Michael Blair

MJB Cropped-No Reflection

The Basic Facts


My first story, a murder mystery with the astonishingly original title of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation,” was accepted for publication in my high school yearbook, but the "editor" lost the only copy of the manuscript. Thinking perhaps that this was a sign, I set my sights on becoming a commercial artist. After seeing how badly commercial artists were treated in the advertising department of a major department store chain, I lost my mind and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. While waiting at home on leave without pay before reporting for basic training, I ran out of things to read and started writing a science fiction story. Following my discharge from the RCAF two weeks later (we came to the mutual understanding that democracy was safer without my protection), I started working on a vast collection of rejection slips.


I started writing science fiction because that’s mainly what I’d grown up reading. Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton. It was my father’s fault: he’d read Jules Verne and Johann Wyss (Swiss Family Robinson) to me as a child. In the late sixties, however, I discovered mystery. John D. MacDonald. Ross MacDonald. Then Chandler, Hammett, Spillane, McBain. And that, as they say, was that.


To support my writing habit, I’ve worked as a truck driver, quality control clerk in a gasket factory, merchandising and advertising consultant, deli-counter person, graphic and display designer, carpenter, second hand bookstore proprietor, copy writer, art reviewer, computer administrator, and, since 1994 as a freelance technical writer/editor. I live in Montreal with Pam Hilliard, a graphic artist and redhead.


To date, I’ve written nine novels, two of which were learning experiences and will never see the light of day, at least while I’m alive. And maybe not even afterward.


I’m past president of Crime Writers of Canada.