on the mend & on the move

Things have slowed down here at HBDLR since mid-August. I had a very bad spill on my Gazelle bike in Montreal ,and have been in hospital mending/rehabbing after some serious wrist surgery. A BIG shout out to my sister for hunkering down at my place in Montreal to help me navigate the labyrinth that is the Quebec Healthcare System and help keep the spirit and appetite alive. It’s been a bizarre end to summer for yours truly.

I’m just able to move the wrist enough to get back to the keyboard now , so hopefully other updates will follow in a more timely manner. The summer was busy as I worked away on finishing the first draft of Fallen Angels. I hope to get back at the manuscript later in October for more revisions and changes. I’ll be sending it over at some point for a look-see with a nice small-press in Europe. Hopefully I’ll have some good news on that front in 2023-but there is much work to do still as I get back at things.

It looks like I’ll be relocating back to a small century-cottage I picked up in Hamilton in the summer ,and I will be leaving Montreal behind. Well at least as a full-time resident. Steeltown beckons, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and family. And catching the train to a baseball game. Hopefully a return to some radio is in the cards, spinning some soundtracks and synth sounds.

More news to come, but for now think good thoughts.

2022-an update

All is well here at HardBoiled. It’s been a stop and start process of finishing the first draft of Fallen Angels. But the end is clearly in sight for the tail-end of this summer. So stand by. When The Luck Runs Dry is still selling on e-reader platforms, and in print. Retail outlets in Ontario are: James Street Bookseller and Paisley Cafe. Here in Montreal we have the book for sale at the very cool shop in NDG: Encore Books.

Check the menu above for links to get the novel and to watch the 2012 film version (Lucky 7), It is in distribution with Factory Film Studio, and available to view or purchase through ITunes North America. Some new distribution platforms may be announced soon though. Stay tuned for that.

I hope to return to Hamilton for the 2nd annual Authors in the Park Festival. The date is set for Aug 7 2022, with more authors and a reading stage. I may participate in the readings with a little segment of the novel called: Frankies Dead. I’ll post more information on that when the graphics and link are available.

If you’ve already read the book and liked what you saw (or not) drop a review onto the Goodreads page if you have a moment: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57831183-when-the-luck-runs-dry

Till next time, keep the faith:)


Page Turning in The Hammer

I was recently invited to attend the Page Turner Panel at The Westdale Theatre as part of the 2021 Hamilton Film Festival. Also on the bill were Colin Chilvers and Aaron Lam. Colin is an Oscar winning SPX artist who’s recently penned and auto-biography : Believing A Man Can Fly. Aaron co-authored this book as well as one of his own delving into the world of soundtracks for action cinema. Many thanks to Nathan Fleet for planning and hosting the event; and all the folks who came out:)

Crawls, Festivals, & Radio

Hey folks, just a quick update on all thing “hardboiled”. Writing is a little difficult as I broke my wrist a week back, and the plaster cast has mostly mobilized my left hand. But I am slowly on the mend, so I will hopefully get back to my more regular writing schedule soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been busy planning to attend a couple of upcoming events. Friday October 15th, I will be at the inaugural Book Crawl in Hamilton, ON. Modelled on the popular Art Crawl, this event will feature 30+ local authors selling their books along the very funky Ottawa Street business district. Come on out and say hi, and grab a copy of When The Luck Runs Dry if you find yourself in The Hammer on the 15.:)

A couple weeks later, I’ll be at another event in Hamilton. This time I’ll be part of the Page Turner panel, an event programmed as part of the long-running Hamilton Film Festival. I’ll be there along with Aaron Lam and Colin Chilvers. Chilvers is an Academy Award winning SPX specialist with a long and varied career that began back in the late 60’s when he worked on The Battle of Britain. It should be a fun and entertaining afternoon at The Westdale Cinema, and we’ll be doing a book signing afterwards, so hope to see you there. Details and links for advance tickets can be found at: https://www.hamiltonfilmfestival.com

Recently I caught up with James Tennant, host of Get Lit on 93.3 CFMU-FM. We chatted for about 30 minutes and the on-air broadcast should be late October. It will then be available via podcast. Here is a link for the show page and archived shows, and I’ll update the blog when the on-air date approaches. https://cfmu.ca/shows/9-get-lit

More updates soon-till then think good thoughts!


Fallen Angels: a work in progress.

Hey folks , I hope everyone is well. I had a few days in Hamilton, and attended the Authors in the Park event. The rain held off just enough to squeeze the sale in on Aug 1 .Then the heavens opened to unleash a torrent of rain and hail. I had my friend Jane Smythe at my table with her hand-made jewellery, and I made a brisk trade selling copies of When The Luck Runs Dry. Thanks to Hamilton: Our History for organizing the event and Hamilton Film Festival for the loaner of a table and chairs.

I am back in Montreal now, enjoying the weather, and working away at the sequel novel: Fallen Angels. If you have read: When The Luck Runs Dry, or watched the film: Lucky 7, you will recognize some characters and settings in the follow-up book. It is still in first-draft stage, but I’ll paste in a tease scene. Enjoy!


The Big Top. It’s an old greasy spoon breakfast and lunch emporium in the core of Hamilton. Down at the corner of Main and Sherman. It used to be a go-to spot for late night partiers who had stayed out until the next dawn. Back when the city was a hub of bars, nightclubs, theatres and mobsters. All of that has pretty much disappeared now by the 1990’s, except the mobsters part. Although after Lucano got bumped off last year, they have been laying low. But they were still there, if you looked for them.

The restaurant was joined by a coin laundry business on the bottom floor of this old mid-sized building; with a few floors of low-rent flats above. Across the street is a large newer generic drug store, one of a chain that seem to be sprouting all over the province. I can see a few folks straggling to and from the small parking lot that runs parallel to Sherman along the side of the pharmacy. I have a clear view from my small banquette halfway down the dining area of the Big Top. Over to my right is the old cash box and countertop dining area, with the fry cook further back. He is toiling away now scraping with a stone at the stainless-steel fryer top.

It is 10:00 so it’s a bit of a lull time here for the staff. A good time to show up for a bite in my humble opinion. I haven’t eaten much of my Big Breakfast Plate, however. Other that most of the stack of pancakes, even with the fake maple syrup drowning them in a pool of sticky sweetness.

I catch the eye of my waitress; Eileen I think her name is. She may have worked here since this place opened it’s hard to tell. She looks the same as when I first would start coming here on the occasional day, we would skip out on some afternoon classes at Cathedral High School. We’d either come here and hang out or wander down to Papa’s Billiards on Charlotte Street; there we would shoot a few games of snooker and maybe munch on a cheeseburger and fries at the old stainless-steel counter, spinning around on the stools in a never-ending circle of personal amusement.

But today, stool spinning is the furthest thing from my mind. What I need is a refill on the dark swill of coffee they serve here. The bullshit with Brian had kept us up late in the night, but I had arisen early enough anyways. I left Julia to keep sleeping and snuck off down the street to sort out my thoughts. I manage now to catch the eyes of Eileen as she if prepping coffee machines for the lunch rush in an hours’ time. She grabs a carafe and hustles over and tops up my mug. She pulls the Hamilton Spectator that is protruding out of her apron pocket, and places it in front of me. It looks like it’s already been passed to a few customers that morning.

Eileen: “All the news that’s fit to print.”

She walks away and I sip the scalding hot brew, pushing my plate of food aside as I open the front section of the paper in front of me. The selection of news is the usual gripes about how hard done by the city was and the pronouncements of entitled smallminded city councillors, some who have been in power ad-nauseum as this town had no term limits for politicians. Or mobsters. It seems they’ve been around even longer; except they could be replaced. By the barrel of a gun.

But read on I do, even settling for a few moments on the obituary column. But that’s not somewhere I want to dwell to long, so I decide on a read of a lengthy analysis on The Ticats early exit from the quarterfinals in the CFL playoffs last weekend. There will be no Grey Cup parade in steel-town this November it seems, and there is much handwringing and whining in the sports column to make some drama out of it.

It is an amusing read, and it’s only in the back recesses of my mind that I acknowledge hearing the entrance door squeak and footsteps approach my table. But I do hear the vinyl seat cushion strain under the weight of someone sitting down opposite me. I peak around the side of the newspaper to see Harry. His right hand reaches out to grab a stray piece of toast, and he dips it in messily in the uneaten egg yolk on my plate. Harry munches away, eating the toast. He grimaces and looks up now at me.

Harry: “The yolk’s a little runny, wouldn’t you say? “

I have no answer for him. as he takes another piece of toast and sneers at it. He looks over to the side of the tabletop and grabs a bottle of HP Sauce. He proceeds to dump a generous dollop on my plate and dips the toast. Harry smiles now as he eats it. Now he grabs my coffee mug and inspects it and sneers. He dips his finger in it. He looks towards the counter and waves a hand at Eileen, catching her eye.

Harry: “My friend’s coffee’s gone cold… “

Eileen walks over with the coffee carafe. She fills my cup and turns to leave. Harry puts his hand on her arm stopping her. He motions to the plate of milk containers on the table.

Harry: “And he doesn’t want this milk anymore, he’d like some cream.”

Eileen retracts her hand from Harry’s grip and her smile turns into a sneer as she looks at Harry while taking cream containers from her smock and dumping them on top on the milk.

Eileen: “Anything else your friend would like?”

Harry “Yeah. He forgot to order a side of sausage and toast. White toast lightly buttered and jam-lots of jam. Just put it on the bill for him.”

Eileen shakes her head and withdraws, while Harry mixes cream into my cup of coffee. He drinks from it and stares at the outside headlines of the Spectator which I am still trying to read

Harry: “Lots of bad news in the old rag this morning friend? “

I ignore him and keep reading. If Harry is here for a reason, I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough. We sit there is silence for a few minutes, then Eileen returns with the plate of sausage and toast and places it in front of me while I move the newspaper aside. Harry intercepts the plate as it hits the surface, and he slides it over to himself.

Harry: “All that bad news in the paper upset his stomach, gave him a little indigestion. Better just leave that here till his stomach settles down.”

Eileen: “Maybe it isn’t the news, maybe it’s the company he’s keeping.”

Harry laughs.

Harry: “I’ll let him know! Oh, and he could use a clean knife and fork when you got a moment sweetheart.”

Harry winks at Eileen and her sneer is now turning into a scowl. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Either way, she is unimpressed with Harry’s demeanour to say the least, and she grabs the cutlery from the next booth and places if loudly down next to him. She turns quickly on her heel, but Harry is non-plussed as he now digs into the food. I go back to the Spectator and start to read an article that makes me chortle lightly.

Harry: “Something funny Lucky?”

Me: “Yeah. I’m just reading this article about some guy that croaked last week. Tripped on his way down the stairs in a Chinese restaurant late one night. The owner thought he had skipped out on the bill, so didn’t go looking for him. The cleaner found him the next day. “

Harry: “That’s funny? “

I lower the newspaper now all the way down and gaze at Harry.

Me: “Yeah. It’s funny to think one minute you’re sitting enjoying some food in a place, and the next you’re lying stiff at the bottom of a stairwell with a broken neck.”

Harry: “Staircase is a few yards away. How you figure you can pull it off. “

Me: “Maybe you’re right. Guy could just as easily choke on a sausage though, couldn’t he?”

Harry: “Heard that happened to some gear- box in Toronto last year. What do
you expect trying to eat something down all in one bite?”

Harry laughs at his own sick humour.

Harry: “Kind of like the Andreoli brothers last year, no? They sure bit off more than they could
chew; didn’t they?”

Harry laughs again, and I lift the newspaper back up. But not far enough to stop me seeing him he begin to pick his teeth with a matchbook. He has downed that breakfast in record time it seems.

Harry: “Funny the stuff that don’t make it into the paper. Like some pissed-up Irish copper hanging out with a crack-whore all night, and his dumb-ass brother busting in and messing up the joint.

I lower the newspaper again.

Me: “I should have put my complaint through the Better Business Bureau?”

Harry:” Look. I’m just a messenger. I got better things to do than hang around in a greasy spoon staring at your ugly mug. The Reverend wants to see you about it tonight at the Domenica-ok? “

Harry gets up to leave now and burps a rancid belch as he down the coffee. He wipes his mouth with the side of his hand and looks at me

Harry: “Don’t forget to leave a good tip when you leave. You know how much they pay people these places? Peanuts.”

Harry throws his match book on the table as Eileen glares in his direction. He makes his way through the front door and onto the sidewalk. I fold up the newspaper, and neatly place it on the outside of the table. I throw 30$ down on top of it, figuring that should more than cover the bill for the food and the stupidity of Hary’s impromptu appearance. I get up and walk out, and luckily Harry is nowhere to be seen so I can walk away with only the roar of car traffic to accompany my thoughts.

Gore Park 1860

Authors in the Park

Hey folks all is good here at HardBoiled. I am working away slowly on the follow-up novel: Fallen Angels. I’ve been attending some writing workshops with the Quebec Writers Federation as I am now relocating full-time to Montreal.

I am in Hamilton this weekend , and will be participating in a cool event featuring local writers called: Authors In The Park. The show takes place Aug 1 from 1-4 pm and will feature a plethora of local talent hawking their wares, including your truly.

Swing on by this Sunday and say hi; and pick-up a signed copy of :When The Luck Runs Dry. The event takes place in Hamilton’s historic Gore Park, steps away from the Hunter Street Go-Transit station. Hope to see you there:)


Read All About It!

Things are chugging away slowly but surely here at Hard-Boiled. We picked up some nice press in the Hamilton area recently. A few weeks go I spoke with Hammer D20 about the new book: “When The Luck Runs Dry” for Cable 14. If you missed the show live, this link will take you to a podcast of the show w host Stevan Sobot: https://cable14now.com/video-on-demand/video/?videoId=5760

This week we have a nice feature in the Hamilton Community News/Dundas Star courtesy of Cara Nickerson: https://www.hamiltonnews.com/community-story/10389549-former-dundas-filmmaker-stephen-hayes-debuts-gritty-first-novel/?fbclid=IwAR2VEd9xgq5ShB1QPZASF-FHT6DHFeJuiYSCnGdyaY3f87kMDs4W_7J4I1Y

We picked up another outlet as well for the books: Cafe Domestique in Dundas, On has signed copies ready to go. Just ask the ever friendly Krys Hines and he will fill you in: https://cafedomestiique.com

Books are still available at The James Street Bookseller: https://www.jamesstreetbooks.ca and Paisley Cafe: https://paisleycoffeehouse.com so happy reading! E-book and film links for I Tunes are in the menu above. Oh and here is the article courtesy of Cara Nickerson & The Dundas Star:

Former Dundas filmmaker Stephen Hayes debuts gritty first novel
Cara Nickerson
Dundas Star News
Monday, May 10, 2021
Author Stephen Hayes’ debut novel, ‘When the Luck Runs Dry’, begins with a literal bang. A mobster has been shot dead on one of the piers near Hamilton’s Stelco plant, and the main character has been framed for his murder.

The gritty, self-published neo-noir novel is an adaption of Hayes’ 2012 film ‘Lucky 7’. The film, like the novel, is set entirely in Hamilton, which the former Dundas resident said was the perfect place to tell his tale.

“I thought Hamilton made a great setting, and had a great background visually,” he said. “The crime setting is also quite rich; maybe not in a good way, but there’s a lot of material there.”

In 2012, Hayes took ‘Lucky 7’ to several international festivals and was working on a sequel script, ‘Fallen Angels’, when he was in a severe accident and lost his left leg.

“It knocked me out of doing much for over a year or two,” Hayes said. “After my accident, I didn’t go back to work in film. I retired from being a technician, when I had those life-altering injuries.”

Hayes turned his focus to writing. He began working on several different scripts before he decided to adapt ‘Lucky 7’ into a novel. Hayes found that moving the story from a film to a novel gave him more creative freedom.

“We did a two-hour crime movie, but there was actually only one gunshot on screen,” Hayes said. “It costs money to do even one gunshot, with insurance and police you have to have on duty and special effects …”

Those barriers don’t exist when you tell a story through a novel, he said. However, Hayes discovered that getting his book into print has its own challenges when he submitted his manuscript to publishing houses.

“Some will never get back to you,” Hayes said. “Some might take two years get back to you.”

Hayes didn’t wait to hear back from any of the publishing houses and pushed forward on his own.
“Overall, it was a pretty good experience, but it was a total learning curve from doing a movie,” Hayes said.

Other than commissioning an artist from Hamilton’s Dundurn Press to design the cover, Hayes has done all the work for his first book himself, taking it to the presses and has been doing all the promotional and distribution work.

With his first novel on the shelf, Hayes is looking toward his next project: converting three of his scripts into novels, including ‘Fallen Angels’, the sequel to ‘When the Luck Runs Dry’.

“I want to move on,” Hayes said. “I got all the work done. Now it’s time to get it out there, work on promoting it and then move on to the next one.”

Hayes’ first novel is currently available in Hamilton at Paisley Café and James Street Bookseller.

Spreading the word. Literally.

Hey folks, I hope everyone is well. It has been a busy few weeks for your humble author. Between vaccine jabs, medical appointments, and transitioning to a new residence in Montreal it has been difficult to keep the blog updated.

I squeezed in an interview with Hammer D20 that is live streaming this weekend, and I will tell you more about that (and hopefully provide an archive link) on the next blog.

We have a couple of shops selling print copies of : When The Luck Runs Dry in Hamilton, ON. I hope to have some more outlets, including some in Montreal in the future. Alternately, you can read the book by clicking above in the menu; links for e-pub platforms, mail-order service, and for the film LUCKY 7 (2012) all all there for your perusal.

Our friends over at the Paisley Cafe in Westdale have been doing a swift trade selling copies and cappuccinos, many thanks to Sarah (and crew) for helping get the title out! https://paisleycoffeehouse.com

We also are in stock at the very cool James St. Booksellers in downtown Hamilton. Contact Monique for curb-side pick-up of a hard copy and take a peak at the very cool interior that is one of the main locations of the Apple TV Series: GHOSTWRITER: https://www.jamesstreetbooks.ca

E-Book Release & Print Pre-Orders

The E-book release of: When The Luck Runs Dry is active as of March 17, 2021. You can find it on Apple Books, Kobo, and Kindle by clicking on the menu at the top of the home page. There is also a menu to contact us to pre-order a print copy of the novel, click on Print for the details. As well there is a Watch menu if you are interested in the original Neo-Noir film: Lucky 7 (2012).

I hope to have some news on retail outlets in the Ontario and Quebec region that may carry the title this Spring; more to come on that later. Thanks for the awesome support folks, and I will have another update in the near future. Cheers, for now!


E-BOOK Pre-Orders are AVAILABLE Now

Hey folks, things are progressing along with the upcoming publication of : When The Luck Runs Dry. The official E-Book launch is March 17th, 2021. A nice St Patrick’s Day gift for everyone it seems. Pre-orders are available now. Just go to the menu at the top of the main page for the E-Book and a movie link for the original film: Lucky 7. A date for the paperback print edition of the book is still being sorted out, as well as some kind of “official launch” in these pandemic times. Also to come, are details on retail outlets in Southern Ontario and the Montreal region, so stayed tuned:) Any other enquires can be directed to me at: shayes7@protonmail.com or browse around on the blog here to find out, more and to hunt down our social media links. Cheers for now!