The things I do now
I love to write—to create story, imagine character, and give it shape with words. With the hope of doing my part to make the world a little bit better, I try to subtly raise some awareness of social issues that matter by weaving them into my stories. I volunteer locally, I travel when I can, and I spend time with family as much as possible.
The other things I’ve done
My early ambition was to follow family heritage and become a farmer. When I began that first career, after studying at the University of Guelph, I fully intended it to be a lifelong undertaking. I did spend my twenties and thirties as a farmer, but circumstances of life tugged me in other directions. At thirty-two I became interested in local politics and spent the next decade in elected municipal office in Ottawa, Canada, where I still live. And then in my early forties, by quirks of fate and serendipity, I staggered into a job as a professional model. This lasted for another decade. Sprinkled in, here and there, I’ve also been a personal trainer, an actor, a bartender, and a waiter. Throughout it all, I’ve always been first and foremost a husband to my high school sweetheart and a proud father to my four wonderful children.
My next book...
In OF GRANITE AND MIST seven year old Vivien Trumen and her older, intellectually disabled cousin are practically inseparable—until he is taken away by the police and she moves across the country. Before that, the two cousins had lived an idyllic life with their grampa, the beloved patriarch of a prominent Midwest family. Vivien is too young to understand her unwitting role in the condemnation of her cherished cousin to an indefinite incarceration. A decade later, after learning of her culpability, it becomes Vivien Trumen’s life-mission to right the wrongs. But she’s thwarted when the rich Indiana soil becomes fertile ground for misplaced fears, presumptive justice, and family jealousy.
OF GRANITE AND MIST is the tragic, yet heartwarming, saga of a Midwest farm family as it struggles with the crimes of one of its own, all the while attempting to maintain the reputation of the family business. This Cain and Able triangle is intertwined with the Prodigal Son and then flipped upside down by the indomitable spirits of a strong female protagonist and her endearing cousin.
Lovers of the Steinbeck classic, OF MICE AND MEN, will enjoy this fresh version taking place a half century later and over a span of thirty years. It is similarly set in rural America with a sympathetic and memorable intellectually disabled main character.
OF GRANITE AND MIST offers a folksy dose of Americana with a taste of underdog and injustice.
It's a great story with literary and book club appeal.
I'd like to think of my writing as compelling stories that agitate the conscience -- tales that keep the reader reading while subtly whisking in a heaping dose of moral provocation. Hopefully, my stories stand alone as rolling entertainment, but ideally they'll also stimulate some thought about the underlying social justice concerns that are woven into them.
When I wrote my first novel, TRUTH, BY OMISSION, I was looking for a creative outlet for my own pleasure. I set out to write the kind of book that I myself enjoy reading; that is to say, a book that was based on “story”, because it is my belief that a great story trumps all other elements of a novel. A book can have great characters and great prose, but without a great story I find it hard to stay interested. Now, a truly great book will combine all three elements: great story, characters, and prose. But story has to come first.
An author has two sources from which to draw material: that which we know, and that which we can imagine. We borrow from what we’ve seen, what we've learned, the people we’ve met, the traits we’ve observed, and we put them together in any of an infinite number of combinations to create a story. And then we have to tell the story—the prose—with words and language and structure. What fun!