Archive for ‘Novels’

May 28, 2012

Listen to Chapter 2 of my new novel “Triumph the Lion” on CJSF Radio

african-lion

The lion that was one of the inspirations for “Triumph the Lion”. (Photo by Terry O’Neill)

I have just completed my new novel “Triumph the Lion,” a story about a South African safari ranger who documents the activities of a lion with a peculiar trait. Blu, the Toronto-raised ranger who works at a luxury lodge in Kruger Park, publishes a blog that makes the lion world famous with accounts of the animal’s feats. Children from around the globe visit the blog for the latest happenings in the lion’s life, while tourists come to Africa wanting a glimpse of the lion named Selrahc. Some visitors, however, arrive with sinister plans that have nothing to do with photographing this particular king of the jungle.

I have been reading excerpts from the book on KP Wee’s show “Smitten with the Written” on CJSF Radio (90.1 FM) in Vancouver. In a recent show, KP and I talked about sports writing, seeing that we are in the midst of the NHL Playoffs, and why sports make such an intriguing topic for both fiction writers and journalists.

Listen now to Excerpt 7 from “Triumph the Lion”:

Click here for Excerpt 7, which concludes Chapter 2 of the novel, after KP and I wrap up our hour-long talk on sports writing, both in fiction and journalism (click here for the first half of that interview).

Click on the links below to hear Excerpts 5 and 6.

Click here for Excerpt 5, which is after a 10-minute interview about character development in fiction.
Click here for Excerpt 6, which is more from Chapter 2 of the novel.

April 6, 2012

Excerpt from my new novel “Triumph the Lion” on CJSF Radio

In Chapter 2 of my new novel “Triumph the Lion,” the protagonist meets the story’s love interest, a photographer named Maria who has come to South Africa to document a lion with a peculiar trait. Blu, the Toronto-raised safari ranger, is immediately fascinated by Maria because of her beauty as well as the un-Canadian way she introduces herself.
I had the chance to read an excerpt from the book on KP Wee’s show “Smitten with the Written” on CJSF Radio (90.1 FM) in Vancouver last week. Prior to continuing with “Triumph the Lion,” KP and I talked about character development in fiction, and some techniques writers can incorporate to make sure they develop well-rounded protagonists, villains and supporting characters. Among the topics discussed are the use of inventive dialogue, the importance of conflict in storytelling and the necessity to employ action to reveal the truth about the characters you create.

Listen now to Excerpts 5 and 6 from “Triumph the Lion”:

Click here for Excerpt 5, which is after a 10-minute interview about character development in fiction.
Click here for Excerpt 6, which is more from Chapter 2 of the novel.

Click on the links below to hear Excerpts 3 and 4.

Click here for Excerpt 3, continuation of Chapter 2 (following interview)
Click here for Excerpt 4, also a continuation of Chapter 2

Chapter 1 and the first half of Chapter 2 are available here:

Click here for Part 1, Chapter 1 (following interview).
Click here for Part 2, start of Chapter 2.

January 25, 2012

More from “Triumph the Lion” — my new novel — on CJSF Radio

In “Triumph the Lion,” a Toronto-born safari ranger in South Africa makes a peculiar lion so famous tourists from around the world venture to the jungle to catch a glimpse of it. The lion becomes such an object of obsession, however, that some visitors arrive wanting much more than a photograph for their Facebook page. With a bounty suddenly on its head, the lion must struggle for survival while the man who made him a celebrity seeks to interfere with the plot to kill the animal. In his quest to do so, the ranger named Blu is joined by his African friend, Shamrock, and Maria, a visiting photographer from Canada who may be the one person in Kruger Park more interested in the man who made the lion a star than in the beast itself.

Click on the links below to hear Excerpts 3 and 4 from the novel, which were read on CJSF Radio (90.1 FM) in Vancouver last week. There’s a 10-minute interview with me that runs before the storytelling begins.

Click here for Excerpt 3, continuation of Chapter 2 (following interview)
Click here for Excerpt 4, also a continuation of Chapter 2

Chapter 1 and the first half of Chapter 2 are available here:

Click here for Part 1, Chapter 1 (following interview).
Click here for Part 2, start of Chapter 2.

January 1, 2012

My new novel, “Triumph the Lion,” on CJSF Radio

Thanks to host KP Wee of “Smitten with the Written” for the opportunity to read from “Triumph the Lion,” my new novel. You can hear it as part of an interview on CJSF Radio (90.1 FM) in Vancouver from a couple of weeks ago. KP and I discussed “50 Mission Cap” and how the ugly subject of sexual abuse by athletic coaches has turned up again in the news because of the scandals at Penn State and Syracuse universities. We also talked about travel writing and writing tips for emerging writers before I read the first few pages of “Triumph the Lion.”

Here are the links to the interview:

Click here for Part 1.
Click here for Part 2.

August 16, 2009

A Final and Lasting Solitude

[“A Final and Lasting Solitude” is a novel-in-progress]

PART I: AUGUST
Chapter One

Montreal. Winter waits in the distance and when it comes it will be harsh. For now, it is hot and this place has a ripeness to it. Young people teem about in gangs. They parade noisily, drunkenly down avenues and boulevards, through cobblestone streets. They pass places of worship and do not pause or quell their voices in reverence. They speak in French and English and in something called franglais, a perverse blend of the two. Many of them wear their Christian cross, and little else. Women, indeed, show much of themselves, without shame. They walk bare-bellied in the streets, their bosoms hanging out like bunched fruit, eyes skittering about uncontrollably when men pass. I have watched them as they ogle each other, these women and those men, the ones proud of their bare, pink chests and the clothes they have and choose not to wear.

It should not surprise me, this immodesty. I have seen it everywhere outside the confines of my home. I have seen it inside my home, seeping into the minds of the young, their impure thoughts propagating like vermin. For this reason, I willingly subject myself to these sights and to the presence of these people. There are many sacrifices to Allah, I understand, and toiling for Him here is but one. Besides, it will not be for long. A dawn approaches and I have been called upon. Humbly, I will do my part to see its rise.

August 11, 2008

50 Mission Cap

[Published in 2001 – read reviews]

Chapter One

The saviour was supposed to come in the form of a skinny kid from a town with a long French name. That’s what I had been told. After three seasons so miserable 2-1 defeats became bearable and shootout losses downright success stories, it was also what I needed to hear. Not only had the Kildare Kougars obtained a supreme talent, but we were going to win because of it. Make the playoffs, get on a roll, maybe even, you know, catch a break here or there, and, who knows after that, right?

Okay, so I was getting ahead of myself, but who wouldn’t have?

“Scott, things are going to be different now,” said the team’s new owners. “We can finally get this town a winner and you that scholarship.”

And there was more. No more month-long losing streaks, they had sold me. No more getting used to teammates only to see them traded away. No more disrespect. And I bought into it, all of it, no matter if it was true; it was the hope I was after. That’s what I told Grandpa Joe, and he understood. I knew he would. For both of us, the truth could wait. In tiny Kildare, Ontario, life, as my teammates and I knew it, was about to change.

The previous year we had won just ten of fifty-six games. Think of that: ten of fifty-six. So many players came and went, and the losing streaks dragged on so long that by the end of it I felt I had endured a career. Still, after three humiliating seasons as a Kougar, I returned for more; in uniform again, preparing for a new season. Lured back, with hope and promise as the bait, to that parochial little town in the heart of the Ottawa Valley.

But I felt conned when Dion Marcelle, the keeper of much of that promise, arrived at training camp. Swiftly, like a slap, the phenom managed to sully expectations before even one practice. He had no confidence, much less an aura of greatness. Tall and gangly, he kept his head hung low, hiding his pimply face, acting more like a nerd than a talent. On the ice, he would stumble when he tried to turn a corner and was so slow he barely stayed ahead of the fully equipped goaltenders, limited because they strained to contain their laughter. It wasn’t long before he began to pant, taking deep, heaving breaths and blowing out frosty air as if allergic to it. A supposedly speedy centre with a wicked shot, Marcelle had moved to Kildare with his family from rural Quebec because “of undisclosed personal reasons,” as the paper reported. The Kougars, believing the scouting reports that oozed with praise for him, immediately brought him in to foster change on our Junior A team that needed lots of it. Unfortunately, Marcelle displayed no traces of being a star, let alone a salve. After finishing my laps, I brushed my black hair out of my eyes, wiped sweat from my face and leaned against the boards, shaking my head at the sight of him lagging behind the other players, only a handful of whom showed signs of skill themselves. It wasn’t long before I had company.

In my daze, I didn’t notice Brendan Kowalczek, my best friend and our best player, gliding toward me. He was bent over with his stick resting across his knees until he whacked me on the shin with it: a hockey player’s hello.