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, 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 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

Renewal and Opportunities and the Latest on Mel’s Journey with Maud

A friend and I always talk about how things feel fresh in September. Perhaps it is the “Back to School” vibe in the air, perhaps it is the changing  seasons, perhaps it was because the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, always landed in September bringing in an opportunity for renewal. This Fall marks a couple of interesting shifts in my life, because I’m learning how to balance certain opportunities–opportunities that I’m so excited and grateful for–with my daily writing practice.  Much of the summer I worked within my own schedule,  allowing time to relax while also making Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted Part One of my discussion with Sandra Nickel. Today marks the second and last post in my Embodying Character Series that I hoped you have enjoyed. Sandra and I conclude this discussion with an exploration of how we can connect acting techniques to the writing process, as well as some of the challenges or opportunities that writers have that an actor might not. Mel: Wardrobe, a wig, a prop. These are ways that actors can find portals into their character. What did you find interesting in how Ellen and Patrick tried to experience Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part One

It is hard to imagine that it was only a month ago that I had introduced the Embodying Character Series, where–with a little help from my friends–I hoped to explore how acting techniques could also be applied to writing.  I truly enjoyed my fascinating conversations with Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook (currently starring in the Anne and Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI) about how they researched and developed their characters. In my introduction, I mentioned that I was partially inspired by Sandra Nickel’s lecture, “Creating the Authentic Gesture: Bringing Acting Techniques to Writing,” so Read More

Embodying Character Series: Creating with Maud

This summer has been a process of rediscovery for me as I tried to dive back into writing after traveling and research for a few months. As readers of this blog know, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking with artists and actors about embodying character. This was so inspiring that it helped me think about new ways of stepping into my character’s 19th century button boots. L.M. Montgomery had started scrapbooking in her late teens. Two of the scrapbooks, known as the Red and the Blue, have been lovingly compiled by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s Imagining Read More