Writings

I have written eight books about the social history and colourful characters of Western Canada. They are:

Building a Province: 60 Alberta Lives. My first published book. Biographical sketches of 60 remarkable Albertans who helped make the province what it is today.

Alberta Originals: Stories of Albertans Who Made a Difference. More biographical sketches of remarkable Albertans.

Scoundrels and Scallywags: Characters from Alberta’s Past. Another collection of biographical sketches, this time focussing on the infamous and the notorious.

Boondoggles, Bonanzas and Other Alberta Stories. A collection of stories about erstwhile events, both good and bad, that have engaged the attention of Albertans over the years.

Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn & More. A collection of stories about various individuals who came to the Rocky Mountains to explore, climb, take photographs or make movies.

How the West was Written: The Life & Times of James H. Gray. The biography of a great Prairie social historian whose best-selling books included Red Lights on the Prairies and Booze.

The Good Steward: The Ernest C. Manning Story. The biography of the Alberta premier who served the longest (25 years) and oversaw the evolution of the province from a farming region into one of the western world’s most significant suppliers of oil and gas.

The Calgary Public Library: Inspiring Life Stories Since 1912. The official centennial history.

Additionally, I have written:

Leaving Dublin: Writing my Way from Ireland to Canada. My autobiography, published three years ago when I was 68. The story of how and why I gave up a well-paying job in the Irish civil service to establish a life for myself in a country where I had no friends and no family connections.

Songs of an Irish Poet: The Mary O’Leary Story. The biography of a 19th century Irish folk poet, with translated editions of all her known poems.

For more details on these books, including link to where they can be purchased, please click HERE.

My other main writing gig is doing a weekly arts column for the online journal Facts & Opinions. For capsule descriptions and excerpts, please click HERE.