North Saanich writer Chad Ganske stays away from set genres

Originally from Red Deer, Alberta, Ganske began his journey as a writer in elementary school.

Author Chad Ganske will be reading from his second book Salus at the spring series reading put on by the Sidney Literary Festival and Tanner’s Books tonight at 7 p.m.

For North Saanich resident and author Chad Ganske, there is no set genre to his novels.

Originally from Red Deer, Alberta, Ganske began his journey as a writer in elementary school.

As told by his mother, he said he used to write mini-stories, binding them and putting dollar values in the corner. He would take them to the neighbours who would then buy them from him.

“I think I was just inspired by books and movies and things like that, that I would watch as a youth,” he told the PNR in an interview.

In his early 20s, Ganske moved to Red Deer to work for a newspaper there. At this time, he said he was unsure of what he wanted to do and was in and out of post secondary school, doing journalism work, which didn’t overly fulfill him.

It was a present given to him at Christmas time that really sparked Ganske’s interest. His mother sent him a book by Ernest Hemingway titled The Sun Also Rises, which really spoke to Ganske, inspiring him to write.

“And that was the first moment, it was like an epiphany, and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”

He began writing stories to completion, and started his first novel Idyllic Avenue, which began as a short story.

Ganske describes the book as a dystopian tale of a man’s love, loss and survival in a post human future with science fiction elements weaved into it.

“I don’t like labelling books into certain genres because particularly my writing style kind of mixes genres,” he said.

As society braces for the impending loss of the planet’s binary suns, an authoritarian government separates the population into two colonies, based on genetics, which he said effectively segregates the haves from the have-nots.

“So those deemed healthy genetically are granted entrance into a life sustaining bio dome while the sick or those predisposed to disease are left outside in this world that will inevitably lose its suns,” he said.

His second book Salus continues to follow the main character’s desperate struggle to hold onto his family and his own sanity.

It also follows his reluctant acceptance of a higher purpose as a leader of the discarded people.

Ganske said there are obviously some recognizable elements from dystopian science fiction like oppression, segregation, overcrowding, technology and doom. There are also, he said, the universally-appealing themes of love, loss and family that he said appeal to a more general reader.