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Return to the New World

Mountains, foothills, and wide open prairies –– by now, readers of His Majesty’s New World and Champions are familiar with the landscape of the planet that Britain and the United States began colonizing in 1881. Whether it be the Royal Newfoundland Regiment marching into the unknown in 1919, Alex and Stephanie fighting Scourge in 1942, […]

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Ready, Aye, Ready.

The first thing you have to understand about Canada’s navy: it began with an obsolete cruiser named Rainbow. When the Royal Canadian Navy was first founded in 1910, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier found himself in a difficult position. At the time, Britain and Germany were engaged in a Mahanian naval race, building Dreadnoughts (and […]

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Iceberg Reaches South Africa

Khaki-clad soldiers spent Saturday, July 26 advancing up a dry, grassy hill called Talana, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Some 115 years ago, this hill had been the site of the first battle of the Second Boer War; this time, the soldiers were members of the Dundee Diehard historical re-enactment team, and their foes were neither […]

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In Woody Point

I’m home in Newfoundland this week –– in the community of Woody Point in Gros Morne National Park. This is the fourth straight summer that I’ve made the pilgrimage back to this place, to stay in the same suites over the same bay, and hike the same land. To people who haven’t been here, that […]

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Special Guest Star

It’s been a quiet season for author notes, but with good reason. New projects are waiting in the wings (one of which I’ll be blathering about soon) but in the meantime, the regular schedule for Champions continues: Tuesday, July 29, will see the launch of Outports. And it’ll feature a special guest star. One of […]

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Oh Shoot

After a couple of novellas on the sidelines, Stephanie Shylock got thrown back into the deep end with last month’s Scourge. Without spoiling too much, let me just say that if I’m ever trapped in the mountains, being chased by alien space monsters, there’s a very short list of humans I’d want to be stuck […]

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There She Blows?

There are a few beaches in Newfoundland that I hold in especially high esteem. Bellevue obviously comes first and foremost –– it is the place, after all, where my mother retrieved the piece of an iceberg that ultimately inspired our company name. Near St. John’s, there’s also the small beach at Middle Cove, which is […]

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Just Call Him Evelyn

When our Royal Newfoundland Regiment set off on its ill-advised cross-country drive towards an unknown Hubrin base in 1920, the one most responsible was a Major General named Evelyn Hughes. Son of forceful Canadian politician Sam Hughes, Evelyn used his influence to compel Sir Julian Byng and Arthur Currie to launch the motorized mission, even […]

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Black In Newfoundland

The year was 2008, and two excellent historians, one from Ontario and the other from South Africa, were questioning me about my thesis on the Caribou Hut –– the club for servicemen in St. John’s during the Second World War. The Hut was established by everyday Newfoundlanders, because the government had been so bankrupt by […]

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Heading To The Club

Let’s start with a game. How many times in my life do you think someone’s asked me what I was doing tonight, and my answer was: “I’m heading to the club!” If you answered zero (0) times, then you can feel pretty good about yourself… and perhaps feel a bit sad for me. Whatever. This […]

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No Feet Left

As it’s been more than a month since the launch of Snapdragon, I can finally address one of the parts of the story about which I was most excited. Naturally, this means spoilers, so govern yourself accordingly… I’ve written before about Douglas Bader –– the very real, very British flyer who lost both his legs […]

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Befriend A Biathlete

When it comes to the Winter Olympics, there aren’t many events I won’t watch. Some of them are quite alien to my understanding –– with the deepest respect, I have no idea how to tell a good snowboard run from a bad one, except if someone falls. I follow some other sports with more regularity […]

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How To Keep Up

During the development of Champions, a rather obvious problem came up: if ordinary people like Stephanie Shylock and Mike Strong are supposed to protect a genetically-enhanced human like Alex… how do they keep up? As readers caught up to Snapdragon will have noticed, when a Champion is told ‘get to the airport as fast as […]

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Sackville’s Home

By now it’s a cliche to speak of the ‘greatest generation’ –– children of the Great Depression, who emerged from a level of poverty and starvation that we can scarcely imagine, to fight the injustices being wrought in Europe. Cynics among us are rightly skeptical that any war –– no matter how apparently just its […]

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Our National Sport

Last weekend, I spent roughly four hours with a shovel in hand. As Chris Murphy –– one of the residents of Mount Olympus who works at Canada’s Weather Network –– explained to my mother via Twitter, we were in line for some lake effect snow… and here in Waterloo, we certainly got our share. I’m […]

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Up Against It

May of 2005 was the single busiest month I’ve ever had when it comes to book events. Coming off two Chapters tours the previous year, and sitting on invitations to travel for book events and to hold writing workshops, we stacked up a schedule that crossed four provinces in as many weeks –– not much […]

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Building A Snapdragon

Since the first chapter of Whitecoat, we’ve known about Snapdragon. The first human-built aircraft to incorporate Saa technology into its design, the plane is meant to give Britain and the United States an unprecedented advantage over the rest of the world… though to be fair, the riches of the new world seem to have already […]

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Zulu

Fifty years ago yesterday, movie-going audiences in Great Britain were first introduced to actor Michael Caine, who starred as a rather posh infantry Lieutenant named Bromhead in a film called Zulu. The picture was a massive success. Effectively a British answer to American westerns, Zulu was released on the 85th anniversary of the engagement it […]

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Black Man and Dragon?

Originally I was going to introduce this note by talking about weather, because coincidentally (but not surprisingly) my friends and family home in Newfoundland have recently dealt with quite a blizzard. I changed those plans (if not the picture) when I realized one of the partnerships we follow in Snapdragon, the first Champions installment of 1942, might […]

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Girl Fights

I’ve written my share of fights between female characters. The most celebrated (or infamous) is perhaps the scrap between Commodore Karen McMaster and Josie, the leader of the Pions, back in The Canary Wars. There are no excerpts online from that particular encounter, but here’s a quick overview: Karen was one of the heroes of […]

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