An Interview with Karen Krossing, Punch Like a Girl

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of getting to know Karen Krossing. A compassionate writer, she is committed to understanding and helping other writers — including me. I have read a few of her books this year, including Bog, which won the 2015 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award in the Canada division, and is a 2014 OLA Best Bets selection. Karen isn’t afraid to use story as a way to delve into difficult subjects and her latest novel, Punch Like a Girl, certainly demonstrates this. (Warning this might trigger some readers.) There has been Read More

An Interview with Sarah Tomp, Author of My Best Everything

Well it is summer and I’ve been traveling and being terrible about keeping up with the blog. But what I have been doing is reading. Reading books by writers I respect, some I even have the pleasure to know –which is my favourite thing to do, talk about cool people in this rich community of authors and artists.. I started the summer reading Sarah Tomp’s My Best Everything, a story that takes place during Lulu Mendez’s pivotal summer between graduation and college. Lulu is ready to get out of her small town of Dale, Virginia and Read More

Happy Birthday, Manly*

“‘What do you take me for?’ he asked. ‘Do you think I’m the kind of fellow that’d would leave you out there at Brewster’s when you’re so homesick, just because there’s nothing in it for me?’ ‘Why I…’Laura stopped. The truth was that she had never thought of much about what kind of person he was. He was so much older; he was a homesteader.”(77, THGY) But we knew, didn’t we. We had remembered the young boy in Farmer Boy. We remembered in The Long Winter the young man who risked his life for the town, Read More

Happy Birthday, Bess!

  I have known Laura Ingalls Wilder since I was seven years old when my parents purchased the entire set for me for my birthday. At first I didn’t know what it was and my mother had to explain to me the connection to the TV show. Then I got very excited, for I often imagined to be like Melissa Gilbert as Laura.                 What began was a life long interest in historical fiction, women’s history, social history, and a fascination with adaptations. Because of the Little House series I Read More

Reflections on a Fabulous Night

Last night, Laura Robinson, Benjamin Lefebvre and I gave a talk at the North York Central Library in Toronto, Ontario, The Canadian Home Front: L.M. Montgomery’s Reflections of War. I hadn’t been back to that branch in quite sometime and it was fun to speak at a library I had used so often when I was in High School.           The turn out was fabulous. We had over 75 people in attendance, which also means that they had to add two more rows of chairs! Sharon Andic, Senior Department Head for Children’s Books, Read More

Special Event at the Toronto Public Library: Tuesday January, 27 2015

I was thrilled when Laura Robinson asked me to take part in this special event at the North York Central Library as part of their Book Club’s reading of my favourite L.M. Montgomery novel, Rilla of Ingleside.  Laura has curated a thought provoking exhibit on L.M. Montgomery’s reflections on World War I, combining artifacts from the period, excerpts from Rilla and Montgomery’s journals. The exhibit has been shown around Ontario, in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and France. The event will also feature Benjamin Lefebvre, who I believe will be reading out some of his findings of perspectives on Read More

An Interview with YA Author, Heather Demetrios

Heather Demetrios inspires. While she was a few semesters behind me when we were at VCFA together, I was always impressed by her exuberance, positivity, and talent. I am still thinking about Something Real–a satire about Bonnie™ Baker a reality TV star trying to lead a normal life–and her love interest, Patrick Sheldon. (One of the things I am very exciting about is discussing this perfect boyfriend with her.)  It is no surprise that the novel released to critical acclaim and won the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discover Award. This past fall, Heather also released the first of Read More

An Interview with Marion Abbott: The Spirit of Maud Theatre Company

A few months ago I was traveling with a friend to Norval, Ontario where L.M. Montgomery lived from 1926 to 1935, and was told that there was a woman organizing a theatre company in the St. Paul’s Anglican Parish Hall where Montgomery used to participate and direct theatrical productions with her church and a youth organization. Now, I must admit I was weary. It seems that plays, musicals, and more plays are the chosen medium to celebrate Montgomery’s life and works. And while some of them are quite good and even intriguing and I can appreciate how someone considers Read More

Discovering Almanzo Wilder: Rachel McMillan Guest Blogs

Rachel McMillan and I met through social media. We’ve travelled in the same circles for a number of years, but didn’t physically meet until this past summer when I finally was like, “Dude, you write, I write. We like the same things. We should have food and drink together”–although I probably didn’t use “dude” but I’m sure she would approve. Since then we’ve explored Niagara on the Lake, Leaskdale, and Norval, and talked about Maud, Dean Priest, and–yes–Almanzo Wilder. Watching Rachel discuss re-reading the Little House series on Facebook and then falling in love with Read More

An Interview with Marsha Skrypuch

  Marsha Skrypuch and I have a history. It makes sense because we both write and care about history–particularly stories where there has been injustice. I believe that we are humanitarians, who hope that our stories of the past will resonate with the present, bringing awareness about people who have for–one reason or another–been silenced. Her latest–and 19th book!!!–is The Dance of the Banished, a novel based on the true story of two Anatolian teenagers during WWI.  Circumstances have conspired to separate Ali and Zeynep from their home, Eyolmez, Anatolia. Sensitive and strong, Ali, immigrates to Canada Read More