Why Shakespeare & Company?

If you’re heading to Paris anytime soon, are you considering SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY for your itinerary?

Here’s some information on the iconic Parisian bookstore.

  1. The original bookstore was opened by American Sylvia Beach in 1919 and it was located at 8 rue Dupuytren.
  2. When a bigger more desirable building around the corner on 12 rue de l’Odeon became available, Ms. Beach moved her store to that location.
  3. Don’t be mistaken into thinking the present day store is one and the same with the one that Sylvia Beach ran…it is not. It is however, most definitely, an homage to that store.
  4. Sylvia Beach published James Joyce‘s Ulysses out of Shakespeare & Company. You can read about this and Ms. Beach’s life in Shakespeare & Company…a memoir she herself penned.
Ms. Beach penned a memoir about her store and the publication of Ulysses. It’s written in a simple and conversational tone and you may not fall in love with it. It has a very ‘and then this happened, and then this happened…’ feeling. She was offering the history.

If you would like to read Sylvia Beach’s story written as historical fiction (it is extremely accurate) in a captivating literary voice, pick up THE PARIS BOOKSELLER by Kerri Maher. It’s Sylvia’s story, well told.

The Paris Bookseller is an excellent read! A novel that perfectly encapsulates Sylvia Beach’s story…

Wait! There’s more. We’re not yet geographically close to the current day bookstore ALSO KNOWN AS Shakespeare & Company!

It was Sylvia Beach’s store over on rue de l’Odeon that had such literati in attendance as F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Ford Maddox Ford, James Joyce and others.

The original store was mentioned in Ernest Hemingway’s A MOVEABLE FEAST. He was quite touched at how quickly Ms. Beach welcomed him. She allowed him to enter the bookstore’s lending library before he paid the fee. You get the sense from his words that she took him under her wing. Her store actually served as a sort of post office for the expat writers who frequented it…a home away from home.

Beach was imprisoned by the Nazis during the war. In 1941, during the occupation, the store closed. When Beach was released, she was ill…and she never re-opened the store.

Ten years later, George Whitman, an American ex-serviceman and communist at heart opened the present day Shakespeare & Company location under the name of “Le Mistral”.

Le Mistral was a stomping ground for the next generation of writers…the BEAT and beyond. Everyone from Allen Ginsberg to Gregory Corso to William S. Burroughs haunted this new location in the shadow of Notre-Dame Cathedral…not yet named Shakespeare & Company. Also present were James Baldwin, Lawrence Durrell, George Plimpton, and many many more.

George Whitman modeled Le Mistral after Shakespeare & Company and it was with Ms. Beach’s blessing that he eventually changed the name of his bookstore to Shakespeare & Company. Though it’s believed the blessing happened in 1958, it wasn’t until after Beach’s death in 1964 that the name change became official.

Sylvia Whitman, George’s daughter, now runs the bookstore. She has found many ways to move Shakespeare & Company into the 21st century. Speaking of which, don’t miss the store’s podcast!

The current Shakespeare & Company has ‘housed’ writers throughout its existence. They still host writers to this day. If you visit the store, you might be served by one of these visiting writers…literary wanderers neither lost nor found. They even have a name. They are called TUMBLEWEEDS…for the way they tumble into the store and float around there.

The evolution of Shakespeare & Company…
The famous facade of the current incarnation of SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY on 37 rue de la Bûcherie…in the shadow of the cathedral.

Why visit Shakespeare & Company? It’s a literary landmark that connects Paris to North America like no other. J. R. R. Tolkien once said, “All those who wander are not lost.” If history (and the history of Shakespeare & Company) is any indication, all those writers who wander through Paris have found themselves, at one time or another, at one incarnation of this iconic bookstore or another. Either they visited Ms. Beach, or Mr. Whitman, or Ms. Whitman. And if you are literary-minded, you might want to wander in their footsteps. Between the three stores, there is so much history! Even this latest incarnation has an incredible amount of history.

There are many wonderful rooms upstairs at Shakespeare & Company, filled with old books, and desks, and lounges, and pianos, and cats.

For a full and comprehensive history of the bookstore, this book, A HISTORY OF THE RAG & BONE SHOP OF THE HEART, is a must-have TREASURE! It’s a biography of the store and it opens up to the reader like the store itself, with many nooks and crannies and surprises. It’s well worth the price of admission. DON’T FORGET TO GET THE STORE STAMP EMBOSSED IN YOUR BOOK PURCHASES!

If you’re a book geek, you will want to stop by Shakespeare. They have a first edition room, as well, if you are a collector. And in recent years, they even opened a cafe. If you’re literary minded, don’t ask WHY SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY? Ask WHY NOT?

It’s worth the line-up to immerse yourself in literary history…

The more you learn about its history, the more this magical maze of a store will appeal to you…and open up to you!



(Jump to OUR DAY OF THE DEAD IN THE CITY OF LIGHT to discover our itinerary of death in Paris!)

From the Ashes of Failure – Hope Springs Eternal

I have never been a hope-springs-eternal kind of person. Never. If anything, I learned early on that failure and despair were so much easier to attain than success that they might as well just be sought out in its place. Why climb a ladder, when you can just as easily scuttle your way sideways to the non-triumphant ending. The journey’s shorter and your hopes don’t get dashed along the way.

And once you begin that journey of expected failure, a rut begins to form in the ground beneath you. It constantly leads you down that same path. Until you figure out a way to crawl up out of it. Until you give yourself permission to succeed, permission to aim for success. Until you give yourself grace. You can only break that pattern–that rut–once you begin to believe in yourself and in failure’s opposite and your right to it.

Anyway. I find myself at the end of a two-year battle with a novel I had to eventually chuck away. I swear, I will never look back on it again. My first missed deadline, my first broken contract.

And because I found a way to crawl out of that rut I dug out for myself early on, I’m going to give it another go. I’m now, once again, at the beginning of something. Starting fresh.

New words. New story. I’m trying to ease my way in… to have a soft landing into this new world I’m creating. In truth, my hopes for it are almost non-existent. I took such a beating with this failed novel, that it’s almost like I can’t imagine myself writing another word ever again.

But, hope really does spring eternal. That’s why I dove in to this new project. I need to break the cycle. I need to believe that just because I failed once, it doesn’t mean I’ll fail again. I don’t want to stop writing. I love writing. It was the story I grew to hate, not the process. I took a story and tried to bend it to the will of the publisher who didn’t want it in the form in which I created it. To be clear, this wasn’t the publisher’s fault. They’re a great publisher. It’s my fault for turning my back on the story in order to get the contract. I tried to reinvent a story that did not want to be reinvented.

There are never any guarantees that state just because you begin a novel that you will see it through to its ending. Many a novels have crashed and burned before completion. Lesson learned. The hard way.

I guess I learn all my lessons the hard way. Not that I’m a fan of that process, it’s just what happens. It’s frustrating, but it’s who I am.

I scrapped the novel. It’s gone. Without a trace. And now I write this blog post to hold myself accountable to what comes next. To remind myself to keep going.

As the song goes…

“Nothing’s impossible I have found,For when my chin is on the ground,I pick myself up,Dust myself off,Start all over again.”
I opened a new MSWord file and I stepped into a new idea. It’s all new and glowing and nice and pretty. My job now is simply to stick with it, to see if it has legs enough to get to the finish line. I owe it to myself to try. I’ve had 2 years of fruitless struggle with the old manuscript. I took something that had legs and I cut them out from under it. This time, I will write what I want to write and no one will see it until (if) I write those two magical words at the bottom of the last page. THE END. Until then, I carry on. What was it that F Scott Fitzgerald said? So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” I don’t know about the past, but I will beat on…and after the struggle I had, my boat is definitely against the current!
Wish me luck!
The books that DID make it to the finish line (proof, for myself, that not all of my projects fail). Click the image below to find out more about them:


5 years ago today, I received the ORANGE BANNER treatment on Amazon for my brand new young adult novel PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE! For those who don’t know, the orange banner indicates BEST SELLER. You get it when your book hits #1!

Happy 5th Anniversary of being #1, book!

It was such a moment, writing Pride Must Be A Place! I remember where I was, who I was…everything about the experience! Such a pivotal moment. What a rush!

I wrote quite a lot of it at the 72hr Muskoka Novel Marathon during the summer of 2015. A week later, Michael and I spent a week at his sister’s cottage and I wrote the remainder of the novel. We would take long walks during the day and discuss the story-line. It was a magical time I still hold dear.

Whenever a writer thinks back on a book they wrote, it’s often that time in their life that they reflect on. It makes them either love or hate their book more…the book is like a litmus test to the time in which they wrote it. That’s the way it works for me, anyway. I LOVE this book! I still love the book because it immediately brings me back to that time when I wrote it!

Desk shot – Muskoka Novel Marathon.

Click THIS LINK to visit my post about how Pride Must Be A Place is tied in with Lorraine Segato of The Parachute Club.


Ezra Caine is gay. He’s sort of out at school but not at home, where he fears the wrath of his father’s bigotry. When Ezra’s flamboyantly out friend Alex Mills takes one too many beatings from homophobic bully Will Carter, Ezra finally snaps. Fed up with the situation at school, he decides to do something about it. With the help of his BFF, Nettie, and some unlikely allies, Ezra rallies to create their small-town school’s first gay-straight alliance. The Rainbow Alliance Club is formed. But the changes don’t come without hiccups, one of which being a messy scandal involving Alex and a gay hook-up app. As Ezra and his friends attempt to sway their school into an alliance of tolerance and acceptance, Ezra experiences a few surprises of his own on the home-front. He also learns the hard way that friendships out of convenience aren’t always a good idea, just as some enemies might not be as bad as he originally imagined them to be.

I know it won’t get to the ORANGE BANNER status again, but if you haven’t read PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE…consider picking it up today! It’s good!

AMAZON USA: Pride Must Be A Place

AMAZON CANADA: Pride Must Be A Place


There is Never Any End to Paris

Hemingway knew about Paris and how it infiltrates you, once you’ve been there. He understood the ever-present need one has to return there, like a salmon running upstream and fighting against the current to return, to return, to return…for Paris gets into you, and calls you back. For Paris is a moveable feast hard to ignore, hard to stay away from. Hard, even, to turn away from.

A Moveable Feast, a book I return to again and again…
My treasured copy of Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart purchased at Shakespeare & Company in October, 2021. My favourite book!

We are returning to the magical city! Our passage is booked. We will spend a little of our September (2023) walking the streets of Paris once again. Two weeks this time. We will see the places we’ve already seen and some we missed. We will venture daily from our hotel on the outskirts of Le Marais this time. Nothing against the 9th Arrondissement (where we stayed in 2021) or Île Saint-Louis in the 4th (where I stayed in 2014)! We loved staying so close to the Moulin Rouge and Boulevard de Clichy! And I really enjoyed staying down the street from Notre-Dame! But it will be nice to stay in a different neighbourhood…experience a different vibe yet again. Besides, the Saint-Louis is only a stone’s throw from the Marais!

But this is still months away. 225 days, to be exact. Not that I’m counting. But let’s just be honest…I’m counting.

Having just disembarked from Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas not quite two weeks ago, I am already counting down to our next adventure with a degree of desperation.

Many of our mornings and nights in October of 2021 were spent walking into and out of our neighbourhood…which meant crossing the Champs-Élysées repeatedly. Look! There’s the Arc!

As we map out our stay in Paris, I already worry about our itinerary. Will we see everything we want to see? Will we forget something only to remember it when we’re on the plane on the way home? Will we have enough time? I’m already experiencing FOMO!

On our last night in Paris in October, 2021, we ran up the street from our hotel for one last view of the Moulin Rouge. Our last selfie in Paris that year. (PS: The bus did not hit us!)

This trip’s itinerary will have a mix of overlapping items with the last trip, as well as a lot of new items. There are some things I want to see during every Paris trip. Some of the new ones will be Paris Disney and Mont-Saint-Michel. As well as a few other sights we missed. I’m dying to visit Montparnasse!

We have 2 walking tours booked with Emmanuel’s Hidden Gems (Link is for his Instagram…he can also be found on Facebook). We’ve heard so many good things about Emmanuel’s tours in the Paris Facebook groups we’re in. We have to try him! We booked Montmartre and Le Marais, two places I adore.

Also, though a picnic was on our itinerary for 2021, we didn’t quite make it. It is my goal to do it this time around. It was great fun with the Left Bank Writers Retreat in 2014! Maybe somewhere in or near Square du Vert-Galant! That is the goal, anyway! We’ll get a baguette, some cheese, a little wine…it’ll be magic!

There are so many museums in Paris, that we only saw a fraction of them during our last visit. We’ll hit a few that we missed and probably do one or two that we have already visited. It would take a month to see all of the Louvre. It is impossible to see it all in one visit. Also, what’s a trip to Paris without going to Shakespeare & Company?! I couldn’t imagine it! I also want to go to their new(ish) coffee shop next door. I don’t know why we didn’t think to go there on our last visit.

One of my favourite days in Paris in 2021 was our DAY OF THE DEAD! This turned out to be a thematic day filled with all things dead, from the Catacombes, to Père Lachaise Cemetery to the Panthéon. It would have been the perfect Paris day, had the booked tour through Père Lachaise been unceremoniously and without warning cancelled. We had to wander through that city of a cemetery on our own. We still managed to find a lot of the graves we wanted to visit, but without the tour we felt we did not do it justice. Hopefully, now that we’re further along in this forever-pandemic, the tour we book this time won’t be cancelled at the last minute. I want context with my stroll through the cemetery.

La Closerie des Lilas, a must when in Paris for me!

The list of restaurants is growing so quickly, I’m afraid we won’t have enough days to visit all the ones we wish to see. We will be narrowing it down in the coming weeks. One I like to return to is La Closerie des Lilas. It’s not incredible, but it has an incredible literary history. It draws me to it. Maybe just a cocktail next time? Maybe with an appetizer?

From my June 2014 trip with Left Bank Writers Retreat…new writer friend, Nina! Atop the Arc.

If we miss anything, I suppose we can always do it on our NEXT trip after this one. There will always be a next trip, right?! There is never any end to Paris!

Only 225 days to go. That seems like a lifetime when there are several inches of snow on the ground and a cold-snap is threatening to overwhelm us. The countdown is on…

Paris or bust!


I’m also an author. Pick up my short book 7 – Paris at Sunset and Into the Night, and Other Stories at Amazon. 7 short stories, some of which are set in Paris, for less than $1!




The Cruising Post I Didn’t Know I’d Write – Harmony of the Seas

It finally happened.

The cruise we booked for January, 2021, and was postponed again and again, finally happened. Now that the pandemic is eternal, I wasn’t sure the Royal Caribbean cruise we booked way back in 2020 would even come to pass. But it has. And much to my surprise, I loved it.

On January 7th, Michael and I boarded the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas for an 8 NIGHT cruise that would take us to Haiti, Aruba, and Curaçao. With three ports of call, this meant we were facing quite a few sea days. My fear of cruising has always been that I wouldn’t enjoy my time on the ship, or that I would get seasick, or that I wouldn’t be able to contain or satiate my desire to wander. It’s my tendency to wander that made the Camino walks so enticing. Walking from morning to late afternoon through one town after another in a seemingly endless stream of days? That’s my idea of a perfect holiday. Staying stationary on a moving ship? I wasn’t so sure.

My first port of call ever! Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, shortly after arriving in Labadee, Haiti, for a day of sun and beach fun.

Turns out there’s LOTS to do on a cruise ship. Also, when you’re with the right person of course you’re going to enjoy the experience. We had a blast! Michael and I cruised with his sister and her husband. Jenifer and Gary were great company!

Our route…

What I didn’t quite realize about cruising–though I suspected it–was that there are people who do nothing but cruise. Or at least people who have several or dozens of cruises under their belts. Even Michael has been on at least 20. I constantly overheard people aboard the ship talk of their many many cruises. I anticipated my first one with something bordering on dread, at first. But after watching a few YouTube videos, my dread was laced with a healthy thread of maybe. Eventually, this thread softened to a guarded anticipation. I could do this. I could cruise. I would have all the ports to look forward to. They would feed my desire to explore, to wander, to see foreign places. And the more videos I watched, the more I realized the wide and varied activities cruises had to offer.

We watched a great rendition of the musical Grease. As it was my first time cruising, I wasn’t aware it was the same show Michael watched back before the pandemic when he went on a family cruise on Harmony with his sisters. It was new and fresh to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

We watched a puzzling musical called Columbus. The comedy, at the beginning, fell lower than flat and it was so groan-worthy I found myself cringing when the audience neglected to laugh (or even smirk) as lines were delivered. (I say this as a sometimes playwright who has sat in the audience of their own comedic plays both while watching an audience in the throes of uproarious laughter, as well as audiences lost in the deadly silence of unfunny one-liners.) But it picked up a bit and the music was great. Over all, I enjoyed it despite its often-times lack of humour. Sometimes a comedic show cannot survive the fact that it’s simply not funny, but this one did. I think I eventually caved at the dancing sharks. It was endearing.

There was a stand-up comedy show one night. I enjoyed that, but opted out of the show on ice. Ice reminds me of winter, which I hate. Ice while on a cruise to escape winter? No.

We ate at the specialty restaurants on the ship and they were, to a one, exquisite. From the enchanted Wonderland Restaurant (fashioned as a sort of trip down the rabbit hole and into Alice’s Wonderland world of topsy-turvyness), to Jamie’s Italian, to Chops, to 150 Central Park, to Izumi and more, it was all good. Incredible food and great service. No complaints.

We discovered early on in the cruise that DUCKS were a thing. People hide little rubber ducks about. Lots of little rubber ducks. At first, it seemed I would find one wherever my eye wandered to. One after the other they appeared. Then we set out to purposefully find them, walking about the ship hunting for rubber ducks. I did not foresee this activity being something I would be doing during the cruise, but there we were. As we wandered about Central Park looking amongst the shrubbery, we discovered more hunters. They were obvious to spot, despite their attempts to blend in with other strolling cruisers. There was a hunger in the eyes of the duck hunters. Their desperate glances would linger too long in the bushes. They quickly gave themselves up.

Four of our bounty of found ducks. If you’re ever on a cruise ship, look inside the planters, and under cushions and benches and chairs. Look everywhere. You may find yourself a little duck of your own. (-:

It was late in the game when Michael finally found his first duck, but he soon gained traction. We came home with 14 ducks, and a desire to hide our own on the next cruise. And, yes, I said NEXT. As early as day 2, I found myself imagining that I could do this cruising thing again.

The ports were all amazing. I had been to Aruba before, but never to Haiti or Curaçao. The three ports were enough to satiate my need to see new places. I was especially enchanted with the brightly coloured houses of Curaçao. We took a little tour of some of the island and saw lovely street art there. Let’s face it, to even be in the sunlight in January is a magical thing for us Canadians. It was warm and bright and who could ask for anything more!

There’s LOTS to do on a cruise ship. Harmony of the Sea was no end of surprises and fun. I’d definitely sail with Royal Caribbean again.

On the promenade, you can find a robot bar. You order the drink on a smart pad and watch the robot arm put it together for you…
Harmony has both dry slides and water slides. This mammoth at the back of the ship, the Ultimate Abyss, is a 10-story dry slide. We plummeted down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour. It was over in seconds!
The Ultimate Abyss, as seen from the bottom of the ride. It drops you off right between Johnny Rockets and Sabor Taqueria. World’s best milkshakes to the left, unspeakably good Mexican food to the right!

Our little getaway beach in Labadee, Haiti:

Shots from Oranjestad, Aruba:

Shots from Willemstad, Curaçao:

And I know the world has been wondering…YES, Harmony of the Seas does, in fact, have a carousel! And, yes, we did go on it. Of course we did.

So, would I cruise again? YES. Absolutely!

While you’re here, check out my Amazon Author Page: Kevin Craig – Author

A Play in The Westchester Review!

It is time for the Winter 2022 edition of THE WESTCHESTER REVIEW! I’m so thrilled to announce that my play, THE HISTORY OF US, is featured in this issue!

First, a little background on the play. This was born in the library at Trafalgar Castle in Whitby, Ontario, Canada.

Trafalgar Castle (Whitby, Ontario, Canada). The castle was built by Nelson Gilbert Reynolds, Sheriff of Ontario County, as a private residence in 1859. Reynolds was named after Lord Nelson and named his castle Trafalgar in honour of the Battle of Trafalgar. The castle is now a private school for girls.

Every year (during March break while the school is closed), Driftwood Theatre has a 24-hour play creation festival within the castle. Here’s a rundown of the creation:

  • Playwrights enter the building
  • Each playwright is assigned pictures of their actor(s) and a room in which the play is to be performed
  • Each playwright spends the next 8 hours inside their rooms writing plays (They are to use only what is in the rooms…no additional props are allowed. They are also given a line they must insert somewhere in their individual plays)
  • In the morning, the playwrights go home (they write overnight for 8 hours) and the actors and directors arrive at the castle
  • Actors and directors rehearse the plays throughout the day
  • Evening – all plays are performed in their individual rooms to rotating audiences who each watch a performance of each play

I believe I was a playwright for this festival 7 times. I can’t even remember if that number is accurate. I wrote THE HISTORY OF US for Trafalgar24 2014. I was given the school library both to write and to set my play in. I was given pictures of the following two actors. So I was locked into the library with two pictures and I had 8 hours to create a play that would be performed 6 times the following evening to 6 full houses!

Adriano Sobretodo Jr.
Christopher Kelk

Knowing the works of these actors, I was IMMEDIATELY intimidated. I sat down and I got to work! I had to write SOMETHING worthy of these incredible actors!

THE HISTORY OF US is what came out. A ten minute play written in about an hour and then worried over for the next seven hours. I enacted it myself right there in the library…performing both roles over and over and over and over. Changing a word here, adding a word there, deleting a word there…until I was ready to let it go. From 10pm to 6am it was mine. After that, I had nothing more to do with it and I could only hope it was good enough to pass as a 10-minute play.

One of the many unmissable sights of Trafalgar Castle, Whitby…

That’s the history of The History of Us. Now, it appears in the WINTER ISSUE of THE WESTCHESTER REVIEW and I could not be happier about its coming into print! Here’s links where you can read the play. Click the image to go directly to THE WESTCHESTER REVIEW homepage:

Click the link below to go to the play itself:


(“Founded in 2007, The Westchester Review is dedicated to publishing the work of established and emerging writers.”)

Teen Book Talk – Relationships in Young Adult Books, Cristy Watson and Lyndi Allison

Fellow young adult author and friend, Lyndi Allison, has included The Camino Club in their recent discussion on RELATIONSHIPS in YA on their YouTube channel.

Lyndi discussed one of my favourite characters. Bastien is the elderly man my six teen characters stumble into (one of them–Diego–quite literally) on the Camino de Santiago as they make their way from Ponferrada, Spain to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

I’ve been thrilled by the way readers have embraced Bastien, a character I created to honour a Bastien-like character I myself met on my own pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.

Listen to Lyndi’s discussion with Cristy Watson on YA relationships at the YouTube like below. You can also check out their books!



Make sure to check out Lyndi Allison’s website too! Not only are they an author, but they also run a retreat in Panama! CLICK HERE TO VISIT TRANQUILO RETREAT or to learn more about Lyndi’s books.

Here’s some links to THE CAMINO CLUB:

THE CAMINO CLUB (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press) After getting in trouble with the law, six wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselor guides. When it becomes clear the long walk isn’t really all that much of an option, they set out on a journey that will either make or break who they are and who they are to become.

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | BookShop | Indigo-Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Interlude Press/Duet Books | WalMart USA | Target | Blackwell’s (UK) | Booktopia (Aus) | APPLE Books | Goodreads

Gene’s Jealousy – Why Do You Write?

I often wonder why writers write. What was it that brought you to the place of writing?

When I try to answer this question myself, so many moments in my early reading life come to mind. From Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. But I always rush forward in my reading trajectory to a boy on the outstretched limb of a tree, being caught off guard when his friend gives the branch the slightest jostle, sending him crashing to the ground beneath.

Looking back, I now see that moment of I WANT TO BE A WRITER forever entwined–entangled?–with Gene’s jealousy of the almighty perfect-in-every-way Phineas.

Though some of the themes in John Knowles’s of A Separate Peace hold no interest to me whatsoever (I always shy away from any story centered around war and sports are, well impenetrable and uninteresting), it is the relationship between these two main characters that enthralled me so much. From the first pages of this story, I could see what the writer was doing. It was as though I was locked into the story while at the same time capable of bearing witness to the scaffolding behind the story. The scaffolding, in this case, was a simmering jealousy that was effortlessly displayed by the author through the narrator’s gaze. This jealousy boiled throughout the story more powerfully than a screaming tea kettle. I was fascinated by the way the author was manipulating the reader. I wanted to do that. Such duplicity, and such a way of making me, the reader, feel solidarity simultaneously with both characters.

The way Gene, right from the beginning of the story, prayed for his best friend’s failure and comeuppance. And assumed–wrongly, because he was incapable of thinking in any way other than his own–that Finny felt the same way about him.

That relationship and the way it thrilled me as a young reader, that right there was what I wanted to capture as a writer. I savored that moment Gene realized Finny had not a scrap of jealousy for him…that Finny actually wished nothing but the best for him and was, in fact incapable of thinking mean things about him! That was such a sharp slap, such a quick burn to Gene’s psyche. The way Gene tried to fit Finny’s thinking into the way he himself thought was so telling! And that moment it all came crashing down and Gene realized he was just a mean person whereas Finny was incapable of meanness? It was such a fascinating look into friendships and the duplicitous simmerings that sometimes boiled just beneath the surface of them. By making the narrator, Gene, a small, arrogant, mean, and jealous person, John Knowles started me off on my path to wanting to be a writer.

What’s your Writer Origin Story? I know it’s never as simple as one thing. There’s always this leads to this, leads to this, leads to this, leads to this. It’s kind of like in Stephen King’s book The Tommyknockers. Remember? When Bobbi Anderson was walking with her dog, Peter, in the woods and one of her elderly hiking boots fetched up against something…fetched up hard? She thought it was a tree root until she saw a gleam of metal. Roughly three inches…just enough to trip over. Then she thought it might be a tin can. As she began to dig it out, her thoughts went to bigger and bigger possibilities. A piece of logging equipment? A car? If you read The Tommyknockers, then you know what Bobbi found was much much bigger than a car. Like a sliver of the world’s biggest iceberg, that three inches she tripped over was just the beginning of the colossus she would uncover.

What made you trip over writing? It’s hard to pinpoint that magical moment, but if you think about it, you’ll find it. I might answer differently on another day. I may dig a little deeper to unearth more and realize that it was not Gene’s jealousy and smallmindedness that made that final click with me. But today, that’s what I’ve uncovered. My origin story. Jealousy is as good a reason as any, I suppose. All the emotions fascinate writers, don’t they?


Find my books here: MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Where is My Ending – Where is Ethan Sinclair…

When we were young, it was such an easy fix to go from malaise to happy. “When your get up and go has got up and went…”

One merely had to reach for a hunk of cheese.

When you’re an old writer who just can’t seem to find their way anymore, there’s more to it. I’ve been trying for the past year to restart my writing life. It’s been all but dead, to be honest. I thought that reading all the right books would be the cure, but nope. I thought that reading my own works would help, but nope. I thought that sitting down and forcing myself to write would help, but nope. I thought that editing my work would help, but nope. I long for the days when everything would be fixed by a good ole hunk of cheese. Those were the days.

I have a deadline with my next (ALREADY CONTRACTED) novel. In truth, I’m over a year past my deadline. My publisher is being really supportive in even allowing me to still strive for a submission date sometime in the uncertain future. Charitable doesn’t begin to describe it. I have been struggling to figure out how to finish this book for 2 years. With no end in sight.

I keep going back to the beginning and editing my way through to figure out an escape, an ending. The struggle is REAL.

Where is Ethan Sinclair. That’s the name of the novel. I don’t f*cking know!? That’s the problem. Where is my ending?! I need an ending. This book is literally killing my desire to write. It’s STOPPING me from beginning other projects, thus completely murdering my writing path. I am now a writer who keeps circling back to the beginning of the novel that won’t tell me its ending.

How’s your writing life going? How about this pandemic?! Really not a good thing for creatives, is it?

Where is my ending?

I think I’ll go and eat some cheese…


If you want, you can pick up my latest book…I wrote it myself, back when I was a writer!


Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the book of dreams.

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books | Goodreads

And, hey, stay tuned…WHERE IS ETHAN SINCLAIR just might find a way to end itself. Watch for it (hopefully) in 2023…if there is a god.



It’s #IReadCanadianDay and, HEY, I’m CANADIAN!

Today’s the day! You can read my books today while participating in #IReadCanadianDay. LKF— I’m Canadian! Yes, some of my books are published in USA, but I assure you I am 100% Canadian. Born and raised in and around Toronto, I also spent as much of my childhood summers as was allowed in New Brunswick. Full on Canadian.

So make today the day you pick up one of my books!

Eight titles to choose from! In order of publication, they are, SUMMER ON FIRE, SEBASTIAN’S POET, THE REASONS, BURN BABY BURN BABY, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN, PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE, THE CAMINO CLUB, and most recently, BOOK OF DREAMS.

I will share my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE HERE. But you can purchase a few of these titles wherever books are sold. Easiest to get your hands on are THE CAMINO CLUB and BOOK OF DREAMS, which you can pick up wherever books are sold. I’ll add here that the ebook for THE CAMINO CLUB is currently on sale for just under or just over one dollar, depending on the country you shop from.

Guess what?! Americans can also participate in #IReadCanadian day! Here’s the American AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE. And if you’re in the UK, here’s the UK AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.


Read Canadian today! If not me, another Canadian author out there will also appreciate the read! Learn more about I READ CANADIAN DAY HERE. “I Read Canadian Day is a new nationwide initiative that celebrates the richness, diversity and breadth of Canadian literature. Taking place for the third year on November 2, 2022, this celebration will empower families, schools, libraries, bookstores and organizations to host activities and events by reading Canadian books for just fifteen minutes. For more information, visit ireadcanadian.ca/day and sign up for free to participate. Help get the word out on social media by following @IReadCanadian and using the hashtag #IReadCanadian.”