The Next Chapter

How Wayne Arthurson started writing novels

Indigenous crime novelist Wayne Arthurson's stint as a security guard turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Wayne Arthurson is a bestselling crime writer from Edmonton. His books include The Traitors of Camp 133 and Fall from Grace. (Shawna Lemay)

Wayne Arthurson is the author of a bestselling mystery series that follows the life of Leo Desroches, an Indigenous journalist and detective with a gambling addiction. The author of The Traitors of Camp 133 developed his writing skills during his time working as a security guard. 

My job was pretty much to sit there for eight hours, do nothing, watch people come in, sign their name in, all that stuff. But what made that job interesting for me was every day, I would read one full book — a full novel — from beginning to end because I had nothing to do. After doing that for about six months to a year, the quality started getting worse and worse. Near the end I'm like, "I could write better than some of these." So that job sparked me into saying, "Let's try being a novelist and see where it takes me."

Wayne Arthurson's comments have been edited and condensed.