Tyler Hellard's debut novel Searching for Terry Punchout was a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award and Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. The book follows a struggling sportswriter named Adam Macallister, who visits his estranged father — a notorious hockey enforcer — in effort to revive his career. Hellard is originally from Prince Edward Island and now lives in Calgary. In the past, he's contributed to CBC Radio, The Walrus and This Magazine.
CBC Books named Hellard a writer to watch in 2019.
- 19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019
- Tyler Hellard's Searching for Terry Punchout is an ode to hockey, small towns and facing your past
Books by Tyler Hellard
"There's not a lot that's more Canadian than hockey, especially if you grew up in a small town. If you play hockey in a small town, it does become part of your identity. It was something that I thought a lot of people could relate to. I personally ran away from my small town and I blamed this town for a lot of the things that I was unhappy with. I didn't think very highly of the town or the people in it, which was awful. It took me years to figure out that the problem was me. It wasn't growing up in that town that I didn't like. I didn't like being 14.
It took me years to figure out that the problem was me.- Tyler Hellard
"The character Adam has to go on a journey to understand who he is. He spent a lot of time running away from a town and blaming the town for his problems. And only when he's left with no options and has to go back to the town does he start to realize that the town's fine and the people in it are good people. He realizes the community they've built for themselves — and the community that he can re-enter — is something that he's missing in his life."