Saturday, May 7, 2022

Unpublished Award Interview with Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas's manuscript, Part Time Crazy, is a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Best Unpublished Crime Novel 

I’m 62, a retired English and Philosophy teacher. When I’m not writing I’m curling with a bunch of

other old guys (in the winter) or canoeing and fishing on the French River (in the summer). I play the banjo and guitar, and do weird paintings with mis-tinted house paint. (I’ll attach a couple of images if I can figure it out). A long time ago I was a member of Canada’s national rowing team. I coached rowing and wrestling for almost thirty years.

The first pieces of writing I had published were two personal essays in the Globe and mail. I’ve had a bunch of sci fi and horror stories published in cheesy anthologies and magazines but haven’t fooled a major market yet. I like all types of crime and mystery writing, but my absolute favorite style is the mock-noir, like Richard Brautigan’s Dreaming of Babylon, Paul Tremblay’s The Little Sleep or Kinky Friedman’s Elvis, Jesus and Coca Cola.


This is the third time I’ve been short-listed for the unpublished novel award. I can’t remember how I first heard of the contest, but it was probably part of an email list for writers.

My manuscript features a brain-damaged amateur sleuth who steals a painting by Lawren Harris and solves two murders while cleaning up sleazy rental properties.


      My manuscript features a brain-damaged amateur sleuth 

who steals a painting by Lawren Harris and solves two murders

 while cleaning up sleazy rental properties.



There are no heroes or villains in my books (or the books I most enjoy). I’m inspired by Donald Westlake’s character, Dortmunder, who is a bank robber and jewel thief but also an anti-social loser. 

I wouldn’t dream of warning other authors about anything related to writing. But here’s a handy tip about pike fishing: remove all the barbs from your hooks or you’ll eventually have your own parking spot in front of the Parry Sound hospital emergency room.


Best of luck to 3-time shortlister Mark Thomas!

#CWC #CrimeWritersCanada #Dortmunder #ArtTheft #LawrenHarris #GroupOfSeven #heist #caper #Unpublished #AwardOfExcellence



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