Ryan Toxopeus


Born in Ontario in 1979, Ryan Toxopeus still resides there with his wife, daughter, and son. He obtained a Master's in Applied Health Research at Lakehead University before moving to southern Ontario to find employment as a research associate and lab technician.

Aside from writing, Ryan enjoys soccer, baseball, playing all forms of games, and spending time with his family.

Ryan has loved writing since he was old enough to know how. Writing silly stories in kindergarten, and enjoying creative writing throughout early elementary school, he fell out of love with reading and writing. The reward for being a good reader was – more reading. And book reports. Disillusioned, Ryan leaned more toward math and science for several years, but still enjoyed creative outlets such as public speaking.

In high school he discovered fantasy novels in the Dragonlance series, and then the Forgotten Realms. R. A. Salvatore hooked him with his drow ranger Drizzt. Ryan rediscovered his love of creative writing when he wrote a gigantic science fantasy story called Wrath, which will never see the light of day.

While studying engineering in university, a friend encouraged him to enter a creative writing contest. The fictional story of a World War II resistance fighter being captured and escaping a concentration camp won him first place along with a cash reward. It surprised the judging panel because they weren’t used to receiving stories from engineering students – especially not ones worthy of top honours.

After that, Ryan stopped writing for many years, until another friend visited him and encouraged Ryan to write about a long-running game session from years ago. A year later, A Noble’s Quest hit e-book stores as a self-published title, and Ryan has been writing steadily ever since he received his first amazing reviews.

Ryan focuses on fast-paced plots with the mantra “If I’m bored writing it, the readers will be bored reading it!”

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It's a city that, in its heyday, sported several pulp and paper mills. Currently the city's pulp and paper industry is gutted, and I feel a sense of sadness when I return home for a visit, seeing how run down large sections of the city are. It was never what I would call a pretty town, but it's definitely gotten worse. That community weighed heavily on my writing, as two of the protagonists are lumberjacks in a destitute town just trying to make ends meet. I imagine Whampello has a lot in common with Thunder Bay.
When did you first start writing?
Does Kindergarten count? I've always loved creative writing, but I would say my first real attempts at it were in my early university days. I wrote a mammoth science fiction (space opera) that will never see the light of day. I also wrote a short story about a WWII POW for a competition at my university, and took the top prize. The judges were intrigued because they were not used to seeing strong entries from engineering students. I'd say that success paved the way for me to take up the pen again a decade later.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ryan Toxopeus online

Where to buy in print


A Noble's Quest - Book Trailer
Harvey Bunda created this trailer with parts of the cover interleaved with storyboard, and there is a section at the end where you can watch him painting the cover (warning: hypnotizing!).

A Wizard's Gambit - Book Trailer
Harvey Bunda created this trailer with parts of the cover interleaved with storyboard from the book. The end section shows him painting the cover.

A Noble's Quest - Prologue Reading
Ryan Toxopeus reads the prologue from A Noble's Quest.


Dawn: A dwarven creation story
Series: Illuma, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,550. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
"In the beginning was Nothing." The dwarven holy book recounts the story of creation, not just for the world of Illuma, but for the universe. Interspersed through the first four chapters of the holy book are four related short stories from Illuma's tumultuous history. These four stories are wildly different in nature, giving readers a wide variety of ideas to enjoy.
A Noble's Quest
Series: Illuma, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,500. Language: Canadian English. Published: August 31, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Thomas’ protective instincts lead to murder. Fleeing from the scene of the crime, a mysterious noble offers wealth to Thomas and Sarentha. With no other choice, they are introduced to the noble’s niece, Eliza. The trio travels across the Tamorran Empire and beyond. Their travels turn their worldviews upside down, but nothing shakes them as much as when the terrifying truth is revealed.

Ryan Toxopeus’s tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Ryan Toxopeus

  • Call of Descent on Sep. 17, 2012
    (no rating)
    Before reading this review, note I only finished chapter 1. I wanted to like this story. I enjoyed the relationship and dialogue between the protagonist and her master. However, there are a LOT of minor errors that distract from the main plot, making it difficult to read. From incorrect words (past vs passed, shuttered vs shuddered), inconsistent tense, poor use of punctuation, and text that needed to be trimmed and cleaned up, this book really needed a professional editor to go through it before it was published. I am withholding a star rating, as I did not finish the story. If it undergoes significant editing, I would be more than willing to try to read it again.