About the Author

Michael Scott Curnes is multi-award-winning Cascadian fiction novelist living in Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA. He is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada.

FAUN (Fall 2024) marks the 6th Michael Scott Curnes novel heading to publication. This bi-millennial historical romp follows the tragic tale (and tail) of a twenty-fourth generation goat herder named Gabien, who roamed the hills outside of Rome in the latter years of the Hellenistic Period. Equal parts History and Fantasy, this faun (half-man half-goat) stumbles into immortality when he is discovered by a middle-aged sculptor determined to chisel an opus for the ages. See a sneak peak here.

To Pay Paul (July 1, 2022) marks the 10th fiction novel written by this author and his fifth to be published. Considered a sequel to his Green Book Award-winning novel, For the Love of Mother (2011), this latest work marks a return to the eco-thriller genre and a reoccurring character: the mightily dammed Columbia River. Written as an ode to the many cancer victims and survivors who worked at, lived near or got contaminated downwind from the Hanford Nuclear Site in East-Central Washington State–among whom, Curnes considers himself a cancer-surviving Downwinder. Critics are hailing To Pay Paul as an eco-thriller 17 Million years in the making. Winner of the 2022 Royal Dragonfly Award taking FIRST PRIZE in the Fiction, Green Books/Environmental and LGBTQ categories. To Pay Paul was also the 2022-23 Bronze Medal Winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Download a short sheet here.

Wicked Ninnish (2020) his fourth published novel was loosely derived from the author’s experiences living in Clayoquot Sound from the mid-Nineties to the mid-Oughts—when and where he designed and built an off-the-grid cabin on Wickaninnish Island while managing an oceanfront resort, helming the local chamber of commerce, and running two Bed-and-Breakfasts. Wicked Ninnish picked up the Royal Dragonfly Literary Awards LGBTQ Fiction Prize, the Readers View Reviewers Choice Award Bronze Medal for LGBTQ Fiction, and was a Legacy Fiction Finalist in the 19th Annual American Book Fest Best Book Awards.

Coping with Ash (2017) his third published novel was based on the author’s own scheme for the eventual distribution of his human cremains (ashes). Coping with Ash earned the 2017 New Apple Book Award for Best LGBTQ Fiction, The Royal Dragonfly Literary Book Award for Best LGBTQ Fiction, a Bronze Medal for LGBTQ Fiction in the Independent Book Publishers Awards, was a 2017 Finalist in the International Book Awards, and received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Great Northwest Book Festival.

For the Love of Mother (2011) his 2nd published novel was the author’s first eco-thriller  and the winner of the 2011 Green Book Awards Fiction prize in 2011. (Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood was the previous year’s winner of this prize). For the Love of Mother was also named a fiction finalist in the 2011 International Books Festival.

VAL (1996) his debut fiction novel, published by Brownell & Carroll, is based on the short life of Silent Film legend, Rudolph Valentino. 

More about Michael

Born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1962 and raised in north-central Idaho and western Montana, Curnes grew up listening to, interpreting and telling stories. After high school, he toured the U.S. and Europe for a year performing as a singer and dancer in the Up with People Show before settling into more formal studies at the universities of Idaho and New Mexico.

After university, Michael managed hotels for Holiday Inns in New Mexico and Colorado, and the Westin Hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter. He switched careers during the AIDS Crisis and worked as the Director of Volunteers for the Colorado AIDS Project in Denver and the Community AIDS Services Unit for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health in Seattle. He returned to hospitality in the late ’90s to manage an ocean-front resort in Tofino, British Columbia, and during this stint, made the decision to immigrate to Canada, later holding a number of government administrative positions, becoming a Canadian Citizen on Valentine’s Day in the Year 2000.

Now, fifteen years on and beginning to flirt with retirement, Michael maintains a foot in government and actively consults with more than a dozen Registered Canadian Charities, assisting them with the development of their strategic and communications plans, and the sophistication of their fundraising and grant writing programs. 

Also by Michael Scott Curnes

In addition to his five published novels, Curnes has five complete works of unedited fiction that, so far, have not been published. These include his debut novel: A Change in Face (1987); Whitewash (1989);  A Dare to Weep (1995); He with the Most Toys (1996); and La Misa Saltando (2002); the latter, an ambitious work set in Venezuela and written in both English and Spanish.

His essays have been published in two anthologies: Writing the West Coast: In Love With Place (2008) and Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (2012) and printed in the Facts and Arguments section of Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail (1996).

Curnes has also written two unproduced musicals: WEB, the Musical (1998) and Eik, a Musical Revue (2004). He has also written two screenplays for film, Sweepstake (2002) and Coping with Ash (2003) the latter, he converted to a successfully published fiction novel by the same title. In addition, Curnes penned a three-act stage play (workshopped but unproduced) titled Embracing the Epilogue (1997).

He has also written for The Globe and Mail, The Victoria Times Columnist, The Westerly News and The Sound Magazine.

Favourite Novels by Others Who Penned the Way

The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

The Catch Trap by Marion Bradley Zimmer

The Front Runner by Patricia Neil Warren

The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Maurice by E.M. Forster

Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault

Tales of the City by Amistad Maupin

Lie with Me by Phillipe Besson

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch

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Michael enjoys designing his own Book Cover concepts, usually at the start of his novel writing process. (Most of these get overridden by his publishers who often have specific marketing objectives).

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