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Bio

 

A Short Biography of Jim McDonald

 

My writing experience covers journalism, live theater, short stories, a completed novel, and a second novel in progress. As a teenager, writing the School News column for the Windsor Star, I interviewed jazz icon Louis Armstrong. Later, while working as a musician in British Columbia, I wrote entertainment columns for Vancouver’s Georgia Strait and Victoria’s Monday Magazine. Among my concert reviews were those of Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, John Mayall, Journey, Heart, and The BeeGees. Back in Toronto, as member of The Comedy Connection, I wrote and performed original comedy routines at The Edge, The Pink Flamingo, and The Rivoli.

Since 1995, for live theater I have written performance pieces – poetry, monodramas, and plays – that were staged in Toronto theaters. All performances are on DVD. The monodramas were performed by me, but two ensemble pieces were the first scenes of my play Here Comes Gloria!, the story of nine months in a poor family’s life.

Personal information: After acquiring my B.A. and B.Ed. (U. of Toronto), I taught high school mathematics. Then in 1987, I founded A-Plus Tutoring Service, and still make my living as a self-employed private tutor, teaching mathematics and English. Also, I run a D.J. service, supplying music and equipment for weddings, banquets, and parties. In the 1970s and 1980s I worked as a drummer and club D.J. From 1994 I worked in live theater as sound technician, actor, and writer. I still perform readings of excerpts from my novels at Shine Theater, Toronto.

 

My novel Altered Boy involves a gang of tough boys who hustle lonely men, until their clash with a rogue priest results in death. This story is based on actual events.

Besides promoting my short stories and novel Altered Boy, I am researching and writing a second novel based on the counterculture activists of the late 1960s, culminating with the 1970 Kent State Massacre. The working title is Flowers are Better than Bullets. In addition, I am writing and producing mathematics instructional DVDs.

I read constantly, sometimes three books at a time. For crime fiction, you must read Jim Thompson, Patricia Highsmith, Ross Macdonald, and the Swedish husband-wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes has fascinated me since childhood.

Married, I have four children. To keep in shape I work out at my gym, play baseball, and run; my time for 5K is about 28 minutes. I am a cinephile, especially film noir.