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"A lot of people seem to think this is an odd transition. To go from...doing a column to writing thrillers. But it seems perfectly natural to me. Part of it is because what I'm doing now is what I have always wanted to do. This is what I wanted to do when I was in my teens, I had probably written a couple of the time I was 20 or 21...those books were not published, thankfully."

"And so my dream of becoming this best selling crime writer at the age of 22 didn't quite pan out. And I thought, 'Well where can I get paid money to write every day?' And so I went into newspapers.
So really what I'm doing now is what I've always wanted to do. I had this sort of 30-year diversion.

--Author Linwood Barclay

Photo Credit: Michael Rafelson

After spending his formative years helping run a cottage resort and trailer park after his father died when he was 16, Linwood Barclay got his first newspaper job at the Peterborough Examiner, a small Ontario daily. In 1981, he joined the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper.

He held such positions as assistant city editor, chief copy editor, news editor, and Life section editor, before becoming the paper’s humour columnist in 1993. He was one of the paper’s most popular columnists before retiring from the position in 2008 to work exclusively on books.

Between 1996 and 2000 be published four non-fiction books, including a memoir about growing up in cottage country, Last Resort, which was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

In 2004, he launched his mystery series about an anxiety-ridden, know-it-all, pain-in-the-butt father by the name of Zack Walker. Bad Move, the first book, was followed by three more Zack Walker thrillers: Bad Guys, Lone Wolf, and Stone Rain.

His first standalone thriller, No Time for Goodbye, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim and great international success. It has been sold around the world and is being translated into nearly two dozen languages. In Germany alone it has sold half a million copies. His second standalone, Too Close to Home, is coming out in the fall of 2008.

Linwood was born in the United States but moved to Canada just before turning four years old when his father, a commercial artist whose illustrations of cars appeared in Life, Look and Saturday Evening Post (before photography took over), accepted a position with an advertising agency north of the border.

Linwood, who obtained an Honours B.A. in English at Trent University, in Peterborough, Ontario, was fortunate to have some very fine mentors; in particular, the celebrated Canadian author Margaret Laurence, whom Linwood first met when she served as writer-in-residence at Trent, and Kenneth Millar, who, under the name Ross Macdonald, wrote the acclaimed series of mystery novels featuring detective Lew Archer.

It was at Trent that he met the woman who would become his wife. He and Neetha, who teaches kindergarten, have been married for more than 30 years. They have two children, Spencer and Paige.



Video Podcast: A Conversation with Linwood Barclay
Audio Podcast: A Conversation with Linwood Barclay