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.

SFC New Board of Directors

Following the completion of its recent Annual General Meeting, SF Canada is pleased to announce its Board of Directors for the coming year. They are: Arinn Dembo (British Columbia), President; Matthew Bin (Ontario), Vice-President; Jane Glatt (Ontario), Secretary-Treasurer; Joe Mahoney (Ontario) and Paula Johansen (British Columbia), Directors-at-Large.

We wish the new Board well in their service to the organization and look forward to the leadership and guidance they will bring to their roles.

SFC Statement on ChiZine and Professional Behaviour

In the last week, many people have reported financial irregularities and unprofessional personal behaviour by the owners of ChiZine Publishing. SF Canada has delisted this publisher from its market list and is in discussion as to further steps necessary to both uphold our mandate and assist the authors (members and non-members alike) who have been harmed. With unfortunate timing, the unfolding situation occurred too late for voting by members on a plan of action at our currently-running annual general meeting.

We do not have the resources or authority to act as a court or professional disciplinary body; however, SF Canada strongly believes that it is unethical for a publisher to withhold royalties or royalty statements, to pressure or bully an author, or to take advantage of staff, contracted editors, or interns. We recognize the important role of volunteer activity; but exploitation and degrading treatment of others have absolutely no place in our community.

We encourage CZP authors and others who experience similar issues now or in future to contact Writer Beware and/or the Writers Union of Canada; but we are supportive of all affected writers, whether they choose to come forward or not. We also encourage affected CZP authors to add their name to Dora Badger’s list for the purpose of promoting their other work outside of their CZP publications. A StoryBundle is also being created for this purpose; contact Doug Smith at http://www.smithwriter.com/email if you are an affected ChiZine Publications writer wishing to participate.

We are striving to continue our mandate of encouraging professional and ethical behaviour throughout the Canadian speculative fiction community. This occasion is a reminder to writers and publishers alike to be attentive to business practises, and to encourage associates and colleagues to ask for and give advice and help.

This statement has been issued by the President and Executive of SF Canada.