My teaching colleague Carey Gallagher considers my novels "a whole new genre of geographical fiction" combining exciting travel, internationalism, and activism amongst young teenagers trying to find their way in the world – novels that truly reflect the adage:
"Books open windows to the world and have the power to transform lives."
I've always needed a creative outlet – something for the right brain to do to balance out the daily analytical and methodical needs of day-to-day teaching. For decades, it has been photography, but over the past few years, with more and more stories taking shape, my creative outlet has become writing novels. It started as a means for processing all the great adventures I've had while travelling and living overseas. Paragraphs became chapters, chapters became a book, and my books have become a series:
The Adventures of Jack MacAllistar
Jack is a normal-ish young teenager, with nature-nut parents, yearning for something a little more adventurous than car camping. He wats to be his own person, forging his way into and through a world very different from what his parents experienced
Book 1: Galápagos!
Galápagos! chronicles the exploits of Jack and his best friend Erik, as they experience all that The Enchanted Isles have to offer.
"Jack MacAllistar is always on the sidelines. He yearns for something more exciting than his suburban life with his slightly nerdy, nature-nut parents. So, when twelve-year-old Jack and his best friend Erik find themselves in the Galápagos Islands, his wish for excitement propels them into unexpected adventures that push them to the max. Cornered by humongous sea lions, snorkelling with sharks and penguins, surviving a volcanic eruption, then being marooned on a deserted beach only to stumble upon a discovery that will set the archaeological world alight – can Jack possible handle all that is being thrown at him at once?"
Want to read more? Contact me!
Book 2: Home Fires
In the second book in the series, tentatively entitled Home Fires, Jack and his friends become activists against what they see as adults ruining their future through inaction.
"Jack MacAllister never in a million years expected to become an activist. His new and revealing experiences last summer in the Galápagos Islands with his best friend Erik, awoke their combined desire to make a difference in the world. "We’re too young to vote, but not too young to shame!" becomes the rallying cry of their small group of globally-minded, thirteen-year-old friends who launch a series of school strikes while encouraging Jack and Erik in their Our Global Future online campaign. But, it’s not without significant challenges from school administration, the mayor, parents, reporters and classmates they once counted amongst their friends. As they forge their way between social norms and democratic rights, the value of friendship is tested when they face a backlash against everything they fervently believe. Jack and Erik also encounter life-threatening experiences while winter camping in Killarney, only to have Jack’s life completely turned upside down when his parents announce they’re moving to Africa."
Want to find out what happens? Contact me!
Book 3: Safari ya Tanzania!
Jack is forced to leave his life behind and move with his parents to Tanzania, East Africa. While the move brings new friends and many daring adventures at school and on safari, Jack must also learn to navigate the minefield of teenage relationships.
Welcome to Jack’s excitingly adventurous, tumultuously changing world! Having left behind their comfortable, predictable life in suburban, small-city Canada, fourteen-year-old Jack MacAllistar and his family are beginning a whole new life in the uncertain maelstrom of a developing nation, Tanzania, in East Africa. Upon arriving, they quickly learn that nothing is quite as they expected. From the wonderful serendipity of safari adventures to ants swarming their house, they soon discover the contrasting bright side and dark side of living overseas, where ‘everyday is an adventure’. Part of that excitement is meeting new friends like James, a Tanzanian boy on campus; Harry, a British bloke from another school; and the Danish twins, Lea and Mia. Imagine navigating the confusing labyrinth of young teen relationships, a new school and a country with very different standards and expectations. But, along with the beauty of the tropics, the wonderful people and spectacular wildlife and landscapes, Jack learns that poverty is rampant, as is corruption, poaching and smuggling. In fact, from the moment he meets the Deputy Head of his new school, Mr Bourini, Jack knows something is up, and he and his friends must find the courage and cunning to get to the bottom of it, despite the dangers.
Book 4: Title TBD
Jack's encounters with poachers just about finishes him off. He and his friends get tangled up in crimes that are too deadly for fifteen-year-olds. Can they persevere through this web of deceit and maintain their friendships?
New Book! tentatively entitled Portals.
In the creepiest, dustiest corner of the basement, Dom discovers a long-forgotten box that holds secrets far too real, far too exciting, and far too adventurous to believe.
Stuffed with old papers and trinkets, Dom is mystified, and the discovery of a hidden inscription on the inside of the lid doesn't seem to help:
Voices past, forever dead.
Alive they speak
With trinkets soiled.
Through portals quest,
The truth itself will be revealed.
What could this possibly mean? And what's with all these dusty, old trinkets?
Can't wait to find out? Contact me!