John H. Paterson
John grew up in Toronto and studied engineering at Queen’s University. He went to work in the coal mines of the Alberta foothills for a couple of years and then returned to Queens for a masters degree. Then it was back to the coal mines. This time in northern British Columbia. Ten years after first graduating, he and his wife Maureen and their two children returned to southern Ontario where the family bought and renovated an old farm house on a couple of acres in the small village of Carlisle, 75 km northwest of Toronto.
John spent the next twenty years consulting and managing small mining companies. This took him to five continents searching for and developing gold, diamond and base metal mines (no more coal) and left him with a raft of personal experiences which come to life in his writing. It was during this time that John personally oversaw the development of three gold mines in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and developed a passion for Central America.
While their children were growing up, they spent weekends and holidays and many happy times at their cottage on a lake in Muskoka, north of the city. In 2006, after their children were educated and on their own, it was time for a change. John and Maureen sold their home and moved to the south pacific region of Costa Rica where they built and now operate a small nature lodge and coffee farm (Rio Magnolia). Their property is completely off-grid, where they generate all their own electricity with a micro hydro plant and protect 200 acres of rain and cloud forest. John likes to show off his clean energy run-of-river turbine which powers not just the lights and hot water heater, but everything from the Wi-Fi internet to the UV water purifiers and the machines that peel the coffee, clothes dryer, the computers and cellphone chargers. They host nature enthusiasts, wildlife photographers and other assorted characters from around the world who come to observe the incredible biodiversity.
As an engineer, John wrote numerous reports and technical papers but never tried his hand at fiction though he was always an avid reader. Especially authors like John Grisham, Robert B. Parker, Peter Mayle, Terry Fallis and Andy Weir among many others. In 2016, after taking some online courses, he wrote and self-published a 36,000 word novella entitled The Trouble With Cash. The story took place in Costa Rica and John was able to use his knowledge of the country in its development. It’s about a Canadian couple who sell their house in Costa Rica only to have the proceeds stolen and the man’s personal vendetta to get the money back. It brings to light some of the legal quirks and cultural traits unique to the country.
He finished his first novel, Spirits’ Gold, in 2018. While fictitious, it’s inspired by some of his own extraordinary experiences he had while working in gold mines in the Ivory Coast and other out of the way places. The Spirits’ of the dead were not happy about the foreign mining company taking their gold. At the same time, the security company was greedily stealing gold from the mine and paying the over-the-hill mine manager to look the other way. Until the mining company sent someone to check on the operation. It was then that people started to die. The protagonist, a Canadian mining engineer, uses his technical skills in an attempt to solve a mystery of missing gold and murder and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
When he’s not mucking around in the coffee farm with their three rescue dogs or entertaining guests in the lodge over margaritas, John’s working on the storyline for his next novel.