Michael Januska is a writer and the author of the Border City Blues series of novels set in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario during the Prohibition era.
Januska was born and raised in Windsor, and he developed a love of books and writing at a young age. He attended Assumption College High School (1980-85) and the University
of Windsor (1985-1989) where he majored in English Literature and Visual Arts. In 1991, Januska left Windsor to continue his undergraduate studies in English Literature at the University of Toronto. He then transitioned into a career in book sales and publishing in 1994, but continued to write fiction and short stories as a hobby.
Januska was inspired to write historical fiction set in Windsor after reading about the struggle veterans faced in the job market after returning from the First World War, and the alcohol smuggling that characterized the Windsor-Detroit border in the 1920s. To Januska, Windsor was a very cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse city in the early twentieth century, enhanced further by its close relationship with the city of Detroit. All of this combined to make for an exciting and intriguing setting for his series novels. Januska read Marty Gervais’ The Rumrunners (2009) and Neil Morrison’s Garden Gateway to Canada (1954), as well as many issues of the Border Cities Star to develop the historical details that define his novels. The series follows the intertwining paths of two distinct characters: Jack McCloskey, a veteran who turns to boxing and bootlegging after the war, and Vera Maude Maguire, the quiet librarian at Carnegie Library who yearns for adventure. Each book in the series is named for a street in Windsor: Riverside Drive (2013), Maiden Lane (2015), Prospect Avenue (2018), and St. Luke Road (forthcoming).
Januska has also published a history of the Grey Cup with Dundurn Press called Grey Cup Century (2012). He currently lives in Toronto.
“BookFest Windsor: Mystery and the mean streets of Windsor.” Windsor Star (October 15, 2013).
Januska, Michael. “Author Interview with Michael Januska.” Dundurn Press (May 13, 2013).
“Michael Januska.” Dundurn Press (n.d.).
Wye, Shelby. “Michael Januska: The hardboiled author of Border City Blues series.” Our Windsor (May 31, 2015).
Photograph from dundurn.com