van Belkom, Edo 1962-
van Belkom, Edo 1962-
(James Axler, Evan Hollander)
PERSONAL: Born July 14, 1962, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; son of Frank (a sheet metal worker) and Romana (a banquet waitress) van Belkom; married Roberta Di Maio (a parking enforcement officer), October 24, 1987; children: Luke. Ethnicity: "Dutch/Italian." Education: York University, B.A. (with honors), 1991. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Warbirds, model making, collecting old paperbacks.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—77 Elizabeth St. S., Brampton, Ontario L6Y 1R3, Canada. Agent—Joshua Bilmes, Jabberwocky Literary Agency, P.O. Box 4558, Sunnyside, NY 11104-0558. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Excalibur, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reporter, 1984–86; Brampton Times, Brampton, Ontario, reporter, 1987–90; North York Mirror, (North York, Ontario) reporter, summer, 1990; Cambridge Reporter, Cambridge, Ontario, reporter, 1991–92; freelance writer, 1992–. Peel Board of Education, writing instructor for continuing education classes, 1995–2000; also instructor or guest lecturer at area colleges and universities, including Sheridan College, University of Toronto, and Ryerson Polytechnic University; workshop presenter; public speaker; writing contest judge; gives readings from his works. SCREAM (all-horror digital television channel), on-air host, 2001–02; guest on television and radio programs throughout Canada. City of North York, acting community resource coordinator for office of the mayor, 1997; school bus driver, 1998–2001; Brampton Public Library, member of board of directors, 2004–; security guard and special constable, 2004–.
MEMBER: Horror Writers Association, Writers Union of Canada, Crime Writers of Canada Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (Canadian regional director, 1994–98).
AWARDS, HONORS: Arts Acclaim Award, City of Brampton, 1995, 2000; Bram Stoker Award, superior achievement in a short story (with coauthor David Nickle), Horror Writers Association, 1997, for "Rat Food"; Aurora Award, best short-form work in English, 1999, for "Hockey's Night in Canada;" Aurora Awards, 2002, for Be Very Afraid!, and 2005, for Wolf Pack.
Wyrm Wolf (based on "World of Darkness" fantasy game), HarperPrism (New York, NY), 1995.
Lord Soth (based on "Dragonlance" game), TSR (Renton, WA), 1997.
Mister Magick (based on "World of Darkness" game), White Wolf (Stone Mountain, GA), 1998.
Teeth, Meisha Merlin (Atlanta, GA), 2001.
Martyrs, Design Image (Darien, IL), 2001.
(Under pseudonym James Axler) Deathlands: Skydark Spawn, Harlequin Gold Eagle (Buffalo, NY), 2003.
Scream Queen, Kensington Publishers (New York, NY), 2003.
Army of the Dead, Prime Books (Canton, OH), 2003.
Blood Road, Kensington Publishers (New York, NY), 2004.
Wolf Pack (juvenile), Tundra Books (Plattsburgh, NY), 2004.
(Under pseudonym James Axler) Deathlands: Death Dealer, Harlequin Gold Eagle (Buffalo, NY), 2005.
Lone Wolf (juvenile), Tundra Books (Plattsburgh, NY), 2005.
Author of the novel Mark Dalton: SmartDriver, published as a serial in "SmartDriver Home Study Program for Heavy Vehicles," with audio cassette and compact disc, Natural Resources Canada, 2004.
Northern Dreamers: Interviews with Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Authors, Quarry Press (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
Writing Horror, Self-Counsel Press, (North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2000.
Writing Erotica, Self-Counsel Press (North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2001.
Aurora Award Winners, Quarry Press (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
What Was That?, Tundra Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
Be Afraid!, Tundra Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
Be Very Afraid!: More Tales of Horror (short stories), Tundra Books (Plattsburgh, NY), 2002.
Series editor, "Out of This World," Quarry Press, 1999–2002. Contributing editor, bulletin of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1993–; guest editor, horror issue of Canadian Fiction, 2000.
(Under pseudonym Evan Hollander) Virtual Girls: The Erotic Gems of Evan Hollander (chapbook collection), Circlet Press (Cambridge, MA), 1995.
Death Drives a Semi (short stories), Quarry Press (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
Yours Truly, Jackie the Stripper (chapbook), Dark Raptor Press (Clay, NY), 1998.
Six-Inch Spikes (short stories), Dark Tales Publications (Kansas City, MO), 2001.
Author of the fiction serial Mark Dalton: Owner Operator, published monthly in Truck News, 1999–. Contributor to anthologies, sometimes under pseudonym Evan Hollander, including Year's Best Horror Stories Series 20, Best American Erotica 1999, The Grand Slam Book of Canadian Baseball Writing, On Spec, and Arrowdreams. Contributor of more than 200 short stories to periodicals, including Canadian Fiction, Ice: New Writings on Hockey, Journal of Sports Literature, Arrowdreams, Storyteller: Canada's Short Story Magazine, and Cemetery Dance.
SIDELIGHTS: In 1992 Edo van Belkom decided to give up his career as a reporter to stay home and care for his newborn son. This is also when he began working full-time as a freelance writer. His first book, Wyrm Wolf, based on the "World of Darkness" fantasy game about werewolves, or Garous, became a genre bestseller. In Wyrm Wolf van Belkom spins the tale of Father Oldman, a Garou posing as a priest who runs a mission for the homeless in San Francisco. Oldman discovers that an evil werewolf from Wyrm is killing members of the mission and he must stop him. Van Belkom followed Wyrm Wolf with two more novels based on fantasy games. Lord Soth is derived from the "Dragonlance" saga. It tells the story of Lord Soth and how he became the Death Knight. Mister Magick is van Belkom's second entry in the "World of Darkness" epic.
Van Belkom's short-story collection, Death Drives a Semi, contains two new stories along with eighteen tales previously published, including his Bram Stoker Award winner, "Rat Food." In Canadian Materials, Dave Jenkinson remarked that Death Drives a Semi "deserves to be savored slowly, but its contents are so delicious that it will likely be devoured in an orgy of reading."
Van Belkom once told CA: "I've always wanted to be a writer. In my teenage years I tried everything from lyrics to rock songs to poetry, but couldn't find the one thing I enjoyed writing most. That came one day when I read The October Country by Ray Bradbury. After each story I said, 'Wow!' or 'Gee Whiz!' and I knew then that I wanted to write stories like Ray Bradbury, so someone else reading them would get to the end and have that same sense of wonderment as I had experienced.
"So much of my writing has been influenced by Ray Bradbury, but I've also enjoyed the work of other writes who are equally accomplished, such as Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson. Each of them writes entertaining stories, but which can often be quite powerful and moving. A contemporary writer who has the same effect on me is Canadian W.P. Kinsella, who is a graceful writer with a keen eye for character.
"I used to have stories come to me in a flash in which I saw everything about the story from beginning to end. When I sat down to write, it was always at a quick pace because I knew where the story was going to go, how it was going to end, and I always seemed to be in a hurry to get there. These days, I usually start out with a scene, or a character, or an idea, start writing and learn what the story is going to be as I go along. I still get the occasional story flash, but I've become more patient over the years realizing that my first idea about something isn't always my best. This method often gets me stuck in the middle of a story not knowing where it's headed, so I leave it for a while until an idea comes to me, and I can get the story moving again.
"Although I've written science fiction, fantasy, mystery and erotica, people seem to perceive me as a horror writer, which is fine with me since horror's emotional element can be found in all genres and even in the mainstream. However, the horror I write only rarely deals with such classic monsters as vampires, werewolves and ghosts. I'm much more comfortable, and have enjoyed some success, writing abut the horrific in our everyday lives.
"Of all the types of writing I've done, my favorite form of all is the short story. For a writer there is no other form that puts such demands on the writer's craft. Every word, every sentence has to matter in a short story, and there's no greater satisfaction than when all the elements come together in the space of 3,000 to 5,000 words, and a story works the way you intended it to. If I could make my living writing nothing but short stories, I'd certainly do it, but the reality of the full-time writer's life is that one must produce books to earn a living. But while I'm producing books, I'm always able to find the time to write a short story or two."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books in Canada, summer, 1995.
Canadian Materials, January 15, 1999, Dave Jenkin-son, review of Death Drives a Semi.
Library Journal, September 1, 1998.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 1995.
Edo van Belkom Home Page, http://www.vanbelkom.com (March 22, 2006).