Christopher D. McDonald is a young author producing novels, short stories and poems.
His latest novel, The Lightreaders, won the prestigious NSW Writers’ Centre Varuna Fellowship 2017. He is currently seeking an agent to represent the manuscript. Several of his short stories have been shortlisted for awards. This year he will complete his Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS.
Sal and his brother are scam artists that use fortune telling to coax passwords and personal information from their victims, before hacking into their bank accounts.
When his globe-trotting criminal exploits take him to Peru, Sal meets ‘the Serbian’, a woman rumoured to be a true clairvoyant. She reads his cards and predicts the police will arrest his brother that night. She insists there is only one path through which Sal may see his brother again: He must become her apprentice, fall in love at Machu Picchu, and protect her against the factions trying to steal her foresight. Sal is unconvinced.
Until he returns home to find police tape across his door…
Tirus Hanging Gardens:
In orbit around the sun, the colonists aboard the Hanging Gardens sought to develop a more efficient form of life. The problem is they succeeded, and put us down the chain of evolution.
All the engineer Jason Marquez wants is to abandon ship with his maintenance team, particularly after military psychics and augmented commandos arrive to protect the valuable discovery. However, he and his team are the only ones who can save the scientists and their families from the ecosystem they have created.
Tom Jacka’s success in his first mission make him a poster boy for the Australian defense, a hero of the coming world war. Yet, as he engages the invaders in brutal infantry on infantry combat, Jacka finds that the ideal of a hero is very different from his experience as a soldier.
Timeline of Works
A suite of poems completed while on cross-institutional study to USYD.
Varuna Fellowship attended for one week courtesy of the NSW Writer’s Centre. Fellow authors at the house included: Lisa Fuller, Emily O’Grady, Hoa Pham, Wendy Searle and Carol Major.
First draft completed of the untitled sexy Fantasy based on the 1001 Arabian nights. Shortly after the fellowship, the Lightreaders third draft is completed. Submission material to follow.
The Lightreaders is awarded the NSW Writer’s Centre Varuna Fellowship (Under 30s category).
The Lightreaders second draft complete. A new project begins, a sexy fantasy based on the 1001 Arabian Nights.
The Market is published in the Short and Twisted Anthology.
No More Piano Lessons receives a prize from the Rhonda Jankovic Literary Awards
Chris begins working on his third novel, The Lightreaders, about crime, fortune telling, fate and choice. He writes this first draft as he submits The Hanging Gardens.
The Hanging Gardens 3rd draft complete, ready for submission.
The Market receives a Highly Commended Prize from the Peter Cowan Writer’s Centre, in their Anniversary Competition.
The same month, No More Piano Lessons is shortlisted for the QUT Postgraduate Prize.
Chris begins a Masters of Creative Writing at UTS,
Hanging Gardens first draft is completed.
Work begins in earnest on a new novel under the working title Tirus Hanging Gardens. The novel’s title is the name of a spacecraft which researches bio-engineered crops for space colonisation. Jason Marquez is part of an emergency maintenance crew sent to replace the Hanging Gardens’ environmental controls, when they learn that the damage was sabotage. Soon Jason finds himself not only struggling to repair the vessel, but investigating a conspiracy. He’s a rescue officer, but even he’s not trained to deal with augmented commandos, unrestrained AIs, hungry biological experiments, mind-controlling psychics or deception from within his own team.
Tirus Hanging Gardens plays with these tropes, creating an anthology of Sci Fi’s themes condensed into one action-packed story.
Design degree concludes. Outlining of a new novel-length work begins.
Chris travels to Korea on exchange to Yonsei University and undergoes a poetry and fiction class taught by American Poet Loren Goodman.
Some of the work written for that class includes:
Two Planes out of Sydney, a story about breakup and saying goodbye.
Retreat, a Hemingway imitation, subtly depicts a couple’s stay in the bush and their thoughts about their future.
El Toro Blanco, and The Way it Works are some of the poems written for this class and are the beginning of a poetry streak that would continue into the future.
Advocate is rewritten and reworked, amassing to over 200,000 words. As is natural for first novels, it is submitted but does not find a place with a publisher. Chris begins to study a Bachelor of Design at UTS, majoring in Architecture.
Chris travels throughout South America, spending most of his time in Peru but also Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Cuba and Argentina.
Stormtossed short-story completed. A contemporary Da Vinci figure is brought back to life in the future in order to complete one of his most ambitions inventions. However, the melancholy of the future state and his many-times-great-granddaughter convince him to sabotage the machine.
Started work on Advocate, an epic action novel about an Australian conscripted into war in 2035. Tom Jacka deceives the invaders, intentionally shutting down the SAM station he commands in order to draw in the enemy’s jets. He then reactivates the defenses and destroys a significant portion of the enemy’s paratroopers. The events make him a poster boy for the Australian defense, a hero. Yet as he engages the invaders in brutal infantry on infantry combat, Jacka finds that the ideal of a hero is very different from his experience as a soldier.