COOL, Alfred

Author Tags: Fiction

Self-publisher Alfred Cool was born and raised in BC. He attended Simon Fraser University where he took English and Computer courses. He is a member of the Canadian Authors Association. He worked and travelled extensively on the Coast of BC for most of his life. For 26 years, as a computer professional, he lived in various northern BC communities.

Released in December of 2012, Alfred Cool's e-novel The 5 Cent Murder, set in 1973, follows a narrator who takes a chokerman job in a remote B.C. coastal logging camp. He soon realizes the company has hired work-release prisoners to fill out the full crew--including a dangerous, serial rapist. In this narrative comedy, the author captures the local color, danger and humour of those who did “run or die!” in logging camps, culminating in a confrontation for the finale of the story.

Narrated by a gruff chokerman in a coastal logging camp in 1973, The 5-Cent Murder is in the style of Peter Trower’s fiction trilogy, part of a distinct West Coast fiction tradition dating back to Roderick Haig-Brown’s Timber (1942) and On the Highest Hill (1949) and going all the way back to M.A. Grainger’s 1908 classic Woodsmen of the West. “There is a trick to this ‘honest writing’ that has to come from the blood and bone to the keyboard,” says Cool. “I get it now—Writing stories is all or nothing. Anyone can talk about style, linguistics, components, form; not everyone has the guts it takes to write exposed and vulnerable, angry, desperate, sobbing and laughing.”

Considering his own approach to fiction, Cool says he imagines the voices of Dashiell Hammett (Grit), Mark Twain (Humour) and Zane Grey (Romance & Setting) if all three were sitting around a bar table having a few drinks. "After that," he says, "there's no controlling."

In 2013, Al Cool's story My Phantom Looks Like the Man From Glad was awarded third place in the annual Canadian Authors Association’s short story contest.


The 5 Cent Murder (2012)

DRY CAMP! How I Survived the Deluge

(, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Paperback & eBook, 2012)

[BCBW 2013]