VNA reporter publishes novels
Rosanne Fortier
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Being creative can be a real asset when you’re a reporter! Vegreville News Advertiser reporter, Joe Machney is a local author from Myrnam, Alberta who took this trait of his further as he has had three novels published-The Legends of Zyrah, The Doors of Dawn and The Darkness within the Dwarves.

Joe started writing novels when he was 17 years-old. “My earliest memory of when I was first inspired to write fiction is when I read the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien when I was 12 years-old and it was my favorite book for the longest time.”

“When I first started writing fiction, I used it as a way to express myself because I was very introverted as a kid; my whole world was in my head. So, I used writing as a way to create a world for myself that I couldn’t live in the real world; I created almost an alternate reality in my head and eventually I put that on page because I didn’t feel that a lot of people understood me very well and I was bullied in school, so I needed an outlet for that and writing allowed me a vehicle to express myself in a way that I couldn’t do in my own physical reality.

“I continued to write novels because it felt like the right time as I had enough experiences in life to use the book to teach people about spirituality in the sense of finding more peace within themselves. There are parts of my first book that are from experiences in my life and some parts have been changed to make it into a story. The first story is about alchemy; in the sense the characters in the story are very raw and quite simple. There is nothing complicated about them but the path they take due to the situations they are presented with, they have to go inside themselves and figure out who they are and what they want in life and through doing that, they conquer a lot of inner-demons and perceptions they have of themselves so they can become as in alchemy, gold or an enlightened state. This is like leaving the material world for a higher sense of purpose.

“I like to write fiction because there are no boundaries to it; there is no right or wrong way to do it. It’s your world you created; every story has characters that can shape-shift for example. There’s a freedom in it. The whole series I wrote has to do with finding more freedom in your life. It’s asking people to let go of all their baggage and define inner freedom for themselves in whatever form it takes. It’s my way of expressing what my idea of a utopia society should be like; a world where everyone is accepted. There’s no judgments placed on people and everyone is unique. In my three books, I bring in what I feel are the positive attributes of each religion and their belief systems and I put them in a way in my mind that constructs a societal model that would make for a happy and fair world.

“When you write a non-fiction book, you’re limited to certain society structures, laws of physics that the world defines,” Joe explained.

Joe said he got his ideas for his stories because he studied metaphysics and multiple dimensions. He used these to add depth to the stories and situations.

To make Joe’s stories become real in the reader’s mind, he sympathizes with the characters and he thinks of them as real entities. “I want my characters to be able to grow and evolve. My attitude is we are spirits having a human experience, so with that, when we discard any man-made boundaries, structures or systems, we have spirit that moves the world and everything is part of it and my novels are about returning back to that.”

When Joe was asked how his family and friends reacted to his writing novels, he said they were all very proud of him doing this. Joe’s wife inspires him the most to write because of what he learned from her and the time he spent in Europe was also helpful.

It took Joe 20 years to write his first book and, he wrote 10, 000 words in 2004 on his second book and it took him about six months after that to finished writing it, and the third one took him a year to write. “As far as being disciplined to write, I said I would write at least 1000 words every morning and I would do that. As a writer, you allow the intuition side of yourself to come through and your analytical mind is able to use it with its systemic facilities. You get out of your own way and let the book come through you. Then to find a publisher, I went on-line to find different ways to get the books into print.” The advice Joe would give inspiring authors is to not struggle so much with it and let go of any boundaries and let it come through and don’t give up.

“Reporting and fiction writing can compliment each other but the people I encounter as a reporter are real people. Then I can use the character traits of the people I meet through reporting and mix them together with characters in my books. Reporting also gets me to use the left and right side of my brain and this skill helps me write my books as well. “Being able to cultivate creativity is one of the best gifts in life and you will never be bored if you can write fiction; you will always entertain yourself this way,” Joe said as a final statement of why it is so good to write for a living. To get more information or to purchase Joe Machney’s novels go to or and type in The Legend of Zyrah.

Caption: VNA reporter: Vegreville News Advertiser’s reporter, Joe Machney holds up the three novels he wrote and had published: The Legends of Zyrah, The Doors of Dawn and The Darkness within the Dwarves. (Rosanne Fortier/photo)