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Part-Time Writer: Affect the World

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. Stories can change the world. They let us know what has happened, they help us imagine and empathize, they give us a window into what might be. They entertain us, make us feel better –– or worse –– when we need them to. They bring communities together, […]

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Part-Time Writer: Work For Stories

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. Without my day jobs, the stories I’ve written could theoretically still exist. The Earthers emerged from my childhood, their universe shaped by my love of science fiction and their philosophy belonging to dear mentors of mine. Defense Command was born from the adventurous ideas of […]

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Part-Time Writer: Communicate By Day

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. If you’re a part-time writer, what’s the best day job? Every writer’s answer to that question will be different. Some people will want to spend their days away from the keyboard while others will want to leverage their writing skills at every possible opportunity. I […]

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Part-Time Writer: Real Life Characters

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. “The story has to be about the characters.” If you’re a writer, you’ve heard some version of that statement, or said it yourself. Writers these days encounter it so much that it’s become something of a cliché. In certain contexts, it can even be followed […]

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Part-Time Writer: Leverage Your Skills

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. “We see that you’re a fiction writer,” they say in the job interview. “That’s a lot of work, probably a lot of great experience. We have big challenges ahead of us, and we want that sort of experience on our team.” Exactly the moment every […]

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Part-Time Writer: Bridge Between Worlds

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. I’d pay almost anything to transport some of the fictional characters I’ve written about into the real world. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Ciaran, the sarcastic five-year-old dragon who pretends not to be smarter than everyone else and knows his Fred […]

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Part-Time Writer: The Luxury of Patience

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. Let’s talk about money. To some extent we all want it, and writers generally enjoy receiving it in exchange for our books. I don’t think this is just because we want to buy things, or pay rent, or eat; we’ve all been trained to associate […]

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Perspectives of the Part-Time Writer

For more posts in the ‘Part-Time Writer’ series, click here. Well, it’s 2019. I’ve been thoroughly negligent when it comes to author notes (spending too much time pretending I know how to use a camera), but the nearest thing to a new year’s resolution I have is to start posting once again. And at least […]

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Dedication

So far 2018 has been a quiet year for author notes, as we’ve all been quite busy with other projects. If you want to know what I’ve been up to, click here to read my stories about the real people currently reshaping the future of energy. I don’t usually remark on book dedications –– those […]

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Listen to The Grasslands

I find it very strange to hear words I’ve written read back to me by someone else… especially someone who actually makes them sound good. It’s doubly odd to get as invested in a story that I wrote… as if I didn’t write it. The experience of having a tale told to you is completely […]

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The Gift of Stripes

The date was October 23rd and our house on Lake Louise Boulevard in Waterloo, Ontario was empty, the only sign of our life there a forgotten black Umbra over-the-door hanger that a real estate agent would find later. The oversized Atlas Van Lines truck had set off mid-afternoon, likely a relief for our neighbours. Three […]

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The Age of Endings

This point is neither original nor controversial, but I’ll make it anyway: we’re living through an age of brilliant storytelling on television. The rise of premium cable channels and streaming services has ushered in a host of high-quality dramas, whose writers are delivering novel-quality fiction with lavish style. I sometimes wonder at the economics of […]

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The Real Colette

At this point, my obsessive relationship with HMCS Sackville is reasonably well documented. It began when I based a Defense Command corvette on her, then escalated in 2013, when I spent Battle of the Atlantic week with her in Halifax. After that, Sackville turned up in Champions, swimming through Newfoundland’s coastal waters with Alex in […]

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Nancy Wake

In 1994, Nancy Wake auctioned off her war medals for profit. Some said this was to pay for booze, others suggested it was part of a feud with the Museum of Australia, but one friend and neighbor offered an explanation which I choose to believe is most accurate: she did it because someone told her […]

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Editing Fray

When you’re bashing your head against the keyboard and hoping your first draft will come out okay, the last thing you may want to hear is a lecture about how editing is the most important part of the writing process. Writing, on its own, seems difficult enough. But editing and rewrites are vital to the […]

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The Year Was 2017…

I don’t get embarrassed about baby pictures. I don’t understand why anyone would –– there’s no shame in looking like a child when you happen to be one. I do, however, get very embarrassed about my earliest writing. No matter how old you are when you start, it’s a safe bet that your first stories won’t be […]

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Everything Begins to Fray

Shortly after her abilities were revealed to two worlds in 1919, Lady Emily began making public appeals to save the children of the savages. She believed it was the British Empire’s duty to send troops to rescue those genetically-enhanced innocents, so that they could be spared lives of slavery and given the chance to become […]

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The Story I Never Expected to Write

On September 8, 1928 a baby girl was born in the outport community of Ferryland, Newfoundland. Named Mary Louise Morry, she would ultimately be one of fourteen children –– seven girls and seven boys. Her father was John, her mother Elizabeth. At school she used a slate and chalk, and learned everything she could. Education, […]

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Charlie Peters

If I’m honest, I remember very little about my first book launch. It was a hugely significant night for me –– The Human Equation was released on Thursday, October 9th, 2003, turning me from a nineteen-year-old geek into a nineteen-year-old geek who had also written a book. Whoa. Media coverage stemming from that event moved […]

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Unrequited Horizons

In the summer of 2011, I nearly gave up writing altogether. That seems a bit silly now, considering all the stories that have happened since, but at the time we were winding up both Defense Command and His Majesty’s New World, and all I had left to work with was a loose collection of ideas […]

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