Interview with Ross A. MacInnes, Author of Shadows Come At Midnight

01 Jun 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, Shadows Come At Midnight?

The back story to the book is that at the start of the COVID pandemic in March 2020, I had a long look at my policing career and its effect on me at various times through my years with the department and into retirement.  I was able to look dispassionately at different “turning points” that happened and my responses to them.  Who it was that helped me along the journey, and how I became the way I am today – good or bad.

It was a tough write at times – reliving the incidents and bringing back all the little details that occurred. This is not a book of criticism of policy, members, or organizations – quite the opposite.  I had an incredible career.

At 19, I was sworn in as a member of the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police. From rural Manitoba to recruit training with the RCMP to becoming one of the most respected Commanders of an Organized Crime Unit in a Metropolitan Police Department, this is my story of a journey through the shadows of policing.

On my first posting as an RCMP Officer, my partner was murdered.  As a result, I began to take extreme risks in my work, and there was no relief from the nightmares except booze. Within three years, I quit the RCMP and, for four years, bounced around from job to job.  Then, determined to face down my demons, I returned as a Police Officer with the Calgary Police Department.

Over the years, I have witnessed death, anguish, and unimaginable sorrow. I learned that certain injuries heal, but PTSD can only be managed.

This is not a self-help book but a story of the journey through trauma to a life lived with purpose and joy.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I struggled with learning how to read or write – it was a weird brain thing. I was held back in school a number of times, labelled as a “slow learner.” In my late 20’s I determined to resolve those shortcomings in my life and set out to write short stories.  I was inspired by Arthur Hailey, and the complexity of his plots, the way he brought his characters to life, and the overall “readability” of his work.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Atlas Shrugged – By Ayn Rand

The Stand – By Stephen King

The Pilgrim’s Progress – By John Bunyan

North and South – By John Jakes

Sailor on Horseback (Jack London) – by Irving Stone

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Author DC Little – The Mercy Rising series.  I would like to ask how she researches, sorts, and integrates all the background information for her books – survival, weapons, plot twists, character development, flow etc.  I would also ask her about her marketing plan. It is exceptional. Through her newsletters, reader contact and e-mails her readers get to know her on a personal level.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The solitude.  I put my headphones on, boot up my computer and get lost in a world of my own creation. It’s actually a bit of a let-down when I finish the writing of a book. What now?

What is a typical day like for you?

I am an early-morning writer.  I typically get underway about 5:00 am, write for a couple hours, have breakfast, then go down to the barn to work with my 27 horses. Then I will work on machinery, fencing, etc. till mid-afternoon. I take a brief nap, get some things down around the house, then work on my writing for an hour or so in the evening.

What scene from Shadows Come At Midnight was your favorite to write?

Chapter 15 – the moose hunt in the north.  I was chased by a bull moose, had to shimmy up a tree and he still came at me.  I shot him with a revolver.  One of the scariest moments of my life, but it made a great anecdote.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Actually, I have two.  The first is “Be so good you cannot be denied.” The second is “I can do anything for 15 minutes.”

Ross A. MacInnes is the author of the new book Shadows Come At Midnight

Connect with Ross A. MacInnes

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