Book cover. Deciduous trees and shrubs and cloudless sky with pink photo filter. Small purple text box with white text reading “Alfred Cool” in upper right corner. Large purple text box across middle of cover reading “The Haida Gwaii Detour” in white text.

Al Cool is a born and raised BC author, having travelled extensively along the provinces’ coast throughout his career as a computer professional. He has won first and third place awards in short story contests, published stories in Toronto’s Danforth Review and New York’s The Otter e-zines, contributed to three Canadian anthologies, and is the author of five published West Coast novels. Cool majored in English at Simon Fraser University and completed a Masters equivalent in Creative Writing with Sam Hiyate at THE RIGHTS FACTORY (2016).

Cool uses his writing to educate the public on key Canadian issues from his perspective as an environmentalist.

“I often write about the environment and I deplore Canada’s involvement in the nuclear energy lie, having worked in a uranium mining camp,” Cool says, commenting on his title The Hottest Place on Earth (2017). “I think that while people are basically good, absolute power corrupts. People have to push back and writers should be part of the vanguard leading the way.”

The Haida Gwaii Detour is a travel memoir detailing life in and around Haida Gwaii between 1979 and 1985. It focuses on “the story of an eager, young hand logger surrounded by an unlikely community in the heart of West Coast wilderness” (West Coast Copywriting Co, 2017).

“This story is told from the perspective of residing on the islands, not from the perspective of the tourist. The characters in the novel are real, or composites of real people. The scenes are real, the timing is real, the life is real,” Cool says.

Cool will be offering two readings in Nanaimo next month: March 7, beginning at 6:30 pm at the Vancouver Island Harbourfront Regional Library located at 90 Commercial St; and March 10, beginning at 6:30 pm at The White Room located at #4 Church St.

Both events are open to all ages and free of charge. 


Arts Editor   Cheryl is in her third year of VIU’s Creative Writing program. Recipient of the 2017 Gisele Merlet Award, she has a passion for the written word, and lives for the arts community. Cheryl moved to Nanaimo in September 2014 to pursue her writing career.

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