About the author

Stewart Dudley spent more than 20 years as a film and video director, scriptwriter, cameraman and editor before leaving the industry to focus exclusively on writing. His credits include hundreds of scripts, ads, speeches and websites—as well as The Cutting Room, his first novel. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

The preceding paragraph fits nicely (I hope) on the back cover of the trade paperback. Here’s the authorized web bio:

I’m a child of suburbia, saddled with all that’s good and bad about that. I studied broadcasting in college and began my career in the film and video industry. I wanted to make movies. I started out lugging gear, but independent production work in quaint little Ottawa is different than in major production centres. We’re too small to be of interest to the trade unions—a mixed blessing. It means you can quickly get experience in just about any production job. It also means you’re likely to be doing four of them on any given production. So I ended up writing, shooting, directing and editing a good chunk of the work I did.

I got my MTV

I dabbled in the music business in the 1980s and the early days of music videos, then joined Stiff Sentences in 1998. The Company of Writers. Promotional writers. We’re the people who write the advertising you love and hate. We write speeches you hear quoted in the news. We write the websites you browse. The brochures you get in the mail. The reports you deliver to shareholders.

Since about 2009, we’ve also supported a lot of aspiring writers keen to seize the remarkable opportunity of self-publishing. Writers who are long on tenacity and determination, but short on editing and story development skill. It’s been fascinating working with these authors. It’s also made me realize that after writing for a living for roughly thirty years, it was about bloody time I joined their ranks. How is it possible to have started so many stories only to leave them gathering dust? It belies the laws of physics. If you start, there must be an end. Ah, that’s it. I live in the netherworld of the unfinished. Just what I don’t want scratched into my stone.

Put up or shut up

So I’ve stepped across the magic line W. P. Kinsella scratched out for Moonlight Graham in Shoeless Joe (or was it only in the movie?). The Great Liberation of self-publishing permits lesser beings such as me to catapult ideas into view, perhaps not as high as the giants; perhaps just high enough to be a corner-of-the-eye annoyance. That’s fine. There’s also liberation in life as an irritant. And many would say that’s me in a nutshell.