Marty Chan

Marty Chan is best known as an award winning playwright and scriptwriter but when he first entered university, he was enrolled in engineering. Realizing his real love was writing, he became an English major and graduated from the University of Alberta. His writing career included a stint with the provincial government, but writing for the stage, for radio, and for television soon became his focus. He even worked for a year as an actor playing a Chinese restaurateur in the television series “Jake and the Kid” before joining the scriptwriting team. Chan lives in Edmonton, Alberta where he is a regular columnist for the Edmonton Journal.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Barnabas Bigfoot: A Close Shave

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2011.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Barnabas Bigfoot has a monster of a problem and it’s not his embarrassingly small feet. He and his tribe must stay hidden from the curious humans who want proof of sasquatches. On a berry-picking mission with the Hairyson sisters, this tiny-toed sasquatch shows himself to humans. His tribe may have to flee their mountain home, all because of his bad decision. Barnabas must lure the hunters away to save his fellow sasquatches, but he gets tangled in an even hairier situation in a city mall where the last thing shoppers expect is a a Sasquatch.

Barnabas Bigfoot A Hairy Tangle book cover

Fiction (Juvenile)

Barnabas Bigfoot: A Hairy Tangle

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2012.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Barnabas Bigfoot faces his toughest challenge yet. He must rescue his friend Hannah Hairyson from the clutches of a cryptid collector. He sneaks onto Mr. Roland’s island where he discovers his problems are just beginning. Can Barnabas outsmart the human and escape from the island with his friend before Mr. Roland adds them to his trophy case?

Barnabas Bigfoot, Bone Eater book cover

Fiction (Juvenile)

Barnabas Bigfoot: Bone Eater

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2013.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Book three once more follows the daring adventures of sasquatch Barnabus and his pals, Hannah and Ruth. This time, the intrepid trio must confront the Bone Eater; a legendary creature from sasquatch mythology who suddenly enters their world. Barnabus, Hannah, and Ruth must warn the scattered sasquatch tribe about this fearsome monster who surely poses a greater threat to their existence than the dreaded hunting humans. Or does she?
Throughout the novel, established loyalties are pushed to the limit as our protagonists face a triple threat: the Bone Eater, Mr. Roland’s relentless sasquatch hunters, and double-crossing sasquatch Dogger Dogwood. As the action-filled narrative develops, Barnabus is forced to stand up for what he knows to be right, even in the face of disbelief from his own tribe. Resultingly, the long-standing values of sasquatch culture — loyalty, selflessness, honesty — are thoroughly tested. Will they prove to be solid and unyielding, or will they crumble at the hand of adversity?.

Demon Gate book cover

Fiction (Juvenile)

Demon Gate (The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles ; 1)

Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

When young Ehrich Weisz — the future illusionist, Harry Houdini — follows his brother, Dash, through a strange portal, he is thrust into an alternate New York where the immigrants aren’t just different ethnicities but different species. He finds work in this strange steampunk world as a Demon Hunter, tracking down dangerous otherworldly visitors that threaten the city’s safety, while hiding his own foreign origins. A curious medallion, his only clue to finding his brother, leads Ehrich to a mysterious woman caught up in inter-dimensional intrigue, and he must learn who to trust as he unravels the truth if he ever wants to find his way home.

Fire and Glass book cover

Fiction (Juvenile)

Fire and Glass (Keepers of the Vault)

Richmond Hill, Ont.: Clockwise Press, 2015.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

A fourth floor that is only pretending to be a storage space, stairs that lead to an abyss, and a Goth djinn stalker with an attitude who likes to play with fire… As if life wasn’t hard enough for Kristina Mah being the new kid in school. The adventures of the Keepers of the Vault are just beginning.

Keepers of the Vault is a hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+ and uses a dyslexia-friendly font.

Infinity Coil book cover

Fiction (Juvenile)

Infinity Coil (The Ehrich Weisz Chronicles ; 2)

Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2015.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Now a fugitive from Demon Watch, young Ehrich Weisz hides in the underbelly of an alternate New York where immigrants from other dimensions mingle among Americans. Amid growing racial tensions, Ehrich searches for Kifo, the man who stole his brother’s mind and locked it inside an ancient medallion. He poses as a stage magician to draw out Kifo’s next target—the commissioner of Demon Watch. In the wings, an army awaits Kifo to accomplish his mission so inter-dimensional soldiers can invade New York. Ehrich is willing to risk the outbreak of war to save his brother, but he must decide whether or not he can betray his friends.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Kung Fu Master

Victoria, BC: Orca, 2019.
Orca Currents series.
Forthcoming Aug. 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Everyone assumes that because he’s Chinese, Jon Wong must be good at math and science and a first-class nerd. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to shake the stereotypes. After a kung fu action movie, Jon and his best buddy pretend to be martial-arts warriors. Word soon spreads that Jon is a kung fu master, and the kids begin to treat him differently. Rather than correct the mistake, Jon plays up the role and basks in the positive attention from his classmates. But when the school bully challenges him to prove his skills, Jon must figure out a way to somehow keep his status as the cool kid. Without getting pulverized.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Melody and Myth (Keepers of the Vault ; 2)

Richmond Hill, Ont.: Clockwise Press, 2016.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Rebecca, a former apprentice and Keeper of the Vault has gone rogue, and it’s up to Kristina and Dylan to help Professor Grimoire to recover the precious articles she has stolen: the mythical Golden Fleece with the power to grant immortality and a hypnotic music box.
With the help of a white-hat hacker who knows her way around the Dark Web, they plot to foil Rebecca before the treasures are lost forever. But they need to be one step ahead of the thief or risk being ensnared by the mystical powers of the music box themselves.
When her absentee father suddenly reappears, Kristina struggles to believe that he’s really changed. To make matters worse, a visit to her former adversary, the djinn Nimran, forces her to re-evaluate the motives of her mentor, Professor Grimoire. Is he really all that he says he is? Is there anyone she can really trust? Kristina will need to decide where her loyalties – and sympathies – lie before it’s too late.

Keepers of the Vault is a hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+ and uses a dyslexia-friendly font.

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Mystery of the Cyber Bully

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2010.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

How do you find a bully who lurks on the Internet and lashes out at helpless victims? Intrepid kid detectives Marty, Remi, and Trina must answer that question if they’re to stop a cyber bully targeting their classmates.

Awards and Honours

2011 John Spray Mystery Award (Canadian Children’s Book Centre) (Finalist)

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Mystery of the Frozen Brains

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2004.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

The Mystery of the Frozen Brains is adapted from Marty Chan’s successful radio series The Dim Sum Diaries. Set in a French Canadian town in rural Alberta, the novel develops the coming to awareness of a Chinese boy in a community under the myriad of ethnic influences including French, English and Ukrainian and the ever present “red neck” attitude. As serious as the novel’s thematic dispatch is, Chan’s buoyant, gifted humour overrides the tone. After all, Marty thinks he is an alien. This is his secret, Remi Sasseville finds out, and as boys do, he forms a unique friendship with Marty. The alien invasion romp that follows is as entertaining as it is unique.

Awards and Honours

2005 City of Edmonton Book Prize (Winner)

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2006.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from a catalogue)

A sequel to … The Mystery of the Frozen Brains. This time Marty and his buddy Remi are in deep cover as they track the mysterious person leaving spooky graffiti all over town.

Awards and Honours

2007 Arthur Ellis Awards–Best Juvenile Crime Fiction (Nominated)
2008 R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature-Alberta Literary Awards (Writers’ Guild of Alberta)(Finalist)

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Mystery of the Mad Science Teacher

Saskatoon, Sask.: Thistledown Press, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis

When Trina’s bicycle is stolen, Marty and Remi gear up to solve the case.  Once they start their investigation they are both stunned that the evidence leads them to the doorstep of their new elementary school teacher.  Mr. E. proves to be quite resourceful as an opponent, and the new girl at school, Ida, seemingly foils their attempts to catch the school thief.  When Marty discovers that he and Remi share the same feelings toward Trina, things get complicated as they try to find out who she likes.  For Marty, friendship, loyalty, and trust suddenly seem less straightforward when the mystery of girls is involved.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Shadow and Spell (Keepers of the Vault ; 3)

Richmond Hill, Ont.: Clockwise Press, 2017.

Publisher’s Synopsis

In this third and final book in the Keepers of the Vault trilogy, Krystina and Dylan are chasing down the mastermind behind the thefts of the ancient magical artefacts from the strange vault about their school. They know that Rebecca, Professor Grimoire’s rogue apprentice, did not act alone – and possibly not willingly. Can they thwart whatever plan is in the works?

Keepers of the Vault is a hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+ and uses a dyslexia-friendly font.

Sink or Swim book cover

Fiction (Juvenile/Elementary)

Sink or Swim

Don Mills, ON: Pearson Canada, 2015.
Well Aware series. (Grade 5 level)

Synopsis

One of a series of short novels raising awareness of mental health issues and designed to foster classroom discussion.

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

True Story

Illustrated by Lorna Bennett.
Edmonton, AB: Ink Jockey Inc., 2009.

Publisher’s Synopsis

This hilarious picture book was inspired by author Marty Chan’s real-life question: “Where’s the TV remote?”  He suspected his cats, Buddy and Max, were the thieves.  He never found the remote, but he did find a whopper of a story.

Villainous book cover

Fiction (Juvenile/Intermediate)

Villainous

Don Mills, ON: Pearson Canada, 2015.
Well Aware series. (Grade 8 level)

Synopsis

One of a series of short novels raising awareness of mental health issues and designed to foster classroom discussion.

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Anthology (Short stories)

Henry Chow and Other Stories

Edited by R. David Stephens, from the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop.
Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2009.
PS8329.1 .H44 2009

Chan, Marty. “Driven.” In Henry Chow and Other Stories, edited by R. David Stephens, from the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop. Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2009, 19-25.

 The Forbidden Phoenix book cover

Drama

The Forbidden Phoenix

Book and lyrics by Marty Chan. Lyrics and music by Robert Walsh. Illustrated by Derek Mah.
Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2011.
PS8555 .H39244 F67 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Sun Wukong’s goal is simple: to feed his son Laoson. Known to his people as the Monkey King, Sun Wukong leaves his home with a promise to return one day and feed the drought-ravaged city of Jung Guo.
Sun Wukong’s path, however, becomes a test of strength, agility, and character as he comes face to face with mysterious, enchanting, and heartless creatures. Inspired by the Chinese opera, The Forbidden Phoenix’s lyricism brings us to a world where Chinese parables are woven with the painful history of the immigrant men who suffered greatly to build Canada’s railroad in the 1800s. Playwright Marty Chan and composer Robert Walsh create a musical rife with stylized characters, lending itself to a performance brimming with acrobatics, slapstick, and martial arts.

Awards and Honours

2004 Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama-Alberta Literary Awards (Writers’ Guild of Alberta)(Winner)

Drama

Mom, Dad, I’m Living With a White Girl

Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1995.

Publisher’s Synopsis

A Chinese son must tell his parents he has moved in with his white girlfriend. In a counter-narrative, the play explodes Asian stereotypes in a B-movie spoof called “Wrath of the Yellow Claw”.

Also:

“Mom, Dad, I’m Living With a White Girl.” In Ethnicities: Plays from the New West, ed. Anne Nothof. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1999.
PS8315.5 .P73 E83 1999

“Mom, Dad, I’m Living With a White Girl.” In Canadian Mosaic II: 6 Plays, ed. Aviva Ravel. Toronto: Simon & Pierre, 1996.
PS8315 .C35 1996

The play premiered at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille in 1995, and was remounted in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The Edmonton production received a 1999 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for best new play.

Awards and Honours

1998 Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama-Alberta Literary Awards (Writers’ Guild of Alberta)(Finalist)

Anthologies (Drama)

“Maggie’s Last Dance”

In Love + Relasianships: A Collection of Contemporary Asian-Canadian Drama. Volume 1, ed. Nina Lee Aquino. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2009, 111-162.

PS8309 .A75 L68 2009

Anthologies (Drama)

“Fi Jee and the Two Moons”

In Sprouts! An Anthology of Plays From Concrete Theatre’s Sprouts New Play Festival for Kids, eds. Mieko Ouchi and Caroline Howarth. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2010, [19]-36.

PS8315.7 .E3 S67 2010

 

Anthologies (Drama)

“The Gift”

In Where is Here? The Drama of Immigration. Volume 2, ed. Damiano Pietropaolo. Winnipeg: Scirocco Drama, 2005

PS8309 .I49 W49 2005

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

[This is] a touching story behind the desperate attempt of a mother, who fled China during the Great Cultural Revolution, to pass down the family’s dumpling recipe to her daughter.

Links

Marty Chan’s website

Marty Chan profile by Dave Jenkinson from the CM Magazine website

Pearson Canada Well Aware Authors page

Publisher Clockwise Press

Publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Publisher Orca Book Publishers

Publisher Playwrights Canada Press

Publisher Thistledown Press

Entry in Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia