Meet This Author: Edo Van Belkom

Q: You mentioned you write in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery. Tell us, readers, which genre is your favorite to write.

It is true I have written in all those genres, to varying degrees of success, but it I had to choose one as a favorite, it would have to be horror. I enjoy writing about things set in the present day which have just a hint of the supernatural to them. For example, one of my novels BLOOD ROAD was about a vampire truck driver who is old and weak and barely a shell of who he once was. Instead of lording over humanity he now has to work within it, living off of hitchhikers he picks up in his travels and preventing the authorities of figuring out his long history of roadside murders. Making the premise somewhat plausible was a lot of fun. And making it work in the world we all live in made it satisfying for me.

Q: Which do you enjoy writing most, short stories or novels? 

I wanted to be a writer because I wanted to create stories like the ones I’d read in Ray Bradbury’s THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, my favorite book of all time. I just thought every story was terrific and they left me with a feeling of awe. I wanted to do that to others with my stories so that’s what I set out to do with my written work. No surprise then that my favorite book of mine is DEATH DRIVES A SEMI, with 20 stories just like the OCTOBER COUNTRY, and some of them like “Rat Food” and “The Rug” just might be good enough to inspire awe in the reader. However, as much as I enjoy writing short stories, they don’t pay the same as novels. I once spent three weeks working on a short story for the vast sum of $100. While it was a great story and garnered a lot of attention, you can eat fame. So, writing novels was necessary to maintain a writing career, but if I could I’d love to be an SF writer in the 1950s and 60s with plenty of markets to sell too and single author collections published regularly.

Q: What are some common themes that readers can find in your books?

You know, this should be an easy question to answer and I should be able to rattle off a few themes as if it was as plain as day, but the truth is, I really don’t have any idea. That’s the sort of thing a scholar or critic who is familiar with my work might point out to me and then, upon reflection, I might agree, or be surprised since it never occured to me. If I have to really think about it, I would say there likely a streak of sarcastic, maybe even sardonic wit to my writing. But even there, this trait was suggested in a couple of reviews and on reflection I thought, yeah, that’s probably true, because I’m sarcastic and sharp=tongued in my daily life, why wouldn’t that be reflected in my writing? That, and I think that I write a lot about bad things that happen to good people, 

Q: How would you describe your writing style?

I write in a straightforward manner that never leaves the reader wondering about what is happening in a story. One could say that I sacrifice character for story, but that’s the way I right and I’m proud of it. Of my novels, reviewers will say the book is comprised of 300 brisk pages… well, that’s the same number of pages some writers have readers slog through, so fine. I write fast-paced, action-oriented stories where things happen, and the plot moves forward. If my novels are a quick read, then so be it. I’d rather have a reader get through one of my books quickly than have them put it aside and never get back to it.  

Q: What other genre would you try writing? 

I’ve written in just about every genre going save for romance and westerns. While I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at writing a western, I lack the background to make one authentic. However, that’s what research is for. I wrote a novel called MR. MAGiCK about a young magician who uses some fantastical powers to become a top Las Vegas showman, and I spent the entire time writing the book with the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MAGIC on my lap. When it came out people asked if magic was a hobby of mine, to which I answered, “Nope. Research!”

Q: Wolf Pack is the inspiration behind a new TV series being released later this January. What is Wolf Pack about? 

My novel WOLF PACK is about four teenage werewolves who have been adopted by a forest ranger at a very young age and who have been raised as human their entire lives. Now, as teenagers, they have all of the same problems normal teenagers have… plus they are werewolves. That’s the core story behind the books, and the series follows that to a large extent with the ranger adopting two early on and two others coming into the pack later. Show creator and executive producer Jeff Davis has added a lot of layers and storylines to the series, but the core themes of the book such as family and belonging, and the preservation of nature are themes that are common to the story in both mediums.

Q: Who are the main characters in book one of the Wolf Pack series? 

The four teens in the novels are Noble, Argus, Tora and Harlan, but for the series the names were changed to Everett, Blake, Luna and Harlan. The park ranger is named Garrett Brock in the novel and Garrett Briggs in the TV series. The villain in the first WOLF PACK is a geneticist/television personality named Edward Monk, who I don’t think makes an appearance in the TV series.

Q: Will there be more than three books in the series? 

The WOLF PACK series is currently made up of four books, WOLF PACK, LONE WOLF, CRY WOLF and WOLF MAN. The first novel was published in 2004 (winning both the Aurora and Silver Birch Awards) and the others all came out by 2008 which was the year of publication of WOLF MAN. At the moment there are no plans to write a further book, but who knows what the future will bring. If there is a wave of people who have read the first books and are vocal about wanting more, who knows what might happen.

Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?

At the moment, all four books are available as E-books in all the usual places. The books will also be available in audio book format beginning with the first book available in January of 2023 and the others released each month following until April when all four books will be out. There will also be a new print edition of the first novel WOLF PACK in stores soon, with pre-orders already available through some online retailers. 

Author Bio

Bram Stoker and Aurora Award-winner Edo van Belkom is the author of over 200 stories of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. As an editor, he has four anthologies to his credit that include two books for young adults, Be Afraid! (A Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year finalist) and Be Very Afraid! (An Aurora Award winner — Best Work in English). Born in Toronto, van Belkom graduated from York University, then worked as a daily newspaper sports and police reporter before becoming a full-time writer. Edo van Belkom lives in Brampton, Ontario, with his wife Roberta and son Luke.

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