Ever since my mom told me I was descended from Vikings, I've had a fascination for history. I've read hundreds of history books, watched countless historical movies, and earned an Honours BA from the University of Toronto with a Specialist in History and a Major in English. Even in my English program I focused more on the historical aspects of the language, learning to read Old English poetry such the the Battle of Maldon and translating Beowulf in its entirety.
After university, I spent the next few years working as a waiter. It was during this time that I first turned to writing in order to do something meaningful with my education. I wrote various short stories and even completed a full-length comedy-fantasy novel that was edited and re-edited countless times but has yet to be published. I also joined a writing group provided by my local library and began attending workshops to improve my writing skills. Professionally, I moved on to the corporate world where I worked both as a technical writer and then as a business analyst.
I have travelled extensively across Europe, visiting some of the most famous museums, castles, monuments and walled cities of the continent. Unfortunately, I never visited Rome, as I was kicked out of Italy for trying to bring some recently-purchased swords into the country. The story of the incident was turned into a travel article that was published by the Toronto Star and became my first paid piece of writing.
Over the years I have amassed a library full of history books and a small collection of medieval weapons. My wife is probably one of the few people alive who can claim that she was wounded by a halberd (a medieval pole-arm) as she required five stitches when one fell on her foot. I not only collect weapons, I also trained in their use. I spent three years learning Kendo, the Japanese art of sword fighting, and another two years learning to fence. I have also used both longbows and crossbows, built a miniature working trebuchet, knit my own shirt of mail, and earned a black belt in karate.
The idea for my series was conceived during a long car ride from Myrtle Beach. The inspiration came from the MG/YA books my kids were reading which I found romanticized or glossed over history. I wanted to write a series that would give young audiences a realistic portrayal of history but also provide an entertaining story that would engage the reader’s attention in a long-running arc. The biggest hurdle in the creation of the series was determining the rules for time travel. There was no sense in maintaining historical accuracy if the protagonists ended up creating all sorts of paradoxes and time loops. I currently live in the greater Toronto area with my wife Pam, our three children, Leah, Arawn, Calvin, and our mini-zoo of two dogs, two cats, a turtle, and some fish. In my spare time, when I'm not writing, I read history books, play guitar, watch basketball, or play volleyball. I am a member of the Royal Historical Society, the Historical Novel Society, the Writers Community of Durham Region, and various Facebook groups dedicated to history.