About the Author by the Author
I was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1940, raised in the Ottawa Valley town of Arnprior, and have lived in the city of Ottawa since 1970.
I’ve had a lifelong passion for
music, and in October 1963 I pursued the idea of becoming a disc
jockey. With the encouragement of freelance broadcaster, the late
Bill Kincaid, I bluffed my way into a job as an advertising copywriter
with CKOY Radio (now News 1310) in Ottawa. To this day I am grateful
to the late Jack Daly, Station Manager, for not firing me when he
discovered I couldn’t type. I discovered I could write—and absolutely loved doing it! Within a month, or perhaps less,
my new found passion for writing replaced my desire to become a
After five years of writing advertising copy, I needed a new challenge. In February 1969, I landed a contract position as a researcher/story editor with an Ottawa, nightly public affairs show on CBC Television. While I found working in television interesting, it involved very little writing. So in January of 1973, I joined the Ottawa Citizen as a general-assignment reporter, where I also pursued my love of music by writing reviews.
At that time, country music was increasing in popularity. I noticed that no one was writing about country from a journalistic perspective, so in July 1976, I began a weekly column on country music for the Citizen. A year later I syndicated the column to newspapers across Canada. In June 1978, I quit my staff job at the Citizen, but continued to write my country column until March 1985.
In February 1982, feeling the need for a new challenge, I obtained a writing contract with the Government of Canada. For the next 19 years, I wrote speeches and articles for the communications branches of several federal departments.
In high school, I sang (badly) and played guitar (just as badly) in a rock’n’roll band. But the desire to get on stage never left me, so in November 1988 I tried my hand at stand-up comedy. For the next seven years, I was a part-time, stand-up comic at Yuk Yuk’s in Ottawa. Some nights audiences loved me; some nights they couldn’t wait for me to get off the stage. Stand-up comedy is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.
As far back as the 1960s, I’d
written fiction off and on. But to do it as well as I possibly could,
I needed to be able to devote full-time to it. That opportunity
arrived in the winter of 2001. I began researching the settlement
of McNab Township, and in May of that year I began writing the novel,
McNab, which was published in October 2006. In the spring of 2006, I began writing DUEL, which was published in October 2009. In February 2009, when not putting the finishing touches on DUEL, I began researching Chaudière Falls, which was published in December 2016 to tie in with Canada's sesquicentennial.
My temperament is well-suited to being
a writer because I like working alone. Until the book gets to the
editing stage, there’s no one to thank and no one to blame.
My priority: my health. Beginning in
1978, I was a serious runner for 30 years. In 2008, I switched to
cycling. I've also been doing regular weight training since 1984.
I'll continue to cycle and weight train for the rest of my life.
My philosophy: Do everything as well as you possibly can—or don’t do it at all.
October 1963 to February 1969: advertising copywriter, CKOY Radio, Ottawa
February 1969 to January 1973: freelance television journalist, CBC Ottawa
January 1973 to June 1978: reporter and entertainment writer, Ottawa Citizen
July 1976 to March 1985: syndicated country music columnist
February 1982 to August 2001: contract speech writer, Government of Canada
November 1988 to November 1995: part-time stand-up comic, Yuk Yuk’s, Ottawa
May 2001 to March 2006: wrote the novel, McNab, published in October 2006
June 2006 to June 2009: wrote the novel, DUEL, published in October 2009
February 2009 to June 2009: researched my next novel of dramatized history
June 2009 to December 2016: wrote Chaudière
Falls, published in November 2016