About The Writer

This is who I am.


A lifelong resident of Toronto and a graduate of both York University and the University of Toronto, has worked for a decade as an addiction counsellor. In retirement he splits his time between creative writing and volunteering as spiritual director at Renascent House.


About the Author

In 2007 I was working for Renascent as an Assistant Manager. I was approached by a young woman who represented a production company that had been hired by a Canadian television network to oversee an initial screenplay about the addiction business.

I spent several days talking with her and answering her questions. A month later I had two meetings with a group of writers. I spent most of our time together trying to give them a more realistic view of what an addiction is, and more importantly what a useful intervention would look like. The whole time we were talking I was daydreaming about them offering me a job. Toby Tyler was smelling popcorn.

In 2008 I found myself retired. Too old to get a real job but too young to abandon work entirely. I had tried to be a writer in my early twenties. As a young man I could do some clever things with words but I lacked lived experience, an ability to recognize other perspectives and most importantly a spiritual basis with which to orient myself to my world. Four decades of living made good on those deficiencies and I have well and truly found my vocation in this work.

These five novels are grounded in the way that addiction treatment was practiced in twelve step institutions at the turn of the century. The methods, personalities, conflicts and stories in the book are as realistic as I can make them without impinging on anyone's expectation of privacy. I am a superb listener gifted with an incredible set of ears. I have reproduced the opinions I was privy to in my career as faithfully as I could. Delighting most in the extreme ones.

The profession has long since moved on in new directions. Much of what I describe has to be understood as belonging to a decade past. Good people did wonderful things often times at great personal cost. A whole generation of addicts and alcoholics got sober and stayed sober using these methods. This book celebrates that body of work and the remarkable people who did it.