Nicholas Maes
Nicholas Maes in his study

Hi there. And welcome to my study. When I'm not planning history lessons, or marking high school papers, it's between these walls that I plot my stories. Some involve the future, some the past, some are for adults, some are for kids, but they always take me to some place far away, an exciting one, a dangerous one, never a locale where you'd want to vacation, but one which you'd love to tour nonetheless.

It's a funny thing. I have studied a lot of history, both ancient and modern. I love reading about science and digesting hard facts. But when it comes to explaining the world around me, and bringing all my thoughts together, I prefer to write fiction, not history or journalism. Fiction is in some sense lying, yet my lies (in my eyes at least) seem more convincing than the truth itself. Certainly, they're much more interesting to spin!

Whom do I write for? Who's the right candidate for my lies... that is, my stories? If you'd like to read how the past and future mix, you might be interested in Laughing Wolf, a story about the last Latin speaker (in the year 2213) who discovers that our future depends upon Latin. If you wish to read about the Holocaust and rock 'n roll - believe me, it isn't what you'd expect -then my adult novel Dead Man's Float might be your thing. Unless you like tales about Neanderthals bent on world domination, or the story of a locksmith and his friendship with two man-sized frogs. Join me in my study. Come meet the characters who've been born in this room, and spend time with some of my favorite people, schemers, dreamers and anarchists. Welcome to!


Dead Man's Float
Nicholas Maes
Nathan Gelder has suffered a stroke. He is floating in his memories and resurrects his past: his childhood in Holland, his family's ruin, his escape from the Shoah, and the Jewish-gentile rift inside him. He recalls, too, his retroactive justice: his murder of the rock star Leonard Barvis.

Praise for Dead Man's Float

Reading Dead Man's Float, much of which takes place in a series of symbolic swimming pools, is like immersing oneself in a literary bath made up of many of the most prominent voices of the 20th century. Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Salman Rushdie, Anthony Burgess, and Isaac Bashevis Singer are some of the authors who haunt these pages, with nods here and there to the likes of T.S. Eliot, Arthur Koestler, and Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Quill and Quire

Young Adult

Laughing Wolf
Nicholas Maes
It is the year 2213. For all our technology, a plague threatens humankind. The last living Latin speaker, young Felix Taylor, just might save us... if he travels back to ancient Rome.

Praise for Laughing Wolf

Laughing Wolf is strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation.
Quill and Quire
A satisfying blend of futuristic science fiction and time-travel fantasy, Laughing Wolf is a deeply thought-provoking novel that, like the best science fiction, provides ample thrills while engaging the audience in philosophical debate.
CM Magazine
Short-listed for the 2010 Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice Award - Snow Willow and for the 2010 Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award
Nicholas Maes
Lewis Castorman is a genius locksmith. Chemist Ernst Grumpel has kidnapped his father. If he wishes to see his dad alive, he will travel to Yellow Swamp, a blighted zone in north Alberta, and use his skills to open a lock. He will have help: two, giant, talking frogs.

Praise for Locksmith

A highly recommended read for all ages!
CM Magazine
Nicholas Maes
Simon Carpenter is losing it. His mind, literally, has been wandering off, and a rabbit keeps engaging him in conversation. This isn't insanity, he'll soon discover, but the start of an invasion from the distant past. Neanderthals are striking back!

Praise for Transmigration

Whoa. What a ride! Nicholas Maes's Transmigration is brilliant: a well-conceived fantasy with a unique premise and a gripping storyline.
There Will Be Books: Reviews of Children's and YA Literature
Nicholas Maes
It is 2215. Felix Taylor thought he'd saved the world, but a raging plague has surfaced again. Someone's out to destroy humankind! Again his Latin skills are needed, and again he must travel to the ancient past.

Praise for Fortuna

This sequel to Nicholas Maes' The Laughing Wolf portrays a brilliantly imagined future and a vividly re-created past! Fortuna is perfect for readers who enjoy mythology, mystery, and sci-fi fantasy. Two thumbs up!
McNally Robinson
Crescent Star
Nicholas Maes
Avi and Moussa live in Jerusalem. One is Jewish, the other Palestinian. Both hate the conflict that's been raging forever, but neither can stop it from drawing him in. The region's history is too large to ignore.

Praise for Crescent Star

Crescent Star paints a vivid portrait of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and does so in a fair and sympathetic way.
Quill and Quire
[Maes] has a gift for vivid description which places readers in a world which is foreign both politically and geographically and yet which illustrates both the best and the worst of the human condition.
CM Magazine


Robertson Davies: Magician of Words
Nicholas Maes
Essayist, playwright, professor and novelist, Robertson Davies was one of Canada's great writers. This brief biography explores his life and literary inventiveness.

Praise for Robertson Davies: Magician of Words

Nicholas Maes, a high school history teacher and university lecturer in classics, has produced a balanced biography of Robertson Davies that has the potential of introducing this "lion" of Canadian literature to a new generation of readers.
CM Magazine

The Author

Who are you?
I'm a high school teacher and professor of classics - that means I've studied a lot of Greek and Latin. I also have an addiction to writing, some non-fiction, but novels mainly.
You live in Toronto?
Yes. I grew up in Montreal, and have lived in Holland, Greece and Israel. In my fiction, I live all over the place. I also like to travel in time!
You write for different age groups?
Yes. Some stories are more appropriate for adults, others are better suited for teens. Writing stories for different ages enables me to change my thinking. I also like writing different genres of fiction, historical, sci-fi, fantasy and traditional tales. Such shifts in narrative keep my mind sharp.
When did you start writing?
I started writing seriously when I was travelling one summer - I was twenty-three. I was keeping a travel diary, yet I kept making details up instead of writing down facts. That's when my addiction to fiction started.
Do you have a family?
Yes. I've been married a long time, and have three children, two boys and a girl. They test my fiction out for me.
Are you working on new novels?
You bet! Despite my teaching schedule, I'm writing all the time! One novel, the Forever Road, involves a teen who's being chased by people for reasons he can't understand - until he discovers who he truly is. Another, Luck of the Draw, involves a future dystopia in which some people live forever, and others die at 20. In a third, Iteration, life is perfect in the distant future, until a series of violent murders erupt, which the world's last detective is determined to solve (he won't like what he finds). And there are other projects too. So many stories, and so little time!