As the Holidays draw near yet another wonderful Canadian author is joining us today! Please give a warm welcome to an awesome author and a friend of mine Doug McLeod!
Douglas J. McLeod is an aspiring writer who lives in Ontario, Canada. His first two novels, Scarlet Siege and Barbadian Backlash, are part of a series based on a fictional aging Toronto detective, Gary Celdom’s case journals. He is an avid sports fan, and a confessed addict to a certain Canadian-chain of coffee and bake shops.
When did you start writing and why?
I’ve always had an interest in writing. The proverbial seed was planted back in elementary school when I was giving creative writing assignments. Back then, the mystery/detective genre always appealed to me. I even remember attempting to write a novel in my graduation year of high school; which was the first time I wrote about Detective Gary Celdom. I was inspired by reading a novel from Robert B. Parker’s ‘Spenser’ series. However, as my life changed, my main character went into hibernation until 2009 when participating in National Novel Writing Month gave me the opportunity to resurrect him, but with some modernized tweaks to his backstory.
If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?
Unfortunately, I’m a childless, single man. So, the parental query doesn’t really apply to me.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Currently, my favourite author is Jeff Lindsay, the author of the ‘Dexter’ series. It appeals to my original love for detective/investigative novels, but his main character is a vigilante with a homicidal streak. For some reason, I feel like I can identify with him because I’m the type of person who, at times, feels like he wants to avenge his friends for when they’ve been hurt or upset. I just don’t resort to actual violence like Dexter does.
I want to be able to provide entertaining stories that are both fictional, but with some hints to current events. One of Gary’s sore points is anything that has to do with the current local political landscape. Whether it might be budget cutbacks, or municipal councilors engaging in backroom dealings, I want to have my stories set in the here and now. That way it gives a bit of realism, but still retains a fictional quality.
Traditional or Self publishing? Why?
I’ve gone the self-publishing route for both of my novels. I felt it was easier in the long run because I have heard how difficult it is to be accepted by a publishing house. As a way to make sure my novels get out to the public, I prefer to utilize the self-publishing avenue. That way, I could be able to tell my stories to anyone who might be interested in reading them.
Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing
I have to admit, self-publishing has been quite an adventure. When you decide to “go at it alone”, per se, that’s what you basically are doing. You’re the one who responsible for getting the word out there that you have a story that’s waiting to be read. Fortunately, there are some good self-publishing houses out there that help walk you through the process from submitting your title, all the way to hitting the virtual store shelves. For myself, I opted for Createspace because of their sponsorship of National Novel Writing Month. However, there are others out there that are available. It’s best to look around and see which one is the right fit for you.
Tell us about your book (s)
As previously mentioned, my novels are about an aging Toronto detective, Gary Celdom, with 27 years of service. He’s had his share of ups and downs over his long career, and experiences some emotional and psychological drama because of that. The main focal point behind his personal issues stem from the assassination of his fiancée, Karen Prairie, on their wedding day two decades ago by a group of terrorists the two of them took down 25 years ago. Karen makes appearances in the modern day as a spiritual guise for not only the troubled detective, but for his current colleague/girlfriend, Detective Jessica Amerson. The series tackles not only modern-day crimes, as well as, flashbacks to previous cases Gary has worked on, but analyzes the relationship dynamics between his current and previous loves. The series has been described as Chandler blended with Chekhov.
What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?
The detective/mystery genre has appealed to me since grade school. As I stated before, it didn’t really get into full swing until I read a Robert B. Parker ‘Spenser’ novel in my Grade-12 English class. That started to get the ball rolling for me to attempt my first ever novel featuring Gary and Karen. Admittedly, it was rather cheesy, but as I grew older, and started reading more books in the genre, I was able to develop a better sense of the style, and adapt it to suit my main character’s storytelling technique.
Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?
I like to think Detective Gary Celdom is a likable character with his own share of flaws. Not only is he battling Father Time and his psychological issues, he struggles trying to adhere to proper procedures and protocol. Gary has a history of getting wounded from time-to-time on the occasional investigation, which earns him trips to the hospital to recuperate. However, there are times where he doesn’t go through the proper channels to apprehend the criminals he’s trying to arrest. Because of that, he has also been reprimanded and suspended on at least a couple of occasions; something he has been admonished for by his partner, his superior officer, and the ghostly spirit of his former fiancée. Yet, at the end of the day, he still gets the lowlifes causing havoc in the city behind bars. For that, he is commendable.
Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?
If there is a soundtrack for my novels, they are aligned to the musical trends of the era they’re set in, so basically, modern day Top 40 music. Although, Gary confesses that one of his favourite musicians is a certain Canadian songstress that “is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but currently calls Vancouver, British Columbia home.”
Thanks a mill Doug for joining us and taking the time to share your expeiences with us!
You can keep up with Mr. Doug on his blog. His books can be found on Amazon.com and the eBook versions on Amazon.com, kobobooks.com, and Smashwords!