Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
If there's such a duck as a Canadian-American, call me the mallard. I've written five novels, a dozen screenplays and several novellas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I just completed "The Dog Behind Me" … a semi-autobiographical tale about an estranged father who's reincarnated as a Labrador retriever who then reconnects with his son. The inspiration? I was waiting for the light to change at an intersection in Calgary one evening and I saw a homeless person on the median. He was writing on his piece of cardboard. Behind him sat his black Lab. It struck me as an incredible tale, from the dog's point of view — having a homeless person for a master. Fleshing it out, I injected much of my own experiences into it, transforming it into a reincarnation tale regarding my father. A very cathartic work. Drama first, then the humor.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Throw this one in the "stick-to-it-iveness" column. I typically track my daily word count. It becomes a mental crack of the whip to keep going to the finish line.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I read every Stephen King book I could get my hands on when I was younger. He made me want to write.
What are you working on now?
2017 is the Year of the Newfie for me. I'd written a screenplay, "Newfie, Come Home!" and am in the middle of adapting it into a novella.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My marketing skills are ever evolving. Cracking Book Bub would be nice. I've just tried Just Kindle Books and had 137 downloads of my baseball satire "Screwball" yesterday. It put me at #4 for the day in Amazon's Satire Rankings — 2 spots ahead of Voltaire's Candide. That just seems surreal.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Seat of pants to seat of chair. Find that "zone" and keep going. Spill your brain onto the page. Reshape later. The molding is the key.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I was pitching a screenplay years ago to Daniel Martin, a MOW writer, in Ottawa and he immediately interrupted me, asking, "Who's story is it?" Perspective is SO important.
What are you reading now?
I am slogging through the Alan Turing book, The Enigma. Fascinating stuff but all the formulas and the science tend to slow me down.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Following the "Newfie, Come Home!" novella, while my Newfie chops are chopping, I'm diving into writing the Great Newfy Epic. I kid you not!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Wow. I have to tip my hat to Mark Twain. They say Huckleberry Finn is the backbone of American Literature. I'll throw my hat in that ring. Stephen King's The Stand is an extremely close second. As a writer, I'm big on dialogue. Twain and King have impeccable ears for dialogue. They put you right there.