John Unruh


John Unruh is a Northumberland resident and writer concerned with the value of broken things and how communities come together to fix them. He is also a career technical writer and editor. You can reach him on Twitter @jtu_nwfrt or email at jtu@cogeco.ca. Professional résumé available on request.

John Unruh with Captain Kirk

Publishing credits

The Mime and the Girl: short story – a young woman is given an opportunity to reconnect with her tragic past. Published in the November 2021 issue of The Green Shoe Sanctuary.

Angelic: short story – four lost angels, struggling to survive together on earth are given an opportunity to return home. Published as a contest winner in the November 2004 issue of On Spec Magazine. Review available.

The Ziggurat: YA novel – synopsis below. Published briefly as an e-book by Dreamcatcher Publishing in 2004. A sequel was completed under the contract and was going through the editorial process when a split in management and subsequent lawsuit forced the firm’s closure.

My writing story

Few of us get far into life without acquiring a passion. Mine happens to be writing. I discovered it long ago in a friend’s basement where we’d retreated to escape a broiling summer day. To pass the time, we ate Mr. Freezies, hammered out ludicrous flash fiction on an old manual typewriter and laughed ourselves silly over the results.

This was my seminal moment. I was sixteen at the time.

Since I was an exceptionally poor student, instinct convinced me that this newfound passion would serve better as a hobby. But I was hooked. Words were suddenly cool and I needed to learn how to use them. I graduated high school, struggled through a bachelor’s degree and entered the work force. It never crossed my mind to seek employment on the basis of my writing because it hadn’t improved much in those few short years. Still, I slogged ahead, taught myself to write questionable novels in the evenings and started a family. It wasn’t until I reached my mid-thirties that I realized my writing skills had surpassed those of my colleagues and peers. I wrote and attempted to publish a few new pieces and had some success. Today, after taking a hiatus to pursue my career, I continue to write and am actively pursuing publication once again.

Current work

John Unruh
The Eden Project – Adult long-form fiction: nearing completion
My 2020 Vacation – Anthology of short stories based on twelve personal sketches: in progress
Calamity Café – Adult long-form fiction: runway project (research phase)

Synopses of novels available for publication

The Ziggurat
Aaron is thrown from life on his father’s experimental tree farm into a high-risk gamble to save his mentor from the clutches of a Venezuelan data cartel and stop a hostile corporate takeover of the world’s foremost environmental reclamation agency—the Ziggurat.

The Ziggurat: Skyview Down
A student exchange program places Aaron on a research trawler near the Grand Banks where he discovers a plot to destroy the Ziggurat’s Atlantic Cod stock repopulation project and risks his life to stop a looming environmental catastrophe.

Blind to Sea
Jared Kolpecki, prairie born and raised, is already struggling with the circumstances of his life when Nellie Cross arrives at his door, all the way from Kanesatake, to reclaim a family heirloom that will lead them onto a path of personal discovery with life-long consequences.

The Eden Project (substantially completed)
A circuit preacher, fallen from grace, reunites with two childhood friends during a murderous world-shattering event and becomes a reluctant messiah as they work to form a new community in the technological oasis of Eden Tower.