Recent News

Heartstopper: an interactive mystery

Oct 18, 2014

Less than two weeks ago, the Toronto Star commissioned me to write an interactive, online story for their October 18 crime fiction supplement. It had to have three different solutions to the same crime in a whirling, helix kind of structure the likes of which I had never seen.

My first instinct was to say no. These kind of computer games are for my kids. The deadline was too short. I am an artist whose characters have to grow organically, after months of painstaking research.

“Get over yourself,” said my wife.

So I plunged in—and had a fantastic time! Working with Books Editor Deborah Dundas, artist Paul Watson and J.P. Fozo, Senior Editor, Digital Projects, was a dream. They were entirely supportive and patient as we explored this new territory.

The result is Heartstopper.

I hope you check it out—and choose the right path to follow.

Now available: Online mentorships

Sep 23, 2014

Over the past few years, I have done one-on-one mentorships with a number of writing students who had well-developed manuscripts but needed help with character, plot, story or other elements. Over a period of two or three months, I would provide substantive editing notes, then look at revisions to keep the process on the right track.

If you have a work-in-progress and you think this would be helpful, click here for more details. 

Read Lostport free on Wattpad

Sep 23, 2014

if you like gritty crime thrillers, my standalone novel, Lostport, might be for you.

It’s the story of Ben McBride, who enters the U.S. Witness Security program—WITSEC—and relocates to a fading canal town in upstate New York. Struggling to find work and establish a new life in Eastport, Ben is stunned to find he is not the only protected witness in the county. There’s a whole group, brought together by a corrupt sheriff, Earl Keene, who forces them to rob an aging Mafia boss of five million in cash. But the sheriff has a surprise coming because Ben is not the man he appears to be. A former cop who had to seek protection after testifying against corrupt fellow officers in Tampa, Ben is going to fight for his freedom—and the money—with everything he’s got.

You can read Lostport free in serial form on Wattpad. A new chapter is posted every week (as of September 23, 2014, we are up to Chapter 16).

Interested? Curious? Chapter 1 starts right here.

…and a Bony Blithe nomination

Apr 27, 2014

Miss Montreal, my fourth Jonah Geller novel, has been shortlisted for the 2014 Bony Blithe Award.

The Bony Blithe was created by the Bloody Words Board to shine a spotlight on light mysteries—“books that make us smile”—and brings a cash prize of $1,000. Both the shortlist and winner are picked by a jury.

I was frankly surprised by the nomination, since the Bony Blithe is usually awarded to books with a minimum of violence and profanity, and no one has ever accused me of that!

But it I do appreciate it, because I like to leaven my books with humour. They have gotten darker as the series progressed, because of the things Jonah has seen and done, and had done to him and the people around him. But too much darkness wears readers down, in my opinion. A laugh here and there breaks the tension in positive ways.

The award will be given out at the Bloody Words banquet June 7, two days after the Arthur Ellis awards.

Whatever happens, it should be an exciting week.

Miss Montreal nominated for Arthur Ellis Award

Apr 27, 2014

My fourth Jonah Geller novel, Miss Montreal, has been nominated for Canada’s top crime writing prize: the Arthur Ellis Award.

It’s my third nomination. Buffalo Jump won the Arthur for Best First Novel of 2008; High Chicago won for Best Novel of 2009.

The awards will be given out at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club Thursday, June 5.

Wish me luck!