Novels

A single person, place or event can spawn an entire novel. But once the writing begins, the story takes on a life of its own. I always carry a small notebook and pen with me, ready to jot down interesting places, events, and people. These notes, coupled with my own experiences and imagination percolate in my brain until they knit themselves into a story.

The Medal

Sixteen-year-old Kilian Barker can’t resist taking his newly-purchased Mustang for a spin in the country, even without insurance and a legal license. Too bad there’s a cop at the stop sign when he flies by. Kilian accelerates up the hill past a hay wagon, barely missing the on-coming cars. Knowing he’ll be caught on the straight road ahead, he makes a desperate turn into the back parking lot of a nursing home, and hurries inside to hide. A nurse sees Kilian looking at the medals in the display case outside Harry Goddard’s room. She assumes he’s there to see the 92-year-old and ushers him in. Kilian spins a story about being a former neighbour and is surprised that Harry goes along with it. As soon as the nurse leaves, Kilian tries to excuse himself. Suddenly he feels the sting of Harry’s cane across his legs. “Before you go anywhere,” the old man informs him, “you’ve got some explaining to do.” This accidental meeting between a troubled teen and a war veteran begins an unlikely friendship that helps the young man deal with his foster parents, a secret girlfriend and brushes with the law. The Medal is a coming-of-age story set in Canada and Afghanistan, interwoven with true stories of World War II and life in Kingston, Ontario. Contact the author to arrange book talks or presentations for schools, book clubs or community groups.
The Medal is available from Chapters Indigo or Borealis Press or at Novel Idea Bookstore in Kingston, Canada.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I was not disappointed. In Kilian, Gordon has captured the essence of a turbulent teenage boy. The reader cheers for him, shakes her head at him, and in the end is struck by his perseverance and kindness. I highly recommend this book. J.F.J.

Perth, Ontario

Where fact and fiction meet. Totally engaging. C.A.W.

Victoria, BC

I think your [sic] a good writer and have a great sense of imagination. R.A.

Boys and Girls Club, Kingston, Ontario

I finished your book today. What a great read. I just wanted to keep going to see how it ended. I got really emotionally attached to Kilian as the book progressed, but your ending caught me completely off guard and it made me cry. It was definitely not a Hollywood ending. I would recommend your book for anyone looking for something great to read. K. J.

Woodlawn, Ontario

Your novel is wonderful! Thank you for a very touching read. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. T.L.

Ottawa, Ontario

I just finished reading your book, The Medal. It’s a real gem! I’m really impressed by it. Your characterization, your tone and the voice of your characters are all right on. I want to congratulate you for a fine job. R.M.

South Frontenac, Ontario

Chronology of the Novel
  • Apr. 23, 2015    Book Launch – Victoria, British Columbia
  • Nov. 22, 2014    Book Launch – Kingston, Ontario
  • Oct. 31, 2014    The books arrive from the printer! Happiest Halloween ever!
  • Oct. 26, 2014    The cover design is sent to the printer
  • Oct. 19, 2014     The designer is working on the book cover
  • Oct. 9, 2104       The corrected pages are sent to the printer.
  • Oct. 8, 2014       Final corrections to page proofs are complete
  • Oct. 4, 2014       Corrections to the page proofs sent to the typesetter and editor
  • Oct. 1, 2014       Page proofs arrive from the typesetter
  • Sept. 25, 2014   Final manuscript sent to typesetter
  • Sept. 24, 2014   Final revision of manuscript sent to editor
  • Sept. 21, 2014   Photo shoot for the author photo by Shayne of SB Images
  • Sept. 18-23        Blurb and an author bio prepared for the back cover
  • Sept. 8, 2014     Manuscript corrections returned to editor
  • Sept. 6, 2014     Information for Library and Archives Canada sent to book designer
  • Sept. 6, 2014     Book designer sends me requirements
  • Sept. 1, 2014     Editor returns manuscript with comments
  • July 23, 2014     Manuscript e-mailed to the editor
  • July 7-22, 2014  Manuscript revision
  • July 7, 2014        Borealis Press offers me a book contract
  • Feb. 28, 2014     Borealis Press receives the manuscript and marketing ideas
  • Feb. 18-26, 2014 New ending and a few alterations to the manuscript
  • Feb. 18, 2014      Borealis Press requests the manuscript
  • Feb. 2, 2014         Submission sent to Borealis Press
  • June 2012-December 2013      Four publishers reject the manuscript
  • Sept. 2012-February 2014         Manuscript revisions
  • September 2012-June 2014     Chapter-by-chapter feedback from my Writers’ Group
  • June 8, 2012        Completion of first draft
  • Aug. 2010-June 2012  Research and writing continue
  • Aug 26, 2010        Novel writing begins
  • July 2006-August 2010  Exploration of ideas for a contemporary coming-of-age story

Finding Home

The year is 1869. Sarah Phillips, a fifteen-year-old domestic, loses her family to cholera in the slums of East London. In Forest Mills, Ontario, Richard Breeze returns home in disgrace when he loses his job after a fight with his boss’s son. Finding Home chronicles their intersecting journeys as Sarah searches for her relatives in Canada, and Richard tries to find his place in the world and earn his father’s respect. This novel features twists inspired by stories from the Lennox and Addington County archives. It also shines a light on the plight of the early Home Children: waifs and orphans taken from the slums of London to provide child labour on Canadian farms. Finding Home was co-authored with Ruth Allen who shares my love of history and writing. The manuscript is now at the editing stage.