Before I start this, I have to make one point very clear. For me writing is not work. Its is a form of escaping from this over hectic, over stressed crazy world. I write the stories I want to read. I write the stories that I need to escape in, if you come along for the ride and end up joining me, hang on and enjoy the adventure.
It took me 23 years to write my first novel. It will never be published. I will never go back, and rework it into something that is marketable. I may print it and bind it into its own book. It is something special. It represents hundreds of hours of painstakingly working through each chapter until I was happy with it. Charts of character development, long charts of plot development. Picking the brains of a neighbour that traveled with me back and forth to Kingston everyday so she could attend University. But I finished it, and there it sat for another five years gathering dust.
The urge to write came again and I started and I haven’t stopped; thirty-seven books later and I am still writing five or six every year. I am not a plotter and it is not because I haven’t tried. I have had stacks of notes, piles of research, books with pages properly marked with sections of information of where they should fit. Point form notes that all I needed to do was fill in the blanks and the book would basically write itself. The story would reach the first major plot crossroad and drag me screaming off across the dale and over the hills, up into the mountains to talk to the Dragon, and my plot would go right out the window.
Then it started getting really interesting. Instead of one storyline, the story wanted to split, like a pair of evil twins. Each one of them out creating havoc on their own until they were either killed off, or realized they needed to face each other. Two became three, and heaven forbid one story actually had five, which became a royal nightmare. I had sticky tabs stuck on pages so I could keep track of where the last segment of each storyline ended, until I was pulling my hair out. Then I just started killing them off, it made it easier.
To make things easier, and so I don’t have to continually build new worlds. I have built my stories around three worlds, that are actually moons. They are all that remain of a planet that had ten moons (think of a planet the size of Uranus or Saturn). Without giving too much a way, seven of the ten were destroyed along with the mother planet. These planets are held together by flux lines that join every planet in the solar system.
On one planet the Flux lines, which connect all planets in the solar system together, are used to perform Majick and it can be manipulated by trained personnel. On another they followed the path of science and have used it expand their knowledge in a different way (modern man). The last planet embraced Steam and aether and has remained in the industrial era (steampunk).
People have asked me how I can write so much. They accused me of writing porn novels and using a cookie cutter method and I shake my head no. In fact, I spend hours going back through my novels cutting out any that manage to sneak its way onto the pages. I am bi-polar, and if I don’t write my stories down, I can’t stop them from running around inside my head. I would be the first one in line if they ever created a USB connection that would connect from my brain to a word processor. The stories that I have missed were absolutely amazing, the movie was even better.
I write in coffee shops, crowded mall food courts, at home in the dead silence or with my wife talking to the TV. I have learned how to tune things out. It helps that I have tinnitus and can concentrate on the constant ringing in my ears.
I keep reading the same question on FaceBook, I keep getting the same question from new writers. Sometimes I get so frustrated I want to write it on a shovel, but only if it is the 'Traveling Shovel of Death', and smack them with it. “How do you write a book?”. The answers are always the same. Do you read the type, Genre, of book you want to write? If the answer is yes move onto the next statement. If you answered yes to the first question start writing, let whatever is in your mind flow onto the paper. Keep writing until there is nothing else to write. The more you do this the easier it gets. If the answer was no, why not? Why don’t you read what you want to write about? How are you going to develop knowledge and your own style? I know this sounds condescending but believe me it works. That’s how everyone before you learned how to write.
A Community has been created around the author, who tried extremely hard to keep the distractions of the world away. He Is not a political man, yet he abhors Injustice. He Is not an activist but will stand up for someone whose rights are being violated, because of these harrowing acts his community, the people he feels most comfortable with around the world would come as a shock to most of his readers.
Having a hard time with political figures because of their doubletalk, he Is more comfortable sitting on a cement wall drinking a cup of tea with a homeless man, than he ever would be in a fancy restaurant. He would rather visit someone in prison, than share a meal with someone who would simply boast about their accomplishments.
Spending hours in coffee shops writing his books with a fountain pen and a cheap 400-page journal, people living on the street will drop in for a coffee and chat. Sometimes about nothing and other times about everything. Before they leave, they hug each other, regardless of what shape they are In.
They call him In the middle of the night to talk. It doesn’t matter why, they just want to talk. Having walked some of the same paths, mental Illness, the loss of a close friend or family member, people we care about. He finds It strange that people who 'have It all together' shy away from hugs, and those that society look down on as losers, that once they get to know you and trust you, welcome and actively seek the embrace of a hug, and not just a hug, dear reader but a bear hug filled with love, hope, and safety....
The Authors journey has not been an easy one. Married in 1980, their marriage continuing to be strong to this day, they have two beautiful daughters who have since moved on to live their own lives and are doing quite well.
In July 1994, the author had suffered a major heart attack that should have killed him, damaging 65% of his heart doctors confused searched for a reason he was still alive finally turning to the Good Lord as means of the recovery claiming.
"He's not done with you yet" In December of the same year he had lost his best friend, his mother, after a lengthy battle with cancer. In July 1995 he experienced a triple bypass surgery managing to restore 25% of his heart but left 40% permanently scarred. During the period between his heart attack and surgery his "Career Manager" encouraged him to take the Forces Reduction Plan and he was released from active duty with 19 years and one month of service in the Canadian Armed Forces and began long term disability.
Freedom, what do you do with It when you cannot do anything? his cardiologist happened to be the one he had a while back while in the service, and it was only logical to stay with him as his doctor after retirement.
He spent the next ten years in a motorcycle ministry service, visiting bikers who had been in accidents and in the hospital, when he started writing again.
Tragedy struck again in the authors life. His father, having previously beaten lung cancer in 2000, with advanced chemo, radiation, and surgery only to have it return as brain cancer, they lost him In December of 2005.
To keep himself busy he had begun work with Ottawa Inner-city Ministries, with various outreach programs for the homeless and marginalized. he had made some good friends over the years, some he Is still close with, and some who are gone now and are deeply missed. His passion to reach out to people Includes a desire to reach out to the city’s youth in the downtown core. He began volunteering with emergency shelters and soon became a Sunday night fixture; developing relationships with the kids. He would get tackled with hugs in the street when spotted by the youth.
Just like the seasons everything must come to an end, It was time for him to move on. having had the same dream for many years, to serve the less fortunate at least one night a week, preferably every night, soup and sandwiches, and clothing If possible. Every group he reached out to declined until he came to a small church, he had been attending where he received a resounding yes. That first night they served 8 people; this number grew to 65 people. They have been open for 3 years, every Thursday night except the Thursday between Christmas and New Year, until the pandemic hit, shutting most of these services down.
At the age of 65, and a follower of Christ. "He Is not done with me yet", rings constantly in the authors mind, he has a passion for Christ, people who are marginalized, and writing fantasy stories. Many have told him that these do not mix, let us help him prove them wrong.