From courts to bookshelves, lawyer pens first novel

Michaud's debut novel is available November 3.

Michaud’s debut novel is available November 3.


One of the biggest challenges authors face is keeping the muse alive and finding time to write.

Michael Michaud, 38, had to juggle his day job of being an Assistant Crown Attorney in the GTA with writing his very first novel titled Billy Tabbs (& The Glorious Darrow).

“I wrote just about every day starting from fall 2009 until I finished the first draft sometime around 2010-2011,” Michaud said.

“Then I edited it for a year before shopping it around to agents and publishers. I finally landed with a small, independent press.”

Bitingduck Press has published the novel.

Michaud explains how his day job was “rather demanding” and so, he focused his time on writing in the evenings and on weekends.

The entire experience of writing a novel while balancing a day job was like “having two full-time jobs” for Michaud.

On top of having such a busy career, Michaud is currently a student at Sheridan and is in his third course for Crafting a Novel Series, which is a class available in the evening through the Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies.


As for the story itself, Michaud explains what sparked his muse, and how he got the idea for his debut novel.

Billy Tabbs touches on a number of social issues that are very important to me. I always had a general idea in mind for the type of story I wanted to tell, I just didn’t know the precise form or vehicle that I would use to tell it,” Michaud said.

It was when Michaud lived in Ottawa back in 2008-2009 that the idea for his novel “crystallized” for him.

“I saw the level of homelessness that existed right outside my doorstep. I am also a huge Orwell fan, so I was inspired to write something that spoke to the hypocrisy of society and the nature of people generally to be concerned with the welfare of others, but when push came to shove, not that concerned. I believe that people who enjoy books like Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies will enjoy Billy Tabbs.”

Michaud has also written a novella titled The Introvert, which is his attempt at writing a story with an anti-hero and explains that he’s already got an idea for his third novel titled The Others.

The Others will be my first crack at science fiction. It will have a War of the Worlds feel to it,” Michaud said.

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