The Book End

The Honourable Athletes

By Neven Humphrey

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author and about the product of the author's literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we'll publish it. Today we present The Honourable Athletes, by Neven Humphrey — Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor.

Cover, The House of the Yellow Star, by Agnes Nemeth Bright
The Honourable Athletes
By Neven Humphrey
Baico Books, 2009
Paperback, 175 Pages
ISBN: 1897449-03-5


As in all international sports events, the 10th editions of both the Summer and Winter Honour Games had, among its participants, athletes with some very interesting stories to tell. Athletes such as:

In all, 15 stories from athletes from different countries and different sports, but all with a very special message to convey.'

About the Author

BORN: I was born in 1969 in St-Malachie, QC, a small town just south of Quebec City.

FAMILY: I have two sisters and one brother, all older than me. My brother, Stewart, now takes care of the family's chicken farm. He is married, and has an adopted daughter named Li. My eldest sister, Danielle, is also married, and lives on a dairy farm in a neighbouring village called Ste. Claire, with her husband and four children: Padric, Jerome, Kelly, and Sara. Finally, my sister, Nancy, works for a laboratory in Quebec City, and lives in a suburb named Charny.

SCHOOLING: I was denied kindergarten schooling because of my bad eyesight. However, I then did Grades 1 to 5 in a special English-language class at the village school; and when that class closed down due to lack of students, I joined the mainstream French-language class. After that, I attended high school in Quebec City, graduating in 1986.

UNIVERSITY: After attending three years of CEGEP in Cap-Rouge, QC, I went to Sherbrooke University, in Sherbrooke, QC. I started there in computer science, and then shifted to History, obtaining my diploma in 1994.

WORK: I worked for two summers in a small aviation museum in Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, QC, but then had to wait three more years before obtaining a job as a clerk for the Bellechasse regional government, in St-Lazare. Unfortunately, in October 1999, I learned from my boss that I had been hired just to make him look like a ‘good' person for hiring a ‘cripple'; and now that my year-long government contract was over, he didn't need me anymore. I was devastated; and a few months later, moved to Ottawa, ON.

Neven Hemphrey
Author Neven Humphrey, with Rudy and friends

There, I worked a few short federal government contracts, including at StatsCan, and then worked for five years at a national charity group. I am now presently unemployed again.

WRITING CAREER: I started writing soon after my father died, in 1988. After a few test stories, I started, in 1990, on my first novel, called ‘To Save a Wolf'. I wrote it originally just for fun; but in 2000, my sister Danielle said I should try to get it published. So, after five years of frustrating re-writing and editing, my book was published in August 2005. Three years later, a book of short stories for children, ‘The Honourable Athletes', was published. Hopefully, a sequel, called ‘More Honourable Athletes' wil be released in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

LIKES: I like traveling. In fact, I have visited every province in Canada, plus one territory. I have also visited the United States on a few occasions, and have recently returned from a trip to Belgium.

Among my other likes are books on animals, history books, and ghost stories. (I also have a sweet tooth, especially for Dr. Pepper©, and Mars© bars.)

DISLIKES: I hate people who think they are ‘holier than Thou', and who always blame others for mistakes THEY make. Other things I hate include foods that have a strong taste of peppermint, and people who arrive late for appointments.

HOBBIES: I have many hobbies. I jog, go to the workout room, collect stuffed toys, read, watch TV, and of course, write.

SUPERSTITIONS: Nah, I'm too busy suffering from chronic anxiety to be superstitious.

ORGANIZATIONS I BELONG TO: I belong to the world Wildlife Fund, the Canadian Nature Federation, the Ottawa Independent Writers, and Toastmasters, (I have reached the rank of Competent Toastmaster). I also sing in the choir at my local church.

FUTURE: hopefully working, and more writing, including my memoirs.

The Honourable Athletes is available at Baico Books, 294 Albert St., Ottawa, (613) 829-5141, and on the Baico website. It is also available directly through the author at: (613) 831-2527 or

20 November 2009 — Return to cover.