Monday, May 26, 2014


I'm rather excited that my novel EVASION is being featured on Wattpad.

There's nowhere to hide when everybody you know is trying to kill you. Scotty Desmond's day begins like any other until his boss calls him into the office, pulls out a gun and start shooting at him. Scott manages to escape the surprise assassination attempt, but everyone else he meets, colleagues, friends and strangers are all similarly obsessed with killing him. Will Scott survive long enough to understand what is behind the relentless attacks and how it might relate to the investigation into his father's mysterious death?

The story was inspired by something that kept happening to me in the first couple of years after my father died. I kept seeing him everywhere. When you lose someone you love, there's always that little part of you that sees them everywhere and in everything. The mind does that to you.

But I started to imagine (speculate, if you will), a possibility where the things I had been seeing hadn't been my mind playing tricks on me, but that my father was actually alive.

I kicked the concept around and made a few attempts to write the story.

But, shortly before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2013, I started jotting down some notes and outlining the characters and plot that went along with this premise. And I wrote it during November.

The daily word count for Evasion during NaNoWriMo

And Evasion was born.

The book is set mostly in Toronto and Sudbury and opens in the thinly masked building that is Kobo's head office in Liberty Village. It's a fast paced action thriller written in the style of the movie Die Hard -- ie, some crazy shit goes down and the hero has to think on their feet in order to stay alive.  Of course, readers have already commented that the opening reminds them of Joseph R. Garber's Vertical Run. It might also conjure up thoughts of Duane Swiercynzski's Severance Package. I adored both of those novels and watch Die Hard every Christmas, and I wrote this novel to satisfy my own thirst for that type of tale, so I suppose anybody who has enjoyed either of those three might also get a kick out of Evasion.

I had fun playing with the premise -- and not just the action, but the father/son relationship: The novel includes a number of flashbacks into Scott's childhood and memories of his father.

I wrote the first draft for Evasion in November 2013. I let it sit, then did a re-write of it and recently sent it off for an edit.

The book is being featured this week at Wattpad, which is a social platform to connect writers and readers, filled with stories you can read for free online or via apps for your smart-phone or tablet.

I'll be releasing Evasion as an eBook for $4.99 this summer.  The pre-order is currently available at Kobo. It'll be added to the other places shortly.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Traveling to New Worlds

The Mars One project, a Dutch non-profit foundation created to establish a permanent human settlement on the red planet, continues to move forward, with recent news that the shortlist, which began with over 78,000 volunteers, has been narrowed down, and includes 54 Canadians.  (The final team is meant to include 6 teams of 4)

Those who make the final selection will be part of a more than decade long process by which unmanned rover and cargo missions in 2020 and 2022 will first set up a base to create an operational outpost before followed by two separate convoys of humans.  The trip to Mars will take some time between seven and eight months to get to Mars. A new group of four is expected to continue every two years.

Roadmap of Mars One MISSION
It's certainly a progressive endeavour and one that brings with it much speculation, such as: Would YOU consider going on a one way ticket, knowing that you will never return to Earth or see your friends or family again?

It seems bold and like nothing that humans have ever done before. After all, previous missions into space and to the moon included a way for the astronauts to come back.

But not this time.

I can imagine that's exactly how it might have felt for those hundreds of years ago who ventured off in boats to seek out the New Worlds that they believed must surely exist beyond the horizon of the vast oceans. They did so knowing full well that they might die on their journey, might never be able to establish a comfortable life in the new world, and would likely never return back to their home land. But they did it anyway, boldly venturing forth to explore and discover. And they had far less insight into what lay beyond the world that they knew than we know. Yes, much of Mars remains a mystery, but we currently have deeper insights into the planet than those historic travelers had of the New World they were hoping to find.

It is fascinating to watch the stuff of dreams and science fiction unfold before us.