About the Author
Michael Scott Curnes was born in Coeur d’Alene and raised in north-central Idaho. He was the first son of a U.S. Forest Service fire-fighting father and an English and Drama teaching, librarian mother who required book reports during summer vacations and ran a profitable grammar jar where the fines for improper language usage were collected not only from her children but from her children’s friends if they were caught misspeaking, misconjugating or mis-anything that wasn’t considered proper English in her house. After high school, Michael toured the U.S. and Europe for a year performing as a singer and dancer in the Up with People Show before settling into more formal studies at the universities of Idaho and New Mexico.
Before turning 21, Michael was diagnosed first with testicular cancer and then intra-abdominal lymphoma but through months of chemotherapy and two surgeries, he was determined he was not going to die with several stories still in him. He returned to the writing he’d enjoyed during his school years and through essays, newspaper writing, fiction, poetry, plays and the librettos of two musicals, he found new purpose and has been cancer-free for more than 35 years.
After university, Michael managed hotels for Holiday Inn in New Mexico and Colorado, and the Westin Hotel in New Orleans. He switched careers during the AIDS Crisis and worked as the Director of Volunteers for the Colorado AIDS Project in Denver and the Community AIDS Services Unit for the King County Department of Public Health in Seattle. He returned to hospitality in the late ’90s to manage a resort in Tofino, British Columbia, and during this chapter, made the decision to immigrate to Canada, later becoming a Canadian Citizen on Valentine’s Day in the Year 2000.
Brownell & Carroll Publishers handled the publishing of Michael’s first novel, Val, a fictional retrospective on the life of Silent Film legend Rudolph Valentino, in 1996.
Inkwater Press published Michael’s second novel, the award winning eco-thriller, For the Love of Mother in 2011—winner of the Green Book Festival Fiction Award and finalist in the International Book Awards.
Inkwater Press has also published Michael’s third novel, Coping with Ash, and is set to publish his fourth novel, Wicked Ninnish, in Spring 2020.
His essays have been published in two anthologies: Writing the West Coast: In Love With Place in 2008 and Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast in 2012.
He has written for The Globe and Mail, The Victoria Times Columnist, The Westerly News and The Sound Magazine.
Michael has worked for a number of environmental organizations including The Friends of Clayoquot Sound, River Network, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and is currently with Pacific Wild Alliance.
These days, he writes from his lookout on Christmas Hill and lives with his husband, Bernard, in Victoria, British Columbia.