John Wilson

My Photo
Location: Lantzville, BC, Canada

A lifelong passion for history and a fascination with the past—WWI in particular—have led to over 40 historical novels and non-fiction books for kids, teens and adults.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Give a Book to your favorite reader.


Click HERE to find out more.
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Remembrance Day Tour

Five schools and fifteen presentations to 2,100 kids from K to 12.
And all in four days. Wonderful week.
Here's a slide show and write up of the day at Upper Canada College.
Below are some photos from St Michael's in Toronto, St. Michael's in Victoria and Tall Pines in Brampton.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"…digging in for a captivating read."

Book 2 in the Tales of War from Doubleday (Book 1 is Wings of War)
Alec Shorecross is 14 and already working down the mines in Newfoundland for 13 cents an hour. WWI seems to offer Alec a chance to escape the underground darkness, so he signs up and heads overseas, his head filled with heroic dreams. Unfortunately, he soon finds himself risking his life with 169 Tunnelling Company, placing mines beneath the enemy trenches.
Read a Kirkus review of Dark Terror here.
Pre-order a copy at or
Prepare for Dark Terror by reading Wings of War.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Cover

North with Franklin: The Lost Journals of James Fitzjames has a new eBook cover

"Somewhere on a barren Arctic shore in the summer of 1849, knowing he was dying, a British Naval officer wrapped his journal in sailcloth and buried it beneath a lonely pile of frost-shattered stones. He was the last of the 129 doomed men of Sir John Franklin's lost Arctic expedition. His name was James Fitzjames and for four years he had carefully recorded the expedition's achievements, hopes and, as things began to go horribly wrong, the descent into madness and eventual death of his closest friends. This is his journal."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Back Home

With the writing students at Vanier in Moose Jaw.
Okay, it's grey and there's a rainfall warning on the island, but it's 50 degrees warmer than when I arrived in Saskatchewan a week ago!
Despite the cold, it was a great tour in Regina and Moose Jaw, Toronto before that, and southern Ontario before that, with brief interspersed stops in Vancouver and Victoria—promoting this years' books: Broken Arrow, Wings of War, Graves of Ice, Bones and the new edition of And in the Morning.
I've only been home for two weeks out of the last eight, but I have given 60 presentations at 32 venues (schools, libraries and conferences) to approximately 6,000 kids. Hopefully that will fill a few Christmas stockings.
Thanks to Orca Publishing for their support and to Tim Horton's for having a outlet on every block in Ontario when I only had 20 minutes between schools.
Bring on the warm rain and the eggnog!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why John Wilson Remembers.

An article for Remembrance Day in BC Booklook.

"Why John Wilson Remembers."

Saturday, November 01, 2014

some thoughts on Erebus

A couple of things from the Ryan Harris interview on CBC (see previous post) struck me recently.
The things that Ryan Harris said were:
1.   He had gone into the ship and brought one "artifact" out.
2.   The ship was identified as Erebus after they returned to Ottawa.
Maybe the Erebus was identified by the artifact. It could be something that, after it was cleaned, had Erebus on it or a possession of an officer from Erebus. In which case why not say what the artifact was? Probably because the artifact contains more information that is still being worked on.
Interestingly, Mansbridge didn't ask the obvious question: How do we know it's the Erebus? This also suggests that the artifact has more to tell us.
Finally, Ryan Harris suggested that paper might survive in the cold water.
So, the single artifact:
—was interesting enough to be the only thing removed from the wreck on the first few dives,
—it probably contained information that identified the ship as Erebus,
—it is still being worked on and is revealing more information that has yet to be made public,
—paper might survive on the wreck.
Leap of faith—was the artifact removed from the wreck a notebook, report of scientific findings, a journal or a diary?
Okay, it's speculation, but isn't speculation why we've all been so interested in the Franklin Expedition mystery for 170 years?
Maybe it's the Lost Journal of James Fitzjames!