About

About

Background

I was born in Orillia, Ontario and I have spent most of my life in and around the Orillia area. I grew up playing hockey in the winter and waterskiing in the summer. When I was a kid my goal in life was to play on the Leafs top line with Lanny McDonald and Darryl Sittler. My hockey career did allow me to travel the world and I was able to visit places that I probably would not have been able to see otherwise but unfortunately you won’t find my name listed in the Leafs’ player directory.

I graduated from Orillia District Collegiate in 1985 and then moved to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth College. After Dartmouth, I spent a year in England where I played hockey for the Whitley Bay Warriors of the British Ice Hockey League. I returned to Canada where I completed a history degree at Carleton University in Ottawa and my teaching degree at York University in Toronto. Twenty years ago I was hired by the Simcoe County District School Board and I have been teaching grade seven and eight ever since. I continue to hold out hope that the Leafs will realize that I am the right winger of their dreams but until they call I’ll keep teaching school and writing novels.

Hockey

I played my minor hockey in the Orillia Minor Hockey Association. When I was seventeen I made the local Junior ‘A’ team called the Orillia Travelways. We made it all the way to the national final where we lost the Centennial Cup (now called the RBC Cup) to Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
The next year I played Junior ‘B’ for the Barrie Colts. I never thought that a kid from Orillia could play for Barrie. The Barrie/Orillia rivalry makes a Leafs/Habs game look friendly and polite, but I had a great time and met a lot of terrific people.

I then moved to New Hampshire where I played right wing for Dartmouth College. I never did get to play with Darryl Sittler, but at Dartmouth I wore his number 27.

1986/87 was to be my last year of competitive hockey. Playing for the Whitley Bay Warriors of the British Ice Hockey League was a fantastic experience. It was the only year that I got to play with my older brother Jim. The British people love their hockey. Not quite as much as soccer, rugby or darts, but we did get to play on national television and that was pretty cool.

Summer

I have had a lifetime fascination with boats. One of the first books I ever read was Walter Lord’s classic about the Titanic called A Night To Remember. I’d love to write a novel about the Titanic but I think that topic has been pretty well covered by other writers.

When I was thirteen I got my first job slugging gas cans and water skis at Fern Resort. That summer I won the Ontario Water Ski Championships in ski jumping. I ended up spending the next fifteen summers teaching waterskiing at Fern. My love of the water and summertime comes through in The Hat Trick where I get to live out my boating fantasies by having Ricky Phillips own a couple of really sweet boats.

Other Stuff

I’ve been married to my best friend Janet for 22 years. We have three fantastic kids and a really friendly, yet slightly demented black lab named Maggie. I enjoy playing guitar but I can’t sing to save my life and I enjoy golf but I can’t stop slicing the ball to save my life. Basically my life is pretty simple. In the winter I teach and write and I still play hockey every Wednesday night with guys that I met playing Junior hockey all those years ago. In the summer I write and water ski, and golf. Life is good. Life would be better if the Leafs would make the playoffs. Life would be perfect if they’d win the Stanley Cup.