Researching "Radio Nowhere"

My short story, "Radio Nowhere," is one of five stories on this year's final ballot for Canada's Aurora Award. Before writing the story, I went back to the University of Waterloo campus (ever so many years after my student days) to do some research.

The trip was both nostalgic and a lot of fun. One of the advantages of being a writer is that people always seem willing to help you with your research, and you often get into some very cool places that you'd otherwise probably never get to see.

For this story, I had help from James "Road Dog" Walker, a veteran dj at the campus radio station, Radio Waterloo, CKNW 100.3. James gave me a tour of the station and patiently answered all of my questions about how a radio show actually works. Here's a shot on the right of one of the CKNW control rooms.


Rick Zalagenas, Director of Maintenance and Utilities at UW, was also extremely helpful in a key piece of research for the story: providing me with a tour of the infamous steam tunnels that run under the campus.

The tunnels were a thing of legend when I went to UW, and I'd heard the stories over the years, but had never actually been down into this labyrinth. They were just as creepy as I'd hoped and fit the story perfectly. The picture on the right shows a shot of one area of the tunnels.