Short Pieces

NYTarticle

Cleaning Up After My Brother’s Fatal Overdose

New York Times, November 2019

The last mark my brother made on the world was a bloodstain on a bathroom floor. He died of a fentanyl overdose, nearly one year ago. He was 35 years old.

His body was found in a rented room in the basement of a run-down house in Vancouver, where fatal opioid overdoses are now so prevalent they have reduced the overall life expectancy.

MothersMonsters

Mothers and Monsters

Salon, November 2019

About a month after my first novel, a domestic thriller titled “Rapid Falls” came out, my neighbor stopped me on the street.

“I just finished your book,” she said.

“That’s great,” I replied, hoping for a positive review.

Instead, suspicion flickered in her eyes as she regarded me. In the lengthening silence, I began to feel odd and possibly dangerous. Finally, she spoke.

WorstFears

When You Write Your Worst Fears

Crime Reads, November 2019

Two weeks before my first novel was released, I had plans. Big ones. I was set to host four book launches and had pre-written dozens of enthusiastic posts on social media. Late at night, I furtively typed my own name into search engines hoping that early reviews had miraculously appeared. I was so eager to be an actual author that I changed the name of my wireless network to the title of my book. Fourteen months had passed since I had signed my deal. I was ready for it to be real.

Then, six days before the publication date, my brother died.

SquamishChief

When the Right Path is the Riskiest

Squamish Chief, March 2017

Five months ago, my mother-in-law fell down the stairs in the middle of the night and shattered her skull, resulting in a devastating brain injury.

I keep imagining the sound her body made when it hit the hardwood floor of their old farmhouse: the sound that startled my father-in-law awake.