I can't for the life of me remember or find the details of this, but I recall reading about an author who was disabled and completely unable to work, and began writing as a hobby, going on to become highly successful through it.

IIRC, the author is:

  • Canadian
  • Male
  • Writes fantasy
  • Made millions of dollars

Google's not turning anything up so I might be wrong on one or more of these details.

I was inspired by their personal story, and I'd really like to share it... but I need to find it first. Thanks!

  • 2
    Dennis McKiernan was hit by a car and started writing his "sequel to the Lord of the Rings" while in the hospital. Since they didn't have the rights, they changed the books. He's since written 20 or so in the series. Not sure where he's from though. – eshier Oct 12 '17 at 19:13
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_L._McKiernan @eshier – NKCampbell Oct 12 '17 at 19:16
  • Can you define "disabled"? Are we talking permanently, temporary, from birth....? – Tim Oct 13 '17 at 0:34

Is it possible you're thinking of Dominick Parisien?

Bio for a Kickstarter for Uncanny Magazine:

Dominik Parisien is the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which is a finalist for the Shirley Jackson and Locus Awards, and the forthcoming Robots vs Fairies. He also edited the Aurora Award-nominated Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction. His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, ELQ/Exile: The Literary Quarterly, Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, as well as other magazines and anthologies. His fiction has twice been nominated for the Sunburst Award. He is a disabled, French Canadian living in Toronto.

He's disabled, and only recently started publishing. No idea of what he makes.

  • 1
    Nice find, but I find it unlikely that this person makes "millions of dollars." It sounds like he doesn't even have one novel (best-selling or otherwise), and the money in writing is thin enough that I'd expect an author with millions to be a bit more famous. Also, as you say, he hasn't had much time to get rich.... – Adamant Oct 13 '17 at 1:29

Dennis McKiernan checks most of the boxes. He's not Canadian and I have no idea of his financials, but the Mithgar series is 15 novels, one short story collection, and one short story/graphic novel (as a mass-market paperback). He has another 5-book series as well. From the Wikipedia page on him:

In 1977, while riding his motorcycle, McKiernan was hit by a car that had crossed the center-line, and he was confined to a bed, first in traction and then in a hip spica cast, for many months. During his recuperation, he began a sequel to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The publisher Doubleday showed an interest in his work and tried to obtain authorization from Tolkien's estate but was denied. Doubleday then asked McKiernan to rewrite his story, placing the characters in a different fictitious world, and also to write a prequel supporting it. The prequel, of necessity, resembles The Lord of the Rings; the decision of Doubleday to issue the work as a trilogy increased that resemblance; and some critics have seen McKiernan as simply imitating Tolkien's epic work. McKiernan has subsequently developed stories in the series that followed along a story line different from those that plausibly could have been taken by Tolkien.


It could be Robert Heinlein:

Heinlein became naval officer in 1929, served till 1934, was mustered out because of TB, received lifetime pension at 2/3rds of naval pay.

Heinlein's naval pension allowed him to survive Great Depression and try hand at different careers (grad studies, architecture, mining).

In 1938/1939, Heinlein decided to take up writing. Pension again underwrite this career.


Admittedly he's not Canadian, so he doesn't check all the boxes.

  • 1
    What evidence do you have that Heinlein was Canadian? Most sources say he was born in Butler Missouri. – user14111 Oct 12 '17 at 20:18
  • @user14111 He checks the other boxes - it's possible the Canadian aspect was misremembered. But yeah, it's a stretch. – ognockocaten Oct 12 '17 at 20:25
  • Could be the OP misremembered RAH as being Canadian. But there's also the part about "Writes fantasy." He did write fantasy, including such classics as "They" and "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", but the OP must have forgot that he also wrote science fiction. Also the part about "completely disabled, completely unable to work" seems a bit exaggerated if it's Heinlein. As you say, it's a stretch, but you could be right. – user14111 Oct 12 '17 at 21:03
  • Another issue with Heinlein is that while he was retired from the Navy as disabled and had intermittent severe health issues for the rest of his life during the better times he engaged in quite robust physical labor: things like building substantial rainwater catch basis on his Colorado Springs property with a wheelbarrow (and writes that he and his wife are a "two wheelbarrow family"). – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Oct 12 '17 at 21:49

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