Joseph Mackintosh

I spent most of my career teaching Economics in the Business faculty at Red River College. That’s where I joined with several colleagues to write an Economics Workbook, my first foray into the world of publishing. Through Prentice-Hall, our book was successfully distributed to colleges across Canada. I loved the writing and figured there were possibilities on the horizon for other stories.

My hobby and experience as a professional musician led to the first possibility. I had tape-recorded (yes, it was that long ago) several hours of conversations with old-time fiddler Andy Dejarlis in the 1970s. The tapes sat idling long after Andy’s passing until it dawned on me that here was a chance to put the story on paper. It resulted in my first biography – Andy DeJarlis, the life and music of an old-time fiddler – published by Great Plains Publications in 2010. I followed that with a story on local runner Chris McCubbins: Pan-Am Games gold medalist in the Steeplechase; Olympic competitor in the 10,000 metres; member of the elite US Army Pentathlon Team; University of Manitoba track coach; teacher; and former brother-in-law. The book – Chris McCubbins, Running the Distance – was published by J Gordon Shillingford Publishing in 2013.

My third book – Briar Cottage, My summers in a Town called Gimli – is due on the shelves in May 2022. It’s my story as a youngster spending summers at our cottage in Gimli, Manitoba published through Friesen Press.

The story is a memoir. It’s a slice of history—the story of Gimli, Manitoba—come to life.

There’s the mystique of rail travel; there’s rafting on the pond; there’s swimming at the harbour. There’s dancing to the Men of Note. There are bonfires and bull rushes and bicycling the town; the tastes of Central Bakery; the fun of pinball at Sam’s Café; and the vibes of the Falcon. This book is about adventures that define summer life in Gimli for a city lad. In addition, there’s the story of family and their struggles in the 1930s against a backdrop of happier times at the cottage.

It’s a story that will bring back memories of life in Gimli especially for those who have summered in the town or along the west-shore beaches of Lake Winnipeg.

Nancy Chislett

Nancy Chislett is an avid traveler, having visited almost 50 countries on six continents. She also plays classical music on piano and composes a little jazz. Career-wise, she has worked as a high school teacher and as a university administrator of an international student program. Bombing the Moon is her debut novel. Currently, she is working on her second novel. She lives in the eclectic city of Winnipeg with her partner, Grant, and dog, Simon.

About Bombing the Moon:

Release Date – April 22nd, 2022

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Avenue, 7 pm

At 24, Devin Rush’s future is unknown and his parents don’t support his dream of becoming a songwriter. Add to that North Korea’s nuclear threats, a corporate world of greed, and impending automation, Devin feels like the world is rigged against him.

Conflict boils at home. Devin is jobless and antagonistic. His parents, wondering if he’ll never man-up, fear he’ll depend on them for life. But when Devin’s grandfather gives him a one-way ticket to Nairobi, Kenya, Devin believes it’s his family that wants him gone. Outraged and seeing no alternative, he leaves, and is thrust into a world unlike any he’s ever seen.

Stunned by his sudden departure, Devin’s parents and sister are pushed further afield of the control they crave. Resentment and guilt nudge his parent’s marriage closer to collapse, and abandonment triggers his sister’s long-buried shame. When Nairobi’s election approaches and tensions erupt, Devin is faced with choices and consequences that are all too real. Bombing the Moon is a roller coaster ride that explores the promises and limitations of tough love.

Louella Lester

Louella Lester is a writer (flash fiction, flash-CNF, poetry) and amateur photographer in Winnipeg, Canada. Her work has appeared in a variety of places, including Grey Sparrow Journal, New Flash Fiction, Spelk, Reflex Fiction, Vallum, Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review, CBC News Manitoba Online, and in the anthologies Gush: menstrual manifestos for our times, (Frontenac House, 2018), A Girls Guide to Fly Fishing (Reflex Press, 2020), Wrong Way Go Back, (Pure Slush, 2020).

Her Flash-CNF book, a quirky look at all the jobs she’s done, Glass Bricks (At Bay Press) came out in late April 2021.

Please see her website for a longer list of journal publications.

Website – Through Camera & Pen – https://louellalester.blog

Instagram & Facebook – louellalester

Twitter – @louloubellish

Raye Anderson

Raye Anderson is a Scots Canadian who spent many enjoyable years running theatre schools and creative arts programs, in Winnipeg (notable at Prairie Theatre Exchange), in Ottawa and in Calgary. Her work has taken her across Canada, coast to coast and up north to Yellowknife and Churchill. She has also worked as far afield as the West Indies and her native Scotland.
Now she lives in the beautiful Interlake as part of a thriving arts community. She draws, paints and writes crime fiction. Her first book, And We Shall Have Snow, was published by Signature Editions in August, 2020. It is set in the Interlake in the depths of winter and was a finalist for the Best First Crime Book Award, Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence (what used to be the Arthur Ellis Awards). The second in the Roxanne Calloway series, And Then Is Heard No More, is set around a fictitious Winnipeg theatre and launches on June 18, 2021.  Available at McNally Robinson, the Whodunnit Mystery Bookstore and Tergesen’s in Gimli.

Rae St. Claire Bridgman

Rae St. Clair Bridgman is an award-winning Winnipeg author and illustrator of children’s books, including the acclaimed MiddleGate Books. She has a knack for finding the magical and extraordinary in the ordinary, in between the cracks of reality. Rae is a university professor, anthropologist, urban planner, co-director of an architectural design firm, mother of six. Favourite things to do in her spare time: watching ants, chasing crayfish, reading the dictionary, playing tuba, watching clouds, and inventing toys. Favourite sayings: “Often, secrets do not remain secrets for long.” “Things that disappear by themselves can come back by themselves.” “Problems can multiply like flies.” “The story certainly changes depending on the storyteller.”

Finalist, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award; Honourable Mention, Speculative Literature Foundation;
Nominated for Cybils Award, Fantasy and Science Fiction; Winner of a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (Bronze Medal, Pre-Teen Fiction – Fantasy)

Danie Botha

Danie Botha was born in Zambia and completer his school education and medical training in South Africa. He has called Canada home for the past 22 years and is still learning to speak proper Canadian. (It’s similar to English.) He has published three novels, a novella and a poetry collection. If he’s not working at the hospital or busy writing, ha can be found cycling, land paddling, and cross-country skiing in winter (if it’s not too bitterly cold).

Summary of Publications

Be Silent – novel, 2016
Be Good – novella, 2016
Maxime – novel, 2017
An Unfamiliar Kindness – novel, 2018
Two Bowls of Joy – poetry collection, 2019
Chicken Soup for the SoulAge is just a number, 2020

Social Media Sites

https://daniebothawriter.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/danie-botha-writer-166ab1ab/
https://www.instagram.com/daniebothawriter/

Bob Chrismas

Bob Chrismas, PhD, has written prolifically on justice issues, and recently trying his hand at fiction writing. Bob is a Staff Sergeant in his 31st year with the Winnipeg Police Service. He completed his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the U. of Winnipeg and U. of Manitoba in 2009 (distinction) and Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Peace and Conflict Studies at the U. of Manitoba in 2017. Bob was awarded the University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award for my doctoral research on modern-day slavery in Canada’s criminal sex industry.

Bob is married with four kids. His publications include numerous peer-reviewed book chapters, journal and magazine articles and books on justice related topics. His first book Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes (McGill-Queens University Press, 2013), is a widely used text on modern policing. Bob’s newest book, Sex Industry Slavery: Protecting Canada’s Youth (University of Toronto Press, 2020), provides a gut-wrenching account of sex trafficking in Canada and many tangible strategies and solutions. Bob co-edited Our Shared Future: Windows into Canada’s Reconciliation Journey (Lexington, Rowman and Littlefield, 2020).

Bob’s newest book, The River of Tears (DIO Press Inc., 2021) is a literary fiction novel about a missing person case, giving deep insights into sex trafficking and Indigenous-police relations in Canada. He is also writing a memoir of his three decades in Canadian policing. Learn more about Bob and his publications and speaking events at his webpage at bchrismas.com.

Books:
The River of Tears. New York: DIO Press Inc. (Bob Chrismas, 2021).
Sex Industry Slavery: Protecting Canada’s Youth. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press. (Bob Chrismas, 2020).
Our Shared Future: Windows into Canada’s Reconciliation Journey. New York: Lexington. (Laura Reimer & Bob Chrismas, 2020).
Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes. Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen’s University Press. (Bob Chrismas, 2013).

Modern day slavery and the sex industry: raising the voices of survivors and collaborators while confronting sex trafficking and exploitation in Manitoba, Canada (Dissertation, 2017)

I gratefully acknowledge that I live on Treaty 1 territory which is the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Susan Nicol

Susan Nicol has been a professional writer since she graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications (CreComm) program mentioned in her first novel, Sagas & Sea Smoke. After launching her career as a scriptwriter and production assistant for a syndicated TV show, she became one of the first women sportswriters to cover the WHA and NHL. After five years in radio as a copywriter and assistant producer, she became an ad agency creative director and marketing strategist for a couple of decades. In between, Susan scripted TV documentaries, wrote magazine features, and penned speeches for Canadian cabinet ministers. Then she returned for a year to RRC’s CreComm program to teach advertising and marketing. Now she has revived her first passion, storytelling, with a well-intentioned purpose: to intrigue, inform, and inspire.

Gaylene Dutchyshen Interview

Last fall, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild held a writing contest with the theme of Halloween. Our winner was Gaylene Dutchyshen. Her bio and winning story were featured in one of our recent newsletters. She will be our guest at next month’s Book Chat, March 10, 2021 at 7 pm, if you would like to hear her read her from her work. Email the Guild (manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com) to receive the Zoom instructions.

In addition to publishing her story and bio, we arranged for her to be interviewed by Danielle Somack. Here is an introduction to Danielle,  Gaylene and their interview:

My name is Danielle Somack and I’m an emerging writer and high school student residing in rural Manitoba. As a mentee of Creative Manitoba’s 2020-21 Rural Youth Mentorship program, I started to explore writing from different angles and perspectives. My mentor, Anita Daher, has given me the opportunity to meet many amazing and talented local authors at the monthly Book Jam we cohost together on Zoom. I am very keen on expanding my skills and learning about other writer’s creative pursuits and the stories that move them, whether through a conversation or by interviewing Manitoba authors with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild.
– Danielle

Gaylene Dutchyshen loves a good mystery. Born in Dauphin and raised in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, Gaylene takes inspiration from the solitude of the prairies and her fascination with the inner workings of the mind to create compelling characters with hidden pasts and family secrets.

Before publishing her first novel, A Strange Kind of Comfort, in 2020, Gaylene had written a short story for a University of Manitoba creative writing course in 2008, titled Dream Job, a haunting, gothic tale that recently won her first place in the Manitoba Writer’s Guild Halloween Short Story Contest.

 

Danielle Somack: What do you want readers to take away from Dream Job?

Gaylene Dutchyshen: I wanted to portray the power of the mind and show how what we think/feel/experience during the day is expressed in our dreams. The two main characters are drawn to each other by a mutual experience, night terrors, and I wanted the reader to identify and sympathize with each of them. Cate’s mother is aloof and Jamie senses that Cate is neglected. Jamie’s father is judgmental and Jamie’s night terrors recur when she is stressed. Sam Talbot is a “villain” only in Jamie’s and Cate’s imaginations, yet they are compelled to silence him. I wanted to create a sense of danger in a place where patients should feel protected and safe. In protecting Cate from a perceived danger, Jamie acts on her unconscious fears with unintended consequences for Sam. Instead of a vampire (supernatural) or serial killer, I wanted to create unease in my readers by fashioning killers that would be perceived as harmless. If a reader is left unsettled by the end of the story, then I achieved what I set out to do.

DS: What is the inspiration behind your story?

GD: I actually wrote the story in 2008 when I was taking an Advanced Creative writing course at the U of M. At the start of the first semester, we were writing our short stories anonymously so, to disguise myself, I wrote each story in a different voice/genre. Dream Job was my horror/gothic tale. A few weeks before I wrote this story, I had a sleep study at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, and it struck me as a creepy experience. I arrived after dark, parked in a nearly empty parking garage. It was quiet and nearly deserted on the floor where I was hooked up with cords. I knew I would be watched and monitored as I slept. It made me wonder about the sleep technician and her job and what she thought about all night as she watches people sleep. She’s always on a night shift, having to stay mostly silent while she works, with very little interaction with the sleep study patients or her co-workers. The patients are completely vulnerable. It seemed a good premise and setting for a spooky story.

DS: You mentioned in your bio that you’re a bit of a bookworm. What do you look for in a good book?

GD: I like books about families and secrets; which is why I write such novels myself. I like knowing what makes a character “tick”, so I tend to like stories where the main character’s childhood is revealed, and we learn what shaped them. Characters must be compelling and multi-faceted. I also prefer books where I “see” physical details. A truly beautiful description or metaphor always pulls me into the author’s world. Suspense keeps me turning the pages, even if it’s a novel about ordinary people in everyday situations.

DS: You also mentioned that you love to travel with your husband Wayne (in non-COVID times). How have these travels influenced your writing?

GD: So far, I’ve been drawn to write about the Manitoba rural community. It is the prairies and the people who populate small rural towns that I know best. Travel does broaden one’s perspective, though. Seeing other cultures and different styles of living expands the mind and creates curiosity about and empathy for others, which is important for a writer. I’d like to include a European destination in my writing one day.

DS: When you’re not writing, what do you spend your time doing?

GD: I am still actively involved in our farm operation, so I’m busier in the spring, summer and autumn. I am the farm accountant and operate a combine during the harvest season. Besides traveling, I love gardening and have designed two beautiful flower gardens with ponds and waterfalls on the properties where we’ve lived. I’m a visual person, which is reflected in my writing, and it’s my passion to create beauty in my surroundings. I like biking and we enjoyed exploring more of Manitoba this summer. Like every grandmother, I cherish time with our grandchildren. Our 8- and 10-year old grandkids and I had a blast making a movie—Covid Catastrophe starring Superkids vs the Coronavirus—this spring when school was out (they wrote the script, found the costumes, designed the credits, etc) so creative activities are also on the list of things to do at our house.

Thanks to both Danielle and Gaylene for their insight into a writer’s life. There is still time to send in submissions to our Bloody Valentine writing contest (deadline: February 19th, 2021). Check out our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/manitobawritersguild) for details.

 

Maureen Fergus

Maureen Fergus is an award-winning author of books for kids of all ages. Her books have been translated into almost a dozen languages, optioned for television and shortlisted for such prestigious awards as the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award, the Joan Betty Struchner … Read more

Jess Landry

From the day she was born, Jess Landry has always been attracted to the darker things in life. Her fondest childhood memories include getting nightmares from the Goosebumps books, watching The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and reiterating to her parents that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her mental state. When not writing, she works as Managing Editor for … Read more

Mitchell Toews

Mitchell Toews lives and writes lakeside. When an insufficient number of, “We are pleased to inform you…” emails are on hand, he finds alternative joy in the windy intermingling between the top of the water and the bottom of the sky or skates on the ice until he can no longer see the cabin.   … Read more