Grant McKenzie


Born in Scotland, living in Canada and writing American thrillers, Grant likes to wear a toque and kilt with his six-guns. His debut novel, SWITCH, earned fantastic reviews internationally when it was published by Random House UK and Penguin Canada, plus in translation by Heyne Germany, Spring International Publishers of Taiwan and AST Russia. His second novel, No Cry For Help, surprised even his newfound fans by being even more nail-biting, and his third, K.A.R.M.A., cemented his reputation as "Harlan Coben on speed," as author Ken Bruen labelled him. His short stories have been featured in the First Thrills anthology edited by Lee Child from Tor/Forge, plus Out of the Gutter and Spinetingler magazines, and his first screenplay won a fellowship at the Praxis Centre for Screenwriting in Vancouver, and is currently under consideration by an Australian movie company. As a journalist, Grant has worked in virtually every area of the newspaper business from the late-night “Dead Body Beat” at a feisty daily tabloid to senior copy/design editor at two of Canada’s largest broadsheets.He currently resides in Victoria, B.C., where he is Editor-in-Chief of Monday Magazine.


Grant McKenzie

SiWC Workshops

Friday 1:30pm

Do your research topics make your local librarian rub her hands in maniacal glee? Are you probably on a government watch list somewhere for all the times you've googled effective ways to kill or kidnap someone? If so, then this panel is for you. Join our group of killer writers for some insight into living in imaginary worlds filled with suspense, crimes, violence, and heroism.

Friday 3:30pm

You have this idea for a big action thriller, dark mystery or cleavage-busting Victorian romance, but is it best to write it as a screenplay or a novel? In this workshop, Grant McKenzie will explore the differences and similarities between the two storytelling mediums, what it takes to marry them together and when it's best to keep them apart. Using examples, he'll also show how the same scene looks from a screenwriter's perspective and from a novelist's.

Sunday 9:30am

Great opening sentences tend to stick in the mind of a reader long after the rest of the book is forgotten. Ask almost anyone to quote from a book and chances are, it's those first few words placed on the page that they'll be able to recall. We'll discuss some great modern examples of what makes an opening line memorable, why it's so important, and how to use it as a building block for your novel rather than a dam.