Monday, October 17, 2016


I'm never sure if anyone ever reads the Acknowledgements section at the end of my books (or any books) but I always try to make mine serve some kind of purpose. In Neil Flambé #5 I wrote an essay about what it takes to write a book.

In MINRS I tried to lay out my love for space. And in MINRS2, as promised, I elaborated on that. So, in case you haven't flipped to that page in the book yet, here is the text (with links).

Before getting to the space-themed thanks (which I promised at the end of MINRs) I need to thank my fellow authors on #AdvenTOUR 2015 – Margaret Peterson Haddix, Kevin Sands and Lisa McMann. Launching MINRs with them was an absolute pleasure… and I’m going to steal stuff from all of them for my future books.

We still meet up, when possible, for proper meals and great conversation…. and someday we might get KS to eat vegetables.

Okay, onto some more spaced-out thanks!

It was an omission in the original book to not recognize my debt to the late Walter M. Miller Jr. – author of amazing novels such as A Canticle for Leibowitz, and numerous great short stories about the moral choices humans will have to make as we head out to space.

I can still smell the musty aroma of the copy of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles that I discovered in my parent’s bookcase when I was 10.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye continue to inform and inspire me, just as Carl Sagan did when I was a kid.

To Christa Van Laerhoven of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Physics who kindly read my book and answered my (many) questions about exo-planets, goldilocks zones, and much more. The Dunlap Institute at UofT is an amazing group, and their Astronomy on Tap events are a blast!

Space: 1999 was another TV show that was hugely influential when I was a knee-high stargazer. I even made a model of the Eagle Transporter (which is sort of the idea for the transport ship in this book).  Then I melted holes in it with a hot pin to look like places where debris had pierced the hull. Good times.

Some more TV gold… Lost in Space, and The Jetsons. Hmmm.. I wonder if I’d spent less time watching TV and more time writing I might have actually been published before I was 30? Or, then again, maybe not. Inspiration comes from all over the place… so be open to it.

Silent Running was a movie I must have watched a thousand times as a kid… along with The Day the Earth Stood Still, Alien (which will get some cheeky nods in MINRs3), Blade Runner….

And can everyone please thank J.J. Abrams for cleansing the palate of the Star Wars prequels… The Force Awakens isn’t perfect, but it’s a great Star Wars flick.

To everyone who liked MINRs, and invited me to their schools or libraries (in person or over technology) to talk about it, a HUGE THANKS! The dedication at the front of this book is heartfelt.

And to the many booksellers who have welcomed me and hand-sold my books, I cannot say thanks enough. Special nod to Erin Grittani at Mabel’s Fables, an early champion on the book. I’ll buy you twenty $1 bottles of wine the next time we have a party. Also a nod to Evil Genius Lee Rosevere. His ethereal music was the soundtrack to writing this book.

Thanks to Ruta Rimas for edits that make the books better. Thanks again to Dominic Harmon who designed AN AWESOME cover and Sonia Chaghatzbanian who designed the whole package.

And copyeditor Kaitlin Severini, who picked over the book with a fine-toothed pencil.

And, of course, my books are always (I hope) about more than just adventure and space travel.

There are great organizations that are working today to make sure that mining practices in the future are better for everyone.

Kairos, for example. Check them out….

And, as always, it’s my family that’s the most important part of my life… and I kill off way fewer of them in this book than I did in the first one.

And that’s it for now. Look for more spaced-out thanks in MiNRs3.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book birthday for MINRS2!

Today's the day!
Hope you like it.
Here's my pic for Indigo's #ReadTheNorth campaign. (I usually pick other authors, but figured it would be ok to do a MINRS2 pic for today)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pre-order giveaway!

My book MINRS2 is out October 11th!

To celebrate I've cooked up a pre-order giveaway.

Pre-order MINRs2 before October 10th and I will send you a one-of-a-kind E-doodle. Like this...

Or this...

4x6 - Fit for printing and putting inside the book MINRS2.

All you have to do is send me the following at

1. Proof of purchase (screenshot of receipt or photocopy clearly showing the book name) 

2. How you would like the doodle personalized (i.e.: To Pat! To Jim! To Xenon!)

I'll email you the doodle. You can print it off and glue it in the book or whatever you'd like. It's yours!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MINRs2 trailer!

My MINRs2 (out Oct 11 from Simon and Schuster) trailer is up on YouTube

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It's going to be GREAT!

Monday, September 12th!
It's going to be GREAT!

It's going to be GREAT!

Monday, September 11th!
It's going to be GREAT!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

School visit time!

I love doing school visits, and the time is upon us to start booking! DETAILS HERE

The presentations are high-energy and involve all sorts of lessons that teachers can take back to the classroom - lessons on working hard, thinking creatively and how to draw better stuff!

The fall is filling up fast, but there are still plenty of dates for winter and 2017. I also do SKYPE visits, and have done presentations all across North America, and even China! Twice!

GREAT, my book with the Gretzky Foundation, is out in September.

MINRs2 will be out in October.