Lessons from the ER: How Melissa Yi Balances Writing and Medicine


SF Canada member Melissa Yi, an emergency room physician and author, discusses how she balances being a writer and part-time doctor on the latest Kobo Writing Life Podcast . She discusses how her work experiences have made their way into her Hope Sze Medical Mystery Series and she shares some of her favourite emergency room stories.

The Kobo Writing Life Podcast shares free insights and inspiration for self-published writers. It features interviews with bestselling authors and industry experts, who share practical writing advice.

Melissa Yi is an award-winning writer. In her newest crime novel, Death Flight, Dr. Hope Sze boards an airplane with the love of her life—and a secret murderer. Human Remains, the previous Hope Sze thriller, was recommended by The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Next Chapter as one of the best Canadian suspense novels. Yi was shortlisted for the Derringer Award for the world’s best short mystery fiction. Under the name Melissa Yuan-Innes, she also writes medical humour and has won speculative fiction awards.

Find Lesson #169 on the Kobo Writing Life Podcast and find Melissa’s books here.

Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light

SF Canada member Bernadette Dyer’s latest speculative fiction novel, Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light, carries you from Ireland, to remote northern Ontario, to the big city of Toronto and all the way to Jamaica. The teenaged heroine, Irish-Canadian, Kathleen Dunkley, is desperate to leave her haunting pasts and horrific tragedies behind her.

Through her coming-of-age journey, Kathleen soon learns that the witch of Rose Hall was originally from Irish stock and there is also a mysterious ghost boy called Santiago, inhabiting the house where she is staying. Kathleen is left to ponder why spooks have caught up with her, and if her new found Chinese-Jamaican friend, David Chang, can help to defend her from harm.

This moving story of survival is a page turner for just about anyone that likes adventure.

Find Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light at Amazon.

Now out!: Nothing Without Us

SF member Cait Gordon recently co-edited Nothing Without Us (along with sensitivity editor Talia C. Johnson), producing an anthology filled with protagonists who identify as disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental health. Published by Presses Renaissance Press, one of the twenty-two own-voice stories is by SF member Tonya Liburd.

“Can you recommend fiction that has main characters who are like us?” This is a question we who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness ask way too often. Typically, we’re faced with stories about us crafted by people who really don’t get us. We’re turned into pathetic, tragic souls; we merely exist to inspire the abled main characters to thrive; or even worse, we’re to overcome “what’s wrong with us” and be cured.

Nothing Without Us combines both realistic and speculative fiction, starring protagonists who are written “by us and for us.” From hospital halls to jungle villages, from within the fantastical plane to deep into outer space, our heroes take us on a journey, make us think, and prompt us to cheer them on.

These are bold tales, told in our voices, which are important for everyone to experience.

We are the heroes, not the sidekicks.

Cait (pronounced like cat) Gordon is the author of Life in the ‘Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. Her short story, “A Night at the Rabbit Hole”, appears in Alice Unbound Beyond Wonderland. Another short story, “The Hilltop Gathering”, is in the Prix Aurora Awards nominated anthology, We Shall Be Monsters.

When she’s not writing, Cait loves to bake, eat what she’s baked, and maybe think about baking more things. She adores cosplay so much that she’s decided she needs a costume closet. Cait’s also a singer and a musician. Her musical tastes range from “awesome” to “please don’t judge me.”

She’s frighteningly friendly, so reach out to her on Twitter (@CaitGAuthor).

Read author interviews on the Nothing Without Us website.

Purchase the paperback, ebook, and audiobook directly from Renaissance Press’ online shop.

The Bear Cavalry by D. G. Valdron

SF Canada member D.G. Valdron has been busy lately!:

The Bear Cavalry has just been released. This quirky, inventive alternate history is written in the style of a fun, funky, pop culture television documentary. Robin Prufrock travels the world, telling the story of how the Vikings in Iceland domesticated bears for meat and as draft animals, and how the Scandinavian Bear Cavalry eventually evolved to become the most fearsome fighting unit in the Medieval world. Along the way are entertaining detours into biology, evolutionary history, the Viking era, Medieval monarchs behaving badly, and the role of Bears in movies, art and culture in this world.

Find The Bear Cavalry here.

As well, Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs: A Story Collection is now available. Enjoy nine scary stories of Melancholy Horror:

  • Fossils: A poet follows a giant monster through the streets of abandoned Tokyo.
  • Flirtin’ Out Back With the Sasquatch Kid: A teenage girl encounters the last bigfoot.
  • Skin: A necromancer’s attack shows a woman discovers that her life is only skin deep.
  • Love, Live and the Necronomicon: The true history of the mad Arab and his era is revealed, along with Lovecraft’s dark connection.
  • Regrets Child: A nurse to a dying woman meets her hungry ghost.
  • Anomalous Phenomena: The title says it all.
  • The Dead Quarter: After the Apocalypse, the living and the undead share a disintegrating world.
  • Tell Me: A hunter finds a child vampire.
  • Killing Hot: A young man with a secret crosses the country, seeking revenge for his sister.

D.G. Valdron is a reclusive writer originally from New Brunswick, currently living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over the years, he has published in print and online a variety of short stories of speculative fiction, and articles on obscure pop culture topics. Like many writers, his previous occupations have included mechanic, carpenter, schoolteacher, journalist and ditch-digger. He is currently an aboriginal rights lawyer. He loves B-movies and tries to be nice to people.

Immortal Redemption by Alana Delacroix

SF Canada member Alana Delacroix recently released Immortal Redemption, the first novel in the Immortal Protectors series.

Cal Olin is a grudging member of the Immorti. A resurrected Aztec warrior, he knows he has much to atone for but doesn’t believe waiting for an enemy who hasn’t appeared in hundreds of years is the best way to do it. He’d prefer to spend his time in his CEO role with Civica, an organization dedicated to righting wrongs.

However, when Cal sees the unconscious body of a woman near a magical portal, he knows the long period of peace has come to an end. He’s shocked to discover the woman is Dr. Iliana Rogers, Civica’s second-in-command. The beautiful, argumentative thorn in his side has managed to open the gate and set off a chain reaction that could end the world. Is she an agent of evil or an unknowing pawn? He has to find out.

Alana Delacroix is a paranormal romance writer based in Toronto, Canada with her family and two cats. She is an introvert’s introvert who loves true crime, war, and horror podcasts and is very paranoid. Find her on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.

Find Immortal Redemption at Apple | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Google Play

The Night Girl by James Bow

SF Canada member James Bow’s latest novel, The Night Girl, is a New Adult urban fantasy.

Perpetua Collins works for a real troll.

Well, technically a goblin, and it’s not as bad as it sounds. As the administrative assistant, she provides a “human” face for an employment agency specializing in placements for goblins and trolls. It’s probably the most unusual job she could find in Toronto, but she’s grateful for it, having come to the city with $500 in her pocket and no support. Without it, she’d have no choice but to go back to the boring small town and overbearing mother she worked so hard to leave.

But as Perpetua settles into her new job, disturbing questions arise. And no, they’re not about the fact that goblins and trolls exist. She’s fine with that part. The agency has no visible means of support. How does her boss manage to keep his “clients” out of the public eye? They’ve been part of the city far longer than anyone thinks, and are growing restless under the burden of forced invisibility and financial poverty. What will happen if the veil drops, and humans see?

James Bow was born and grew up in Toronto. He now lives in Kitchener-Waterloo with his wife Erin and his daughters, Vivian and Eleanor. He is the author of three books of YA fantasy (The Unwritten Girl, Fathom Five, and The Young City) and the Prix Aurora Award-winning YA SF novel, Icarus Down. He enjoys coming back to his hometown to ride transit and explore its underground city. Find out more about James’ publications on his blog.

Pick up a copy of The Night Girl from Amazon or your local independent bookstore.