surfcasting book should have:

Mentioning the name of a every sonofabitch you've ever known surfcasting.
Illustrating with too much day photos for what is largely done at night.
Exaggeration of how good the fishing was, often to the point that it is physically impossible for one person to land that kind of tonnage.
Avoid over-regionalization. You can't write a book about one tiny spot.
Be conscious of surfcasting ethics, regulation.
Photos of dead fish grip-n-grin are okay but limit their use and rely more upon action photos taken at night.

I made some of these mistakes with my first book, "Twenty Years."
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  #54  
Old 11-03-2017, 07:13 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: Qualifications to Write a Surfcasting Book

Over the years I have had dozens of books sent to me as review copies, which I always accommodate. Lately, because of poor editorial policy in my morning paper, I have taken to rereading these books. Some, not all, are so bad that the mistakes are entertaining. One homely example has a day surf picture on the cover for a boat fishing book.
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