I wish I could quit you, Harlequin
If you search for my new book, The Apocalypse Ark, on Amazon, Indigo, or any of the other online book emporiums, you’re likely to come up with two hits: my book and the Mack Bolan book of the same name.
The funny thing is, they’re related.
Let me explain.
Many years ago, before I was leading the jet-setting life of a published author and rubbing shoulders with Leonardo di Caprio’s body double’s body double, I used to work for Harlequin, the romance publisher. I was a proofreader in their Toronto office, where I worked the night shift after a rather painful divorce — because nothing says romance like a divorced man with no options working a cubicle job at midnight. (All jokes aside, it was a great job, with great people. Except for the salary. That was still a joke.)
What does this have to with the end of the world?
As it turns out, Harlequin is also the publisher of the Mack Bolan books. Who is Mack Bolan, you may ask? (I certainly did.). Mack Bolan is the Executioner, aka a one-man army fighting the enemies of America, whatever they may be today. Think The Punisher meets Netflix’s Daredevil, and you’ll be close enough.
There’s a whole series of Bolan books, but they all feature similar things: “hard men” wielding “sawed-off” weapons that “spurt hot lead” into the bodies of other “hard men.”
You get the idea.
I worked in the Harlequin offices for nearly a year, editing romances and the Mack Bolan books, which were essentially romances for men. After I left Harlequin I continued to freelance for them, while also publishing academic papers on romance novels. So what’s the connection between my new book, The Apocalypse Ark and the Mack Bolan novel of the same name?
None, really. Except for the fact that the Harlequin job was what got me into Toronto in the first place. Once I was in Toronto, I reconnected with old friends who got me into the writing scene there, where I met many new friends. Being part of that scene gave me the inspiration and belief in myself as a writer that helped me publish my first book, Please. It’s a wandering path from the Mack Bolan books to Please to The Apocalypse Ark, but it’s been an interesting journey.
So Mack Bolan’s Apocalypse Ark doesn’t have anything to do with my Apocalypse Ark, but it also has everything to do with my book. Because I likely wouldn’t have written any of my books if I hadn’t worked that Harlequin job all those years ago.
I guess the message of this post is true love never dies, no matter how many times you spurt hot lead into its hard body. Also, make sure you order the right copy of The Apocalypse Ark if you buy it online. Or just buy them both and make everyone happy. Because Harlequin is all about the happy endings.