For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features author Michael Luke. Born in England, he came to Canada at ten years of age and grew up in Montreal, on the banks of the Richelieu River. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, he worked as a researcher at a Montreal pharmaceutical company. Several years later, he moved, with his wife and newborn son, to a job with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Since this relocation, apart from two years in Victoria and two years in Deep River, Luke has lived in Pinawa.
As a teenager buying thirty-five cent paperbacks, Luke always fantasized about seeing his name on a book cover. When he retired, he decided to explore this dream and started writing. The self-published murder mysteries in his “Finding Cindy” series include: The Perfect Candidate, The Morning Light Conspiracy, The Murder House, The Final Chapter. He has also written two other books: Great Science Fiction Stories You’ve Never Read and Some Great Enterprise.
At present, Luke is working on a sequel, about the further exploits of his long-time protagonist, Colin Therman. Although he enjoys the discipline and imagination of writing, he cherishes the reader feedback most of all. He says, “I’ve learned things from readers about Colin Therman that I never knew! Recently, I received a note from a reader who said my books took him back in time to when he travelled along the original Highway 44.”
This follow-up book takes place years later, when the hero opens the last message from ex-cop Harry Cunningham, whose past clues helped Therman but also led him into perilous situations. Luke says, “Colin will now find himself about to embark on his most dangerous investigation yet, one that will expose a long dormant secret in the heart of the Whiteshell.”
While that story is gestating, Mike is also writing a series of short pieces set locally, two of them involving Colin Therman. One story describes a fatal accident involving pontoon boats. Or is it a murder? Another tells about a library cat who wants to disclose a crime taking place right under the noses of the staff. And there’s the story that asks what Game of Thrones fans may want to know – whatever happened to Drogon?
Luke encourages others with a story to get it into print or to go the eBook route. He says, “These days, for anyone interested, a range of helpful tools can assist in producing this kind of self-expression.”