Press / Media

Robert Bockstael


After going through his ‘bad adolescent poetry’ phase, Robert didn’t pick up the pen again for many years. In his early thirties he entered a play writing lab at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and received funding to write a one act play. Bound by Deceit was subsequently given a full staged reading. It was well received and encouraged him to continue writing.

Since then, Robert has written for episodic television, for the radio, and the theatre. In recent years he has written and directed numerous short films and dozens of short subject screenplays along with enduring a two year development deal for his TV series “Killer Bob”.

He has had short stories published in literary magazines internationally. “Willow’s Run” is his debut novel and will soon be followed up by a Maritime mystery entitled “She Carried the Sea”. A collection of new and previously published short fiction is also in the works.

During his 38 years in the entertainment industry Robert has performed on stages across Canada garnering many accolades and awards, among them the Ottawa Critics Circle Award for Best Actor. Acting in film TV has taken him around the world, earning him more recognition, including two Gemini Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in the hit series North of 60.

Robert also works as a voice actor, narrating commercials for TV and radio as well as providing the voices for dozens of animated series from X-men to Sailor Moon, Rupert the Bear to Robocop.

More info about Robert can be found on:

Robert on IMDB
Robert on Wikipedia

Willow’s Run One-Pager

Willows Run by Robert Bockstael - One Pager

High-res version

Robert’s Film Work

Press with/for Robert

CBC Radio Logo
CBC Radio
Free Press logo
Winnipeg Free Press
The Toy Time Machine logo
The Toy Time Machine Show
Leveling Up with Benjamin Banks
Leveling Up with Benjamin Banks
Neil Temple
Neil Temple

A Special Offer – For Ottawa Residents Only

Willows Run by Robert Bockstael - Motorcycle

Exclusive to Ottawa residents!
A totally unique mobile book signing event!

For a limited time, you can order a copy (or two) of Robert’s debut novel, Willow’s Run directly from him and he will hop on his ultra-cool retro-style motorcycle and deliver the book to be signed at your door!

Push here to visit the dedicated page to contact Robert…

High-Resolution Images

Praise for Willow’s Run

“Willow’s Run is a gripping read you won’t want to put down!”

Selena Martens – Author of Skull Moss

“I can only hope this won’t be the last we hear of from one Ms. Willow”.

Billy Tooma – Author of A Seemingly Unstoppable Dawn, Shin’s Shadow & Other Stories

“Hours of pleasure and surprises!”

Arthur Milner – Playwright, theatre director, journalist

“With a cast of fascinating and engaging characters, Bockstael creates a world of intrigue, suspicion, heart-stopping cliff-hangers and mystery. Yet his does this with a light hand — with humour and well-placed slapstick. Fun and entertaining, with honest insights into human foibles and failures.”

Amanda West Lewis – Author of These Are Not the Words, The Pact

“A wonderful romp, full of twists and turns with a satisfying ending, this book will have you on the edge of your chair from start to finish. Bockstael has a great future as a writer. Cant wait for his next book, “She Carried the Sea.”

Jeremy Akerman – Author of Black Around the Eyes, Outsider

“Willow’s Run has taken her from the sun and sleazy dealings of LA to rural New York State. A “conspiracy of choices” has led her from one kind of hell to another. Bleak and rain-filled Fall River has secrets all its own and the mighty Alcima Willoughby, with her famous Achilles knee, is about to hurdle straight into a whole new world of trouble, even as the trouble she left behind is gaining on her.

This is a novel I want to label Upstate Noir: an edgy thriller, set on the shores of Lake Ontario, with a dark and mysterious heart and a protagonist you can’t help rooting for — come hell or high water!”

Tim Wynne-Jones – Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award, Edgar Award, Officer of the Order of Canada, 3 time Governor General’s Award winner and two-time Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner

“When an actor turns his attention to writing novels, one expects great characters, attention to plot, and a storyline that is full of surprises. Robert Bockstael doesn’t disappoint. From the first chapter, he grabs you as the reader and takes you along for the ride.

His gutsy female protagonist, Alcima (Willow), an unlikely heroine, a fallen volleyball star with damaged knees, is on the run in a stolen luxury trailer. When she tires of running, she settles in a small town amongst full-blown and quirky individuals.

Here Bockstael excels in his descriptions – both of the environment and the characters. With attention to details, unexpected twists and turns, and crisp dialogue, Robert Bockstael’s debut novel is a thrilling read!”

Heidi von Palleske – Author of Two White Queens and the One-Eyed Jack, The Don’t Run Red Trains Anymore

“TWISTED PLOTS: You could read WILLOW’S RUN in the dead of a cold winter, but it’s summer and the book is a helluva good summer read. It’s author, Robert Bockstael, has written a great deal for television and film and has penned many short stories, but this is his first novel.

The Willow of the title is Alcima Willoughby, an extraordinarily tall, lithe, athletic woman, a fact I mention because she is a formidable physical presence throughout the story, a literal standout among the other characters who populate the book, all of them, but for the evil man chasing her, town folk in an out of the way place in a northern US state that borders Canada.

Alcima, strong as she is, is a wounded protagonist. She is on the run from a brute who at first charmed her into his life then subjected her to sundry, progressive degradations and brutalities. She had become his money-making captive through violence and drug dosing and he wants her back.

However, Alcima, a one-time star volleyball player who lost her career after blowing a knee, is made of the kind of grit of which the best athletes are made so, in a moment of clarity when she saw her chance to escape, she took it. She tied the evil doer to a chair and took down the highways and bi-ways of America in a multi-million dollar motor home she stole from him, fretting the whole time about being caught and taken back.

When Willow is pulled over for a traffic infraction outside the riverside border town where the rest of the story plays-out, she is full of fear, in pain and running out of options. Long story short, she is taken under the wing of some good people who themselves are raveled in a perplexing generational mystery. Naturally, Alcima, curious, intelligent and driven, is inevitably is drawn into them, leading her new friends toward the mystery’s ah-hah! moment of resolution.

It turns out that the immediate forebears of various of those she meets were involved in dark shenanigans, some involving murder and others involving revenge. Somewhere in the town, the local rumour goes, a valuable treasure was stowed in some secret place by the long dead criminals and is yet to be found.
A murder mystery and a treasure hunt can themselves propel a book, but Bockstael also sets a serial killer loose in the town – or should I say, under the town in a maze of tunnels that had originally been used by the fathers of those now living to carry out their criminal enterprise.

So, Bockstael’s three plot lines get twisted into a rope and that rope is used to pull the story forward – not just through the town’s dank tunnels, but also through a creaky lakeside mansion and then through a dark and stormy night. It is that night when, alerted by a betrayer, Willow’s vicious tormentor descends on a perilous two engine plane out of a thunderous, lightening-lit sky to reclaim his prize possession.
The endings: well, yours to discover. Willow’s Run can be found on Amazon, Kobo and other digital distributor systems.”

Vian Andrews – Author of The Summit of Us