June 15, 2011

Made It Moment: Dorothy McIntosh

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 7:52 am

Witch Of Babylon

Dorothy McIntosh deserves kudos for having beautiful artwork, both on her book and her website (a must-check-out if you’re having one built…or even just if you have one at all). After that, she deserves mention for winning some of the more illustrious prizes an emerging writer can win–including one I tried for during my own journey. Yet Dorothy still puts a premium on one thing every writer needs–and it can’t come, as she wisely points out, before the book has been read. Enjoy this Moment! I did.

Dorothy McIntosh

In truth, my made-it moment hasn’t occurred yet; that will only happen when (if) readers embrace my novel – The Witch of Babylon – and tell me they found it hard to put down. The reader is, after all, judge, jury and, sometimes, executioner.

But my journey from having a kernel of an idea to published author is full of smaller made-it moments. Not that they’re minor, in fact, each was an occasion for fist-pumping joy.

The first memorable event was learning The Witch had made finalist for the esteemed Crime Writers Association (U.K.) Debut Dagger competition. I quickly began working with a literary agent after that and one year later the manuscript won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished Crime Novel.

When Penguin Canada bought, not just the first novel but the entire Babylon trilogy, I was thrilled. And there have been many great moments since, as we’ve sold the book in over fifteen countries around the world.

The journey to getting published has, for me, taken on the image of a necklace, each moment along its length, a diamond in my eyes. Lest this seem like it’s been a smooth ride all along, there have been lots of rough spots. For one, it has taken many years from starting the manuscript to publication but made-it moments are about the wins and even the gentle satisfaction of seeing your writing in print. I am most grateful for those.

I can’t close without saying how much I admire Jenny’s own journey. Her good judgement and perseverance is a model for us all. You have the first big diamond on your necklace Jenny, may there be many more.

D.J. (Dorothy) McIntosh is the former co-editor of the Crime Writers of Canada’s newsletter, Fingerprints, and is a Toronto-based writer of novels and short mystery fiction. Her short story “The Hounds of Winter”, published in Blood on the Holly by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2007), was nominated for the 2008 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. “A View to Die For” appeared in Bloody Words: The Anthology, also published by Baskerville Books (Toronto, 2003). McIntosh graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto.


  1. Congratulations on your success so far, Dorothy, and best wishes for continued accolades!

    Comment by Gary Hoover — June 15, 2011 @ 9:06 am

  2. Adding my well wishes to Gary’s – the book looks fascinating!

    Comment by Alison DeLuca — June 15, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  3. What I am taking home from this interview with Dorothy is that each day and achievement in the life of a writer has its rewards. That resonates with me, and gives me a reason to go back to word wrangling on my stalled ms. Good interview, as always!

    Comment by Connie Johnson — June 15, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  4. Oh my–this is a MUST READ for me! My just-finished (under submission) novel is from the POV of Alexander the Great’s Persian wife. I think I will go NUTS for this book!!!

    Comment by Savvy — June 15, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  5. Here’s wishing both you and Jenny many, many diamonds on your journey! Best of luck with the next phase of your journey.

    Comment by Johanna — June 15, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

  6. Congrats on your success! It’s an inspiration to all of us who write.

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — June 15, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  7. I love the image of diamonds, each one as precious as the other. Good luck and many congrats on your success, may there be many more years of it.

    Comment by Karyne — June 15, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  8. What a wonderful commentary on writing and it’s rewards and pitfalls! Congratulations to both you and Jenny.

    Comment by Pame — June 15, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  9. Inevitably, even best-seller status means only that a book is widely purchased. It doesn’t nece3ssarily the book is great, although it certainly can be expected to be good! Also, inevitably, there will be divergent opinions. It goes with the territory in any creative enterprise. Hence, “Made it” is in your head, and has many definitions or steps along the way as you rightly point out.

    Comment by carl brookins — June 16, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  10. [...] I was standing on the cold outside, knocking to get in. You can read Dorothy’s first Moment here, and I was tickled recently to learn of one more connection reflected here on the blog. [...]

    Pingback by Suspense Your Disbelief » Made It Moment 2: Dorothy McIntosh — November 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

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