North Saanich author George Mercer, whose latest book Fat Cats recently won a gold medal at the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Regional Fiction, Canada West. (Photo courtesy of George Mercer)

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Award-winning North Saanich author George Mercer claimed two more prizes at the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Regional Fiction (Canada West).

Mercer’s latest book Fat Cats won a Gold Medal and the series it is from, Dyed in The Green, secured a Silver Medal in the Best Fiction Series category.

ALSO READ: Troubling tales: Peninsula author writes Sixties Scoop memoir

“My plan is a six book series. I’ve got four out and essentially the characters have gone from Cape Breton highlands in Nova Scotia to Wood Buffalo National Park in the north, then to Jasper in Alberta, and then the Gulf Islands in the fourth book.”

If you’ve noticed a theme of national parks, it’s because Mercer spent 30 years as a park warden across Canada, and his former profession inspires his writing.

The first three books in the series are called Dyed In The Green, Wood Buffalo and Jasper Wild. The latter two won gold medals last year as well.

Mercer writes diligently, completing the four books in quick succession, with each one only taking a year to complete, from first draft to finished product.

ALSO READ: Sidney jazz singer who kicked off career after age 50, heads on B.C. tour

“I find writing comes quite easily but the challenge with the series is making a logical sequence of stories that have a larger story arc and each one has a smaller one that provides a bridge to the next,” he says.

For readers eager to know what’s in store for the future, Mercer says, “My plans for the fifth and sixth books are to go to the east coast and wrap up in Cape Breton where the series began.”

He plans to bring the main character, Ben Matthews, back from his sojourn in Africa and introduce an international flavour to the series. After that, the plan is to write the real-life stories behind the characters and to branch out into young adult fiction.

ALSO READ: Whatever happened to elevator music?

Perhaps in keeping with his prolific output, Mercer is not short of ideas. In the works are western, futuristic and historical pieces. More imminently is a story he has already completed a draft of, about a young girl defending a family of grizzly bears wrongly accused of mauling mountain bikers.

Mercer says Fat Cats can be read as a stand-alone story and readers familiar with the Gulf Islands will find some familiar themes and settings woven throughout the story. The book can be found at independent book stores in the region.

For more information visit georgemercer.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers sees 37 per cent increase in tips in 2019

The non-profit takes anonymous tips from the public, brings information to police

Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Chiefs look forward to creating ‘sustainable future’ for next generations

Almost 150 calls of service for Westshore Towing during snowstorm

Most calls were from Sooke, Metchosin and Highlands

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Most Read