It’s fair to say that Edmond Gagnon has been around the block, as in he’s patrolled the beat a fair few times. A retired police detective, this Canadian author has put his true crime stories to good use as the basis for the fictional Norm Strom series. In contrast to the famous saying, crime has definitely paid for Ed. He mines a rich seam of memories for his fiction. Ed is also an accomplished travel writer with many adventure articles and books to his name. Without further ado, meet Canadian author, Edmond Gagnon.
Windsor, Ontario, your hometown, is often described as the most Americanized of Canadian cities. Why?”
“Probably because of our location. Windsor is south of Detroit (and most of Michigan), plus many of the northern US states. Our close proximity has led to Detroit and Windsor sharing the title of the automotive capital of the world. Being neighbors to such a large American city has also influenced our television, radio, and social activities.”
When you were patrolling the streets as a police officer, which did you prefer: the day or night beat?”
“I’ve always been more of a night owl and definitely preferred working the night shifts. There is more crime and more action after dark, and I liked the challenge. The police station was quieter too with breaks from phone calls and visitors, allowing me to get more work done.”
Your station celebrated you for being the plainclothes detective with the most informants. What was your secret?”
“My secret was how I treated people in general, showing them the same respect that I expected. I had a knack for connecting with them and listening and relating to them on their own level. People tend to share more with those they trust.”
Other than yourself, of course, who would you like to play Norm Strom in a film of your acclaimed series of books?”
“Funny, my wife and I discuss this from time to time when we see an actor we feel could play Norm Strom during his detective and retired years. Our first choice is Donal Logue, an Irish- born Canadian/American actor who appeared in Gotham as Harvey Bullock and Sons of Anarchy as former US Marshall Lee Toric. Or maybe Russell Crowe or Jeffrey Dean Morgan.”
How would A Casual Traveler have been different if you were sharing details of your travels on Facebook rather than by emails to friends and family?”
“It would have been much easier for me to upload pictures along with my snippets and stories, allowing me to have more detailed notes. Yet the quick access may have led to laziness and shorter stories. It is much easier to show an image than to try and describe it.”
Your first post-retirement travel was to southeast Asia. What was your favorite place?”
“I really don’t do favorites, especially if I have to choose only one. Having said that, Angkor Wat in Cambodia would be at the top of my list.”
You then enjoyed a motorcycle tour of the States. What was your hairiest/scariest moment on that trip?”
“I was very lucky on my motorcycle trips around the continent, having been rear-ended once on the Interstate, riding into a hail storm, getting pelted with debris from a blown truck tire, sliding through a red light on slick pavement, and simply falling over at the gas pumps. My scariest moment where I had time to fret about it was during a torrential downpour on a busy overpass near Houston. I was blinded by heavy rain and spray from trucks. My bike started to hydroplane and I couldn’t see anything around me, including traffic, and I had to get the hell off the road.”
South America came next. What was the spiciest dish you tried there?”
“I enjoy spicy dishes, if we’re talking flavor and not heat. Being a huge carnivore, I had to try guinea pig in Peru and asado — basically a tabletop barbeque — in Argentina. In the latter, I also became a big fan of Malbec and Carménère wines. I don’t agree though, that Argentinian beef is the best in the world. Ours is better.”
You often travel with your wife in tow. How does traveling as a couple differ from solo trips?”
“That could be a dangerous question but fortunately, my wife and I travel well together, whether on the bike or by car. The most noticeable difference is that everything costs twice as much, but single supplements are sometimes a pain. I definitely have more of a sense of adventure than her and she has questioned my curiosity more than once. Nonetheless, she has never been disappointed in my decisions. I tended to travel without a fixed plan more when I went solo, and maybe chose riskier adventures than I would with her. She keeps me out of trouble.”
Where are you looking forward to visiting/revisiting once travel restrictions are lifted?”
“We had to come home from Mexico early when COVID-19 hit, then had to cancel our Croatia trip both last year and this year too. Our Plan B for this summer is to head out west (probably by car) to Vancouver, taking the Canadian route (unless things change). With Europe on hold, we’ve already booked Sayulita and Melaque in Mexico for next winter, come hell or high water.”
If you enjoyed this interview with Canadian author Ed Gagnon, check out his author website. It’s a chronicle of life written and reviewed. Join Ed and Dreams Abroad director Leesa Truesdell for a Facebook Live on Saturday, June 26th at 12:00PM EDT which will expand on this article as the Canadian author answers more questions from our members.
27 thoughts on “Meet Canadian Author Ed Gagnon”
I always enjoy reading your travel articles, Ed. This interview has inspired me to explore your crime fiction. I best do that before they are adapted as movies as I prefer to read the book first.
Thanks Matthew. Most folks enjoy my crime fiction, first because it’s all based on real people and events, and my protagonist isn’t some kind of super hero. Second, many of my fans like my local references. And I agree about book vs movie…making it to film is not always a good thing.
I always thought Argentina beef is the best. I still need to try it. There are still so many great places to see, but next year we are going to Russia.
This was a great article. It was funny, sincere, and personable. Thanks for sharing yourself with the net!
I’m not familiar with Ed’s writing, but I need to check it out! Also, great that travel is slowly returning to normal
Thank you for introducing me to Ed Gagnon. He sounds like a good author.
I love reading crime novels and Ed seems like an expert when it comes to that genre because of his professional background. Thank you for this insightful interview with him.
Crime novels are my husband’s favorite books. I am positive he will love the books by Ed Gagnon. Will be checking out our local bookstore for his books. Hopefully I can find one in time for Father’s day.
First of all, I never knew that Windsor was located in Ontario, thank you for the historylession!
I cant wait to get back to my travels too, I would love to re-book all of the cancelled once 🙂
I loved this travel article. You specified every single detail, also would love to check out Ed’s books.
This was a very interesting interview. I would love to read his book. I feel like a crime fiction book written by a former cop who also has some world experience would be an amazing read.
I definitely enjoy reading this travel interview.
I don’t know about that book, but that sounds really an interesting book for me to read. I am going to check that out.
Retired detectives always have some of the best stories to tell. What makes them even better is that they’re usually from a place of real instances.
It was nice learning about this guy. I also loved learning more about Canada life.
Thanks for sharing these beautiful places! That dish from Peru looks amazing!
I love learning about Canadian authors! It’s a great opportunity for me to support local creatives. 🙂
Loved learning about this author. I want to visit Croatia as well and have Sayulita on my list too. Will have to check our his writing! Sounds like he’s been to epic places around the world.
He sounds like a great guy! I’ll have to check out some of his writing!
I don’t know Norm Storm, lol. You have me curious to know who he is now though!
I love learning more about authors. This is really wonderful. It is really great learning about this author. I’ll have to check them out.
Really interesting to take a peak into someone’s life. I appreciate short bios for anybody who is a public figure. It makes more sense to make a connection between what they do and why.
Interesting insights from Ed. I think it’s beautiful to travel with your spouse. Sharing life experiences together is breath-taking.
Enjoyed reading the travel information. Can’t wait until we are free to travel with no restrictions again!
I love getting to know authors. Now I need to go check out his books!
What a lovely introduction. It is so nice to learn about different people and different things.
I love crime novels. I think I find it interesting! Thanks for this fun interview!
Oh wow. Not huge into those kinds of books but thanks for sharing!