On The Loose From Genre Captivity
Yada, yada. What’s the fuss this guy’s making about breaking free of genre? Ok, who else writes a courtroom drama that morphs into a horror/thriller when a vampire goes on trial?
Then there’s a celebrity cook that uses his gifted nose to create spectacular dishes by day and by night sniffs down evil doers.’
Completed and in the pitch phase is a sci-fi thriller of a girl who meets three of her future selves and finds out that at least one of them is lying to her.
In the pipeline, I have a sci-fi space invasion story where aliens buy off Earthers with pizza (at least for starters).
Then there’s one that’s bizarre even for me, a novella/screenplay I’ve titled, Hoofers, where a dance troupe takes on alien creatures.
Here’s more about my books that are available now.
Vampire On Trial
The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 1
Police catch a vampire-like creature who’s been snacking on Toronto citizens. Down-on-his luck lawyer Al Hamblyn gets tagged to defend Dragul Mangorian. All the usual defenders come down with the flu at the sight of the six foot, six man-thing with the complexion of corpse, glowing yellow eyes and razor-sharp claws and fangs. In a world where Donald Trump can be president, the accused’s popularity soars as the ultimate bad boy, grabbing headlines around the world and attracting millions of social media followers. Hamblyn gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redeem his career and win back the love of his life. But first he has to overcome his fears to mount a winning defense for a creature that’s walked out of a nightmare.
“Original, well-written and just a lot of fun”
“Completely new take on vampires”
“Creative and seamless”
“Completely unsuspected twist”
Behind the Vampire-Werewolf Wars
The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 2
More details of the dark past of Dragul Mangorian and the Homo Sanguinus come to light in this sequel to Late Bite. News of the arrest of “a real vampire” in Toronto awakens an ancient and terrifying enemy, the Lycanthrope Clan.
The Lycans are a special breed of humans whose mastery of technology, animalistic ferocity and alliance with wolves saved mankind from enslavement by the Homo Sanguinus 30,000 years ago. The Lycans vanquished the Blood Eaters and believed them to be extinct. They now prepare to complete their mission through Mangorian’s death.
Meanwhile, Mangorian agrees to work with scientists who want to unlock secrets held in his genome. He’s 208 years old and is immune to cancer and blood borne pathogens. In exchange, Mangorian wants genetic and fertility support to revive his species. He’s ecstatic when he discovers Skyla, a First Nations beauty, whose one-in-a-billion genome makes it possible for her to become the Eve to his kind.
The rich and powerful Lycans place former playboy Tim Gracey and the deadly Rita in charge of murderous forces to keep Mangorian and Sklya from mating at all costs.
Lycanthrope Rising is a banquet of genres: horror, medical-techno mystery, action-adventure, reimagined history, political satire, cringe romance, and 100 per cent fast-paced thriller.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Were-Folk do get it on but this is NOT a sparkly Vampire Romance, anything but. Be Warned.
“Turns Vamp/werewolf convention …on its head”
“Cringe humour and plenty of gut-wrenching twists”
“Always seems to take [Vampires & Werewolves] to another level”
“Another side of Mangorian I truly didn’t see coming”
The Scent of Terrorism
A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller, Book 1
Nathan Sherlock is a rich and famous celebrity chef and wine expert who’s known around the world as Nate The Nose. His incredible sense of smell helps him create dining experiences that defy description. That ability has given him and best friend / business partner Bonnie the perfect life until Homeland Security discovers Nate can sniff out murder and mayhem.
“Haven’t had this much fun with antigravity in… um… EVER!”
“Overflowing with fresh ideas”
“A mind-boggling narrative”
“[Nate The Nose] A great and lasting character”
How did I end up writing genre-blurring mashup novels?
As a kid I’d demand four scoops of ice cream, mashing blueberry ripple with moose tracks and stacking on a dollop of pistachio before topping it off with a mound of orange sherbert. “Get real,” said scoop wielder #50. Inevitably, I settled for three scoops, the maximum gravity allowed.
My high school guidance counsellor stared blankly at my chart – you know the one that’s supposed to put you on the right career path. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, or their choices: teacher, scientist, bean counter, cop, sanitation engineer, astronaut, NFL quarterback.
The chart depicted me as a tiny dot in the centre. Based on my answers to a lengthy questionnaire, my dot was to fire lines in the direction of my interests, ergo a pathway to career success. The only trouble was, there was no pathway, not even a farm field-wide bulge tilting to the arts or the sciences or manual labour.
The counsellor turned the chart for me to see, and something like a supernova appeared to explode equally in all directions.
Cool, I thought.
Not cool, suggested the grimace on the guidance counsellor’s face. She gave me a look that expressed a preference not to be the bearer of this bad news to my parents: Another unfocused lamb heading to the work-a-day meatgrinder.
As luck would have it, my third choice of career after astronaut [marks and dedication lacking] and engineering [shadowing session proved a bore], placed me, without any memory of me registering for it, on a tour of a big Toronto newspaper.
Wizened geezers sucked on another link in a chain of cigarettes. Their younger brethren ran about the newsroom. Everyone shouted. A dozen ‘yeah-yeahed’ on phones. My designated mentor, a codger who hammered the keyboard with the index finger of each hand, offered some advice. “Don’t get into this business. It’s a boneyard of broken dreams.”
I was sold.
Did my J-school stint followed by 20 years of writing about crime, courts, education, business, and entertainment. I covered blizzards, tornadoes, shootouts, the birth of the Internet. I interviewed the great, near great and just plain grating. To me, I was paid to have fun. The blur of assignments following the Pope one day and, on another, standing on tip toes (and a bench) to look Sir Edmund Hillary in the eye was the perfect career for someone blessed with undiagnosed ADHD.
Then came the Internet. The mainstream media reported on it and used it, but missed its point entirely. That’s when the party ended. Simultaneously, we heard of Google workers playing ping-pong and breakdancing during work hours and cashing huge paycheques. Lesson learned too late: when there’s a knowledge/power transfer, fun and money hitch a ride.
All of this is a long explanation for my predisposition to non-formula, whacked story plots and bizarre characters including a joke-cracking vampirish [Late Bite] dude, Dragul Mangorian, who becomes a social media darling and the star of his own late night TV show. What can I say? My reVamped MC gets millions of followers as the ultimate bad boy.
Next came Gravity Games where a half-dozen ideas floated across as many genres introduced my MC, Nate the Nose. Nate’s super sense of smell makes him an unparalleled chef and ace terrorist hunter. The recipe includes foodie elements, international intrigue, business twists, superheroes, sci-fi, mad scientists, horror, and a few laughs. One reviewer said he was pleasantly surprised the plot and characters worked. He half expected something like the Expendables vs Sharknado with walk-ons by the cast of Cheers and Stan Lee.
My third novel, Lycanthrope Rising, picks up after Late Bite but is a stand-alone work. From reader feedback, I found that while Lycanthrope has everything necessary to understand the storyline, not as much of Dragul Mangorian’s complex character is repeated. The result? Those who read Late Bite love Lycanthrope Rising. Many who read only Lycanthrope Rising find Mangorian too black & white & red.