My editing background is primarily in magazines. I was editor-in-chief of Western Living magazine from 1981 to 1987 (serving before that as the publication’s managing editor and assistant editor). Western Living was named Magazine of the Year at the Western Magazine Awards in 1985, 1986 and 1987. With seven city editions, it was the largest regional publication in Canada and western Canada’s most prominent magazine. Today it is quite slender in size but in the 1980s it was a big, fat money-maker. We regularly put out 200-page issues.


From 1987 to 1989 I lived in Seattle and was publisher of Alaska Airlines Magazine, which at that time was owned by the same Canadian company, Comac Communications, that owned Western Living. This was also a profitable time, as Alaska Airlines was moving into California, which allowed the magazine to expand its advertising base and greatly increase its revenues. Unfortunately, in 1989 the airline signed up with a different publishing company.


I returned to Canada and spent the next two years working for the Globe and Mail as senior editor of WEST magazine and travel and homes editor of WEST, Toronto and Montreal magazines.


All these publications went out of business in 1991, the year my wife, Shiane, lost her five-year battle with cancer. I decided to quit the full-time editing business and try to make my living as a freelancer.


For me, working independently meant doing a lot of other things besides writing. I was also kept busy with contract editing, desktop publishing and editorial consulting work for a variety of enterprises.


Magazines were an exhilarating, exhausting ride. I no longer edit them but I still read quite a few each month. Titles I’ve subscribed to over the years include Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, Canadian Geographic and the Walrus, but my favourite by far is the New Yorker.