2015

10 things we now know thanks to Doug Lennox

Posted on December 8 by Kyle

Doug Lennox (January 21, 1938 – November 28, 2015) was an internationally acclaimed broadcaster, a veteran actor, a commercial voice artist, and a bestselling author.
Dundurn is proud to have published over 20 books in his Now You Know series. Here are just a few of the things we can proudly say we now know thanks to the late great Doug Lennox.

Elizabeth Muir’s recent book Canadian Women in the Sky: 100 Years of Flight, shines a light on the often little-known contributions of Canadian women in aviation. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail delves into Muir’s reasons for writing the book, and the surprising things she learned.

Dundurn Press Earns Four Heritage Toronto Book Award Nominations

 

TORONTO, ON (Sept 16) Dundurn is pleased to announce that four of its titles have been nominated for the 2015 Heritage Toronto Book Award: Riverdale: East of the Don by Elizabeth Gillan (Liz) Muir; Inside the Museums: Toronto’s Heritage Sites and Their Most Prized Objects by John Goddard; The History of Sunnybrook: Battle to Greatness by Francesca Grosso; and Lost Breweries of Toronto by Jordan St. John.

 

A shivery middle-grade horror story

Posted on September 11 by Kyle

Award-winning copywriter, poet, and multi-award nominated children's author Philippa Dowding talks to us about Myles and the Monster Outside, the latest book in her new kids series, Weird Stories Gone Wrong. Philippa’s Lost Gargoyle series was shortlisted for a host of awards, including the Diamond Willow, Hackmatack, and Silver Birch awards; The Gargoyle at the Gate was named a White Raven Book 2013 by the International Youth Library in Munich.

Tell us about your book.

When Art Ross: The Hockey Legend Who Built the Bruins was published in early September, it was almost exactly ten years to the day since I first began working on it. It hasn’t literally been ten years of continuous work … but it’s certainly been ten years of living with it – and two or three years of work, at least. More, by far, than I have spent on any other project.

 "...if Art Ross had done all the things he did in baseball instead of hockey, there would already be several books about him."

Your Haunted Ontario

Posted on August 28 by Kyle

There have been many haunting experiences at the Black Creek Pioneer Village. One of the most notable ghosts inhabits Stong’s Second House which was built in 1832.

People have reported hearing footsteps, noises, and doors opening and closing. Those unexplained activities are said to be the work of the ghost of Michael Stong who died in 1845 and was the first person to be buried at Black Creek’s cemetery.

Dundurn is excited to announce that Sam Wiebe has taken home the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in the mystery category for his debut novel, Last of the Independents ─ the first installment of the Vancouver Noir series set in the author’s home city. Winners of the $10,000 prize were announced Tuesday evening at a reception in Toronto.

Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1985, I slept overnight on a park bench in Florence, Italy. It remains one of the most memorable nights of my life.

I was not there by choice, but by chance. I'd arrived by train on my way from Milan to a place called Isole d'Elba, where I would be meeting two friends. I had come to Italy earlier in the summer at the behest of a modelling agency director who, as soon as I arrived, insinuated himself as a sort of parent figure. He was manipulative, however, and I eventually did what many young people would have done: I ran away.

Steve Burrows Win Arthur Ellis Award!

Posted on May 29 by Kyle in Awards

Dundurn is excited to announce that Steve Burrows's heralded debut, A Siege of Bitterns, has added Arthur Ellis Award winner to its already impressive list of accolades. The novel was awarded the prize for Best First Novel in a ceremony Thursday evening at Toronto's iconic Arts & Letters Club. Burrows, who is on tour currently in the Northwest Territories, was unable to pick up the award in person, but was thrilled by the news.

Alan Borovoy 1932-2015

Posted on May 12 by Kyle in News

It saddens us to announce passing of Alan Borovoy. He was a Canadian civil rights champion, an officer of the Order of Canada since 1982, and author of Categorically Incorrect: Ethical Fallacies in Canada's War on Terror (Dundurn 2008). Borovoy, who served as general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for more than 40 years, was 82 years old at the time of his death. 

The Nomination of Mary Mabel McTavish

Posted on April 24 by Kyle in Awards, Fiction
We are thrilled to announce that Allan Stratton’s 2014 novel, The Resurrection of Mary Mabel McTavish, has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery. This is not the first major award nomination for Stratton, whose first adult novel, The Phoenix Lottery, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

Sharon Johnston on Matrons & Madams

Posted on April 16 by Kyle in Fiction
Tell us about your book. Matrons and Madams is a story of how two courageous women managed their lives as they faced a decade of social upheaval between the Great War and Great Depression. The younger of the protagonists (a teacher by profession) managed a brothel after facing severe economic hardship when her husband died from a mining accident.
"I honestly don’t know how much innate talent plays out in all this, but until you’ve written maybe a half dozen or so books, complete with lots of feedback, you haven’t really tried. If you keep writing and keep submitting and keep writing, regardless of rejections and the opinions of others, you will reach your apogee, regardless of where that is..."

A Q&A with Kim Moritsugu

Posted on March 31 by Kyle in Fiction

Tell us about your book:

The Oakdale Dinner Club is a comedy of manners about a group of people who start up a monthly dinner club in a leafy commuter town. Food, sex, humour, a little telepathy – the novel has them all, and would make a great summer or vacation read.

 

How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Josie Penny On The Goose

Posted on March 12 by Kyle in Interview, Non-fiction

Tell us about your book.
bout my second Book “On the Goose” When “So Few on Earth” came out, there was a great demand from my readers to continue my story. Therefore, at their request I decided to write the next seventeen years of my life as a young bride and mother in Happy Valley Goose Bay. Labrador.

 

What was your first publication?
My first publication was So Few on Earth. A Labrador Metis Woman Remembers.

 

When Austin Clarke Met Malcolm X

Posted on February 25 by Kyle in Interview, News
In 1963, a young Austin Clarke, hoping to make his first mark as a journalist, travelled from Toronto to Harlem with two goals: first, to live among the people and capture an honest picture of what life was like for Harlem’s black community during a pivotal period in history (which resulted in the CBC Radio documentary Project 64: Harlem in Revolt), and, second, interviewing renowned author James Baldwin. Upon being informed that Baldwin was in Greece and therefore not available to be interviewed, a friend made a suggestion.

Selected Essentials: An Austin Clarke Playlist

Posted on February 23 by Kyle in News
Novelist, poet, teacher, and Giller Prize-winner Austin Clarke was a young man during golden age of jazz and a witness to some live performances that today’s music aficionado can only dream of. But we can offer you the next best thing: a select playlist of some of Austin Clarke’s favourite songs (or, in one case, an entire album).
Tell us about your book. Marjorie, Too Afraid Too Cry is about my mother Marjorie, and while it tells about her not so unusual – as it turns out – experience of being a child migrant (home child) is also includes why it was not so unusual. For example – instead of her removal from her mother’s care being as a result of her mother failing her – a feeling that Marjorie carried with her for most of her life, I discovered that Britain’s policy of migrating their ‘unwanted’ children to the colonies was at the forefront and it was a practice that had been going on since 1618 when the Virginia Company took one hundred street children from the city of London to Virginia in order to supply labour to the plantation owners at Jamestown, Virginia.
Tell us about your book Ignored but not forgotten: Canada's English Immigrants is the third and final book in my trilogy The English in Canada. It tells the story of the later immigration from England to Canada during the later part of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. The book covers English immigration to the whole of Canada. During this period the English were the largest immigrant group, their numbers far exceeding those from other countries. Although the English mainly preferred to settle in the growing Canadian town and cities they also took up the farming and land-owning opportunities offered to them. This was the period when the Prairie Provinces were being opened up for settlement and is a saga rich in human interest.
Tell us about your book. If I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, Polar Winds is an engaging look at a century of aviation in the North using as many northern voices as possible. It’s not just about the typical bush pilots you find in books and movies (although they certainly exist and make appearances!) but it looks at “balloonatics” during the Klondike gold rush, air tourists to the North Pole, military flyers during the Second World War and Cold War, as well as passengers, base managers, air mechanics, and so on. I tried above all to shine a light on the experiences of women, indigenous people, and others who are often left out of aviation history.

Kristine Scarrow talks Throwaway Girl

Posted on February 13 by Kyle in Interview, Teens
How did you come up with the idea for your work? Throwaway Girl gives readers a glimpse into the harsh realities of the kids who end up in foster care. My educational background is in Psychology and Social Work, and I’ve always had a passion for working with the marginalized in our society, which has influenced my writing in many ways. I grew up in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Saskatoon and I was surrounded by examples of people living in disadvantaged conditions. From a young age I recognized that other kids weren’t as fortunate as I was, especially from the standpoint of having a strong, supportive family life. Adolescence is a challenging time even when you come from a supportive situation where you are provided for. I wrote this book from the perspective of someone having to navigate through life without having had a healthy, solid base from which to draw support from. I wanted Throwaway Girl to shed light on what life is like for kids who feel like they have nothing.
Tell us a little about the overarching theme of your work, and why you felt compelled to explore it. There are many interweaving themes within Since You’ve Been Gone; however, the major theme is that of resilience. Both Edie and Jermaine, as well as many other characters in the novel, demonstrate an incredible amount of resilience in the face of racism, poverty, domestic violence, and other forms of prejudice. It is a reminder of just how damaging and marginalizing assumptions can be. They often limit youth from reaching their full potential which is a tragedy for our entire society.
Bob Dylan said something about, “The times they are a-changing”. He probably wasn’t referring to the whole notion of promotion of children’s and YA books but the line is certainly appropriate. Gone are the days of the media/book store tour arranged (and paid for) by your publisher. In fact, publishers are very clear on the subject--authors are not merely encouraged, they are expected to play a vital role in the promotion of their books. Not a bad thing really. But the new world order as it applies to book promotion has created a pretty steep learning curve for old school writers like, say…me.

A Walk In The Park

Posted on February 4 by Jael Ealey Richardson in News

I often spend some portion of the winter holidays down south. My parents and my extended family are American, after all. But this year was the first time I took part in Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

In America, MLK Day is a national holiday—an entire day dedicated to a man who led peaceful marches and made bold, culture-changing declarations.

Tell us about your book.

Put on the Armour of Light is an old-fashioned mystery in the amateur sleuth tradition, with touches of humour and romance. It’s set in Winnipeg in 1899 and the hero is a young Presbyterian minister, Charles Lauchlan. I’m more attracted to mystery books where character and setting are to the fore, and where the detective uses his or her grey matter to solve the crime rather than whizz-bang forensic technology. So that’s the kind of book I tried to write.

 

How did you come up with the title?

It's All About... the Process

Posted on January 29 by duncan

While it’s true that the central figure behind any book is the author, there are many hands that contribute to the publication of the book. Each title requires a human touch at every stage of its publication, concepts are presented, editors edit, designers design, marketers market to the myriad of markets, manuscripts get rescripted, data is scrubbed and sent every which way to wholesalers, libraries, online and offline. And that’s just one title. Dundurn on average publishes two titles a week, and the lifespan of a title before the actual publication can be years.

Barbara Fradkin

Literary Clarity with Barbara Fradkin

Posted on January 27 by Kyle in Interview, Mystery

Tell us about your book.

NONE SO BLIND examines justice itself, not in the abstract, but with all the flaws, biases, doubts, and best efforts of those who strive to carry it out. When a convicted college professor is found dead weeks after being released on parole, Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green is forced to re-examine the case upon which his career and reputation were built.

 

How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Survived the holiday season? The feast is over, and for many, January is the time when the famine begins - the annual resolution to once again attempt to diet. But we know the story…. by February, the diet typically fails and the winter blues set in. 

If this is you, here are some suggestions that change this prediction.

When I was first faced with the prospect of writing a book about the history of a department store, I figured that it would be easy. I would tell about the stores, their size, their architectural style, and how their appearance changed over the years. However, since research also involves talking with real human beings, I learned that these sadly-missed institutions housed much more than just hosiery or pots and pans. They were the workplace, shopping center, and dining spot for real people, places where anything could happen. And it often did!