WHO AM I?
D.G. Valdron: I’m a wayward Maritimer (that’s the term for a person from the atlantic Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island), born on the north shore of New Brunswick, in a pulp and paper town called Dalhousie. Currently a denizen of the Canadian prairie.
My dad was a mechanic, my grandfather was a carpenter, and between the two of them, it left me an arsenal of skills, a work ethic, and a practical approach to life.
Dad worked two jobs actually. He was a papermaker at the mill, so was my grandfather, and so was my brother, so that was at least three generations of us. He also had a tireless energy, on top of working at the mill, and being a mechanic with his own garage, we ran a car wash, a motel, a drive-in theatre, a lot of small businesses. Growing up, we did everything and worked on everything from construction, to running cement, doing carpentry, and working on cars. We raised chickens. There was always something to do. We were all involved, the whole extended family.
The drive in was a big one though. I spent the summers of my youth working at a drive in theatre, which has left me with a lifelong appreciation for B-movies and pop culture. That and watching old carry-on movies, and older horror movies on Shock Theatre, late at nights when I was sleeping at the garage.
I was a little smarter than average, so that got me into University. It was a revelation, and I decided to spend the rest of my life there. I wanted to be a student forever, surrounded by books and ideas. I got into campus journalism, and began to experiment with being a writer, it was a heady time. I kept collecting degrees. But unfortunately that eventually wore thin so I decided to see what the rest of the world was like.
I’ve had the usual assortment of quirky writers jobs, mechanic, carpenter, projectionist, cook, waiter, woodcutter ditch-digger, journalist and school teacher. These days I’m a lawyer working in the field of aboriginal rights, I’ve been doing that for a while, I’m good at it, and I like to think I make a difference.
Let’s face it, anyone who wants a career in the arts needs to have a day job to pay the bills. And I’m trying to write a bit here and there.
I think I’ve been a writer my whole life, even when I wasn’t writing.
ON BEING A WRITER
My earliest memory is dragging my brother, in his high chair, over to a blackboard so I could draw Batman adventures for him. I couldn’t even write in those days, but even back then, I knew I wanted to tell stories. No matter where I’ve gone, what I’ve done, that storyteller has always been in me, struggling to get out.
I published my first story when I was thirteen. Just like Ray Bradbury. Actually, I published two of them. So Bradbury can suck it.
But I don’t think I decided to get serious about writing until my grandfather passed away. I’d dabbled with fiction before then, writing short stories and novels, most of which are deservedly lost. After he died… I dunno. I think I had to ask who I was and what I wanted to do with life.
I decided to write short stories…. Lots of them. I still do, now and then, now that I think of it. I’ve been published in Interzone in England; On-Spec, Parsec, Transversions, Bardic Ruins, Northern Fusion in Canada, Daikaju in Australia; a lot of small magazines in the United States, I had stories translated into Russian and French. I published two collections of chapbooks – Lite Fancies and Dark Icons. I got a half dozen honourable mentions in Years Best Anthologies, and Ellen Datlow gave my Chapbooks a nice mention in her round up one year.
WHAT DO I WRITE?
I have a novel out through Five Rivers, out of Ontario, called The Mermaid’s Tale, shortlisted for the Kevin Van Rooy Genre Fiction Award (I didn’t win) (I’m still not sure who Kevin Van Rooy was, but was nice to have been considered) the reviews seem to be 90% terrific, 10% horrified, and a lot of people have said a lot of nice things about it. It warms my heart.
I also have a short novel or novella called The Bear Cavalry: A (Not) True History of the Icelandic Bears. It’s a kind of free form thing, written as a Morgan Spurlock documentary.
There’s a prequel to The Mermaid’s Tale called The Luck, which comes out in August 1, 2020, which should be even more so. My publisher calls the series ‘Tales of the Nameless.’
And I have another novel about two giant monsters laying waste to Korea, coming through Wild Hunt Press, called Pulgasari versus Yongary. Or vice versa. That should be out this year, 2020, hopefully.
I have a couple of collections of horror stories – Dawn of Cthulhu is out, followed by Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs. A third volume – There Are No Doors in Dark Places should be out in 2020. We’ll see how those do. I’ve got a lot of stories waiting in line.
Ever hear of LEXX? Canadian sci fi show about a giant bug that goes around blowing up planets, and it’s crew, a cowardly security guard, an undead assassin, a shape changing love slave and a demented robot head. It’s wonderfully surreal and subversive, and the story of its creation is even more demented. The creator of the series, Paul Donovan, once invited me to write the book for the show. That fell through, eventually I wrote the book I wanted to write. Now, I’m releasing it as a four book chronicle – the first volume is out, the second will be out soon. LEXX Unauthorized, Volumes One and Two.
The Greatest Unauthorized Doctor Stories, Volumes One and Two. Did I tell you I loved weird obscure sci fi? Well, obviously that makes me a Doctor Who fan, and a while back I discovered fan films. Basically, these are unauthorized productions – Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Superheroes, you name it – made by fans and amateurs. Literally, these people are creating their own versions, making films they’ll never make money from, just for the sheer love of doing it. I think that’s something to be admired. I started watching Doctor Who fan films in particular, and the best ones were absolutely amazing. But they were also hard to find, and hard to separate out. So I’ve written a couple of books, which are now online. I’m actually continuing to research and revise so I’ll probably release a re-mastered trilogy, chock full of crunchy goodness.
Speaking of Doctor Who, I’ve got a freebee – The New Doctor, A Doctor Who Alternate History Story. It’s a kind of metafictional, free form novel, available on Wattpad, about a small group of producers who try their hands at making a low budget sci fi television series, and find themselves running ahead of the tidal wave.
And if you’re into Edgar Rice Burroughs, I also have another free online novel – A Burroughs pastiche called Torakar of Mars, originally titled Lesbians of Mars.
There’s a lot of non-fiction online – peculiar ruminations on pulp fiction, kaiju and other things. I just like writing these things. You can find some of them on the ‘Free Stuff’ part of my website.
Beyond that, let’s see… I’ve got a novel called Princess of Asylum that I’m actively looking for an agent for, I’ve got hopes for that one. A Vampire novel called Bloodsucker. A World War II alternate history called Axis of Andes. A metafictional pastiche called The Last Man Standing is a Woman. Two more volumes of Lexx Unauthorized sitting completed and waiting to be edited. There’s a few more collections of short stories, at least one more horror collection, two more comic fantasy/SF. The hard drive is pretty full. I think most of it is pretty good.
That’s about it. Check out my web site. Feel free to browse.