Author Interview: Dougald Lamont

A little about Dougald and his writing career so far:

I’m married with kids and I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, right in the middle of North America. If you’ve seen the movie Fargo, it’s straight north of there. 

I’ve been writing for about 20 years, as a humorist, journalist, and doing P.R. and advertising. I started my own student newspaper in university, and I have a Master’s degree in English Literature. The Jinx is my first work of fiction. 

You are the author of The Jinx. Can you tell me a little about it?

It’s the story of an average kid who finds himself having such a run of bad luck that he starts to wonder whether he is cursed - or is a budding supervillain. When his bad luck starts to threaten the lives of his family, he runs away in hope of keeping them safe and finding a “cure.” That’s when he finds out he is in the middle of something bigger than he could ever imagine.

Where did you get the idea for The Jinx?

The core of the story came from a very vivid and cinematic dream I had a couple of years ago. I was the one having bad luck, and then it started to affect my family, and I had to run away to keep them safe. In my dream I was going up a mountain road and a huge monster made of boulders came stumbling out of the darkness. I woke up and the dream stuck with me, and I built the story around that idea. 

The Jinx is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure. Is this a genre you like to read yourself? If so what are some of your fave Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure reads?

People often say “write what you know” but I saw someone else suggest “write what you like.” I had written some spec scripts for TV, and a movie, but when you are unknown and have no track record persuading someone to spend millions of dollars to make your project is asking a lot. When I would write these things, I would sometimes have this idea in the back of my mind that “uh-oh, this will be an expensive scene” but then I thought, “if I just write a book, there is no special effects budget. I can just describe it.” So that was freeing. 

I do like science fiction and fantasy, though I prefer sci-fi. I grew up on Robert Heinlein, and I still like some of his books for young people. Stanislaw Lem, who was a Polish sci-fi author is one of my favourite authors, especially his books The Cyberiad, Peace on Earth and the Futurological Congress. I love The Lord of the Rings, and I enjoyed Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, and classics like Watership Down. 
One of my favourite books is The House with A Clock in Its Walls, by John Bellairs. It’s funny, scary, exciting and was a big inspiration to me for writing The Jinx. I read it to my kids and it still holds up.

Is there any other genre you would like to tackle? I.E. Dystopian, horror, paranormal etc!

I don’t really think about writing in a particular genre. I just have ideas for stories, and then I write it. The script I wrote for a film was a rock musical. I had a couple of ideas for TV shows that were both comedies. 
That being said, most of my ideas right now are in science fiction / fantasy. Just enough science to make it believable (or at least grounded), and enough fantasy to keep it exciting.

If I were to write something in dystopian, horror or paranormal, it would have to be real a twist on the genre, or be different. When I wrote The Jinx, it was important to me that the main character be an average kid. I didn’t want it to be the story of a kid who seems ordinary but then finds out he has extraordinary powers because he inherited them from parents he never knew, like Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter. I don’t mean that as a criticism of those stories - I love Star Wars. I just wanted my story to be different. I wanted a character who wasn’t born special - who wasn’t a “chosen one” but someone ordinary who rises to the occasion. 

I haven’t figured out an angle on those other genres yet. 

Are you currently working on any new projects?

I am! It’s another science fiction fantasy book for children aged 8-13, also inspired by dreams. I’m over half done the first draft, and I am pleased with the way it’s going. If you like The Jinx, I think you’ll really like this book as well!

Thanks to Dougald for the interview!

Readers can read the first chapter of The Jinx free - and get links to purchase ebooks (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad) as well as softcover versions at:

Facebook Page for The Jinx is:

Douglad's author page on Goodreads is:

* I will be reviewing The Jinx next month :) *


  1. Great interview! I'll definitely be adding The Jinx to my TBR list - thank you for sharing about it! :)

  2. Loved the interview! Some of the best stories come from dreams :)