John McFetridge is the author of four novels in the The Toronto Series as well as Black Rock, set in Montreal in1970. The second Montreal novel, A Little More Free, is set in 1972 and will be published in the fall of 2015. He was a writer on the CTV/CBS cop show, The Bridge. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.
“Like (Elmore Leonard, McFetridge is able to convincingly portray flawed figures on both sides of the law. ” – Publishers Weekly
How I Got Published
After almost ten years of part-time attendance I graduated from Concordia in 1990 with an English degree (and a minor in Creative Writing) and I moved to Toronto and worked on movie sets. Almost ten years later when my wife and I had kids I became a stay-at-home dad and decided to try and make some money writing. The only kind of writing that seemed to be paying was non-fiction but I had an idea for a novel – I was still trying to figure out Toronto (I still am) and why so many people come to the city and a crime novel seemed like the best way to get into as many different neighbourhoods as possible.
Still, it was non-fiction that was paying and there is a publisher in Toronto, ECW Press, that publish a lot of books about TV shows so I pitched them a book about Law and Order. The book was going to present 25 or 30 of the most interesting true stories behind the episodes. They liked the idea and I set out to research and write some sample chapters while the editor, Jen Hale, went off on maternity leave.
But the only time I had to write was before my kids got up or when they were napping and every time I tried to work I had another idea for a scene in my novel so I just wrote that to get it out of my head. When Jen came back from maternity leave she asked to see the Law and Order book and I still wasn’t finished, that I wrote a novel just to get it out of the way and I’d have it soon.
Jack David, the publisher at ECW asked if he could see the crime novel. He liked it and Dirty Sweet was published.
I’ve been with ECW ever since. Black Rock is my fifth novel with them, but I still haven’t written the Law and Order book.