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After the Book Ends

After the Book Ends

By Heather Down
Ever wonder what happens to the nonfiction writer after the book is published? The book might end, but the writer's story usually doesn't. Join Heather Down for intriguing conversations with your favourite authors.
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After the Book Ends with Tim Grutzius

After the Book Ends

After the Book Ends With Henry Cole
It's not everyday you get the opportunity to chat with the great, great, great nephew of a British Prime Minister! But today was that day. Henry Cole, author of the fantastic memoir that is A Biker's Life, was gracious enough to Facetime with me to talk about his incredible life after his book was published. His lineage can be traced back to William Ewert Gladstone, a Prime Minister in the 1800s. Henry loves all things motorcycles . . . and he apparently loves backyard sheds, too. But there are stipulations on what consitutes a shed! He has the answer to all self-help needs, and it is simpler than you might think. Besides being a producer, a well-known TV presenter, an author, and a recovering addict, Henry is also a family man who has discovered that priorities (a close second only to sheds) do matter. Henry has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Elizabeth Hurley, and many more. But what I feel makes him truly great is his desire to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground (or on the pedals of a motorcycle).  We get to chat about all sorts of things: from the making of the movie Mad Dogs and Englishmen, to Route 66, to the ideas of his two new books that will be released in the future.  Oi, Guvnor, it was fun! Cheers, mate!
December 10, 2019
After the Book Ends With Joanne Vannicola
What a privilege and pleasure to chat with Joanne Vannicola, author of All We Knew But Couldn't Say published by Dundurn Press. This memoir cuts deep and takes the reader on an incredible journey. We chat about everything from Sesame Street to the TV Show Being Erica.  Joanne is gracious and even indulged me in what was dubbed "a very odd question." Want to know what that question was? You have to take a listen to find out. To connect with Joanne, check out
October 6, 2019
After the Book Ends with Theo Fleury
You may have thought you knew everything about Theo Fleury, author of Playing with Fire, hockey player, Olympic medalist, and mental health advocate! But I bet you will learn a little more in this episode. From professional baseball player to a man who worked in a concrete business to a COUNTRY SINGER! In fact, this episode begins and ends with my favourite song of his, Sick as You Secrets. Currently, Theo is best known (and humbled and grateful) to work in the arena of relational trauma. Just by telling his story, he has helped smash the stigma so many experience around the topic of mental health and addictions. His voice is used to help people change the tape that plays in their own heads. He is a kind, straight-shooting, guy. Listen to his reaction when I read him a passage from the upcoming book, A Medic's Mind, where author Matthew Heneghan credits Theo for giving him the courage to also share his truth. My favourite story has to be about when happens in a high security prison facility. It is near the end, but it is a goose-bumps moment for sure!
September 23, 2019
After the Book Ends with Tim Grutzius
Learn about Chicago, fire fighting, equine therapy and so much more in this episode of After the Book Ends. Tim Grutzius is a retired firefighter. He might be retired but he is busier than ever. Find out what he is up to!
August 19, 2019
After the Book Ends with Katherine Hambleton
Author of the story "Words," Katherine and I talk about what has happened in her life since the book Brainstorm Revolution was published. Some of the highlights are entering a treatment program and getting her service dog, Carbon! You won't want to miss this episode.
August 13, 2019
After the Book Ends with Rick Prashaw
A priest, a proud father, a journalist, and a person who works in politics walk into a bar...and they are all the same person! Do NOT miss this episode of After the Book Ends with Rick Prashaw. His book, Soar Adam Soar, is one of my favourite books, ever! Find out why! This isn't the first episode where I laugh, but it is the first one where I cry (almost, sort of).
July 29, 2019
After the Book Ends with Ann Douglas
This week I get a chance to chat with Canada's expert in parenting, Ann Douglas. We talk about everything from parenting to Tim Hortons to quilts! Make sure to check out Ann's newest book, "Happy Parents, Happy Kids" from Harper Collins!
July 22, 2019
After the Book Ends with Jason and Mirada Down
This week's episode is a little different. Instead of interviewing an author, I am interviewing my son and his wife. July is Parental Bereavement Month, something we don't often talk about. Jason and Mirada experienced a still birth a year and a half ago, and I wrote a creative essay about the event that was published. Let's open up and talk about the real issues that we face, regardless if they are comfortable.
July 15, 2019
After the Book Ends with Maud Revel
Find out how Maud helped me overcome a dreadful fear of horses and what she is up to, helping people with PTSD. Learn about her fantastic program, New Horserizons, and the many things she is passionate. Maud is a contributing author to the anthology Brainstorm Revolution and author of the story "One Hoof at a Time." If you are really clever, guess her accent before it is revealed!
July 8, 2019
After the Book Ends with Brian Knowler
For police officer Brian Knowler, life changed the day he attended a motor vehicle accident where he was met with a very traumatic surprise upon arrival. He has written On the Other Side of Broken: One Cop's Battle with the Demons of PTSD and Career Suicide is Overrated. In this episode, we chat about everything from his home town to Belle River High School to what a small world it truly is. Brian is up to some pretty incredible things as of late, and we explore how he has taken a bad situation and used it for the betterment of others. You will also find out why I am so grateful for EMS people who take the time to be so kind to children.
June 30, 2019
After the Book Ends with Michelle Sertage
Imagine being hospitalized for an eating disorder at 15 years old. Then, imagine your mom being diagnosed with a debilitating mental illness. In her short life, Michelle has experienced a lot, including losing her mom at a young age, picking cherries in west Canada to writing a story about her struggles with an eating disorder. Please take a listen to this honest conversation.
June 23, 2019
After the Book Ends with Zarqa Nawaz
Besides being the creator of the award-winning CBC series Little Mosque on the Prairie, Zarqa is an accomplished journalist and author. Her book, Laughing All the Way to the Mosque is a national best seller and was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock medal for humour.  Tapping in all the way from Saskatchewan, I had the pleasure of chatting with Zarqa, learning that her first attempt at novel writing was met with trepidation from her publisher for being too crazy! Who knew that a woman Muslim writer could be too edgy for a mainstream publisher? Learn what she called her book and what she is working on now in Episode 4 of After the Book Ends.
June 16, 2019
After the Book Ends with Matthew Heneghan
A former medic in the Canadian Armed Forces, a civilian paramedic, and a podcaster extraordinaire are all phrases that accurately describe author Matthew Heneghan. With PTSD awareness day coming up on June 27, we thought it fitting we talk with this incredibly talented writer who, incidentally, also deals with symptoms related to post-traumatic stress..  In episode 3, we learn what prompted Matt to enter rehab right after the acceptance of his story "Sunburn" into the anthology Brainstorm Revolution. We also learn what crazy gift his friend Simon sent him while he was on the "inside." Be sure to read Matt's blog at You can also pre-order his book, A Medic's Mind on 
June 9, 2019
After the Book Ends with Natalie Harris
What do ladybugs, the nation's capital, and cut-down trees have in common? You have to listen to this week's podcast to find out. It has been said (and studied) that there is power in purpose. Quite excited to chat with Natalie Harris during PTSD awareness month about her life after the book Save-My-Life School. If you have not yet read this incredible memoir, please get it now! It is available in Kindle and paperback. Check it out here.
June 2, 2019
After the Book Ends with Neil Crone
What do owls, Colin Mochrie, John Travolta and Cop #3 in the movie Hairspray all have in common? The answer is Neil Crone. So excited to chat with him about his life after treatment for colon cancer, and his new and fascinating projects including The Ninth (streaming on CBC's GEM) and The Endings (coming soon).  Neil is an award-winning author and writes a weekly column for Metroland News in Durham Region. He is the pen behind the children's books The Farmers' Secret Midnight Dance and the ever-popular Who Farted: Stories in Verse for Big and Little People. For adults, there is a collection of his essays called Enter Laughing: The Early Years and the book we talk about today, Semi-Colon: A Writer's Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer. You can find or order these titles through fine bookselling establishments everywhere! You can also book Neil's comedy troupe, The Yes Men, a group that includes Neil Crone, Patrick McKenna, and Kevin Frank. He actually gave the wrong URL for his website in the podcast (yeah, it happens) so if you want to know more, please click here. To find out more about those lovely beeswax food wraps that Neil's partner Kathryn makes, check it out here. Hope you enjoy the first-ever episode of After the Book Ends. Please connect @AftertheBookEnds on all social media except Twitter. We are @AftertheBook on Twitter because, well, it's Twitter.   If you are a nonfiction writer and are published by a traditional publisher and would like to be given consideration to be a guest on the show, please shoot me a line by messaging me at After the Book Ends.
May 27, 2019