August 2017

An Internship to Remember

Posted on August 30 by Kyle

I knew this was coming, and I’ve dreaded having to write this post, knowing that it will truly mark the end of my marketing internship here at Dundurn. Throughout my time here, I have gained a unique and insightful outlook of the marketing side of the publishing industry, and I cannot be happier. I’ve been a part of so many different projects, from helping to organize the Deer Life blog tour to mailing out sales promotions.

Many of the demands we make of forest managers, if practiced, will ensure that the future forest will not be what we want or need.

For seven decades I have been a part of the eastern Canadian boreal forest. I grew up exploring and examining the forest of central Newfoundland Island. Despite living in a logging community and spending some summer vacations with my Dad in logging camps I disapproved of the way the forest was being harvested by the pulp and paper company that managed the land.

It’s funny how one or two statements uttered in a casual conversation can lead to the genesis of an entire book project. I suppose that’s both the curse and joy of those who continually court the writing muse. Everything is fruit for a story or writing project. In fact, I find that there are days where I might often toss out as many as a half dozen ideas.

“Where do you get your ideas?” is a question I am often asked.

I’ve always found it challenging to answer that, because, for me, the answer is simple.

Everywhere.

It was 1975. The Vietnam War had ended and the United States had been defeated. That part of the story most people know.

Less well-known is that in 1975, all along the Canadian U.S. border, U.F.O.s were everywhere. There were large number of sightings in Ontario, Manitoba, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Besides all the mistakes I make, what I most have in common with my character Stephen Noble in The Artsy Mistake Mystery is that I walk dogs a lot. Usually it’s my Jackapoo Mortie that I stroll with between the scenes that I write, but sometimes it’s my granddog Worf and any guest dogs, like Holly the Bichonpoo. I walk through our neighbourhood, which means I know the dogs and their owners in my community. At least I know the dogs’ names—Spike, Diesel, Akita, Princess, Bailey, Niko etc. —what they like to eat and whether they like to play.

Circumstances surrounding any writing about Glenn Gould these days can best be explained if I point to what happened one Saturday afternoon years back in St. Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale, the ever-morphing suburb where I grew up. For a pre-Christmas event for children to help explain the meaning of the season, a parishioner known to play a little piano was asked to provide accompaniment on few hymns.

Evangeline, Pelagie, and La Sagouine are all Acadian symbols — fictional characters who represent the history and culture of the Acadian people. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Antonine Maillet wrote about Acadian characters, inspired by the true story of the Acadian people of eastern Canada. This rich literary tradition of telling the Acadian story has not often included actual historical characters. Until now!

All of us writers have voices in our heads.  I’m fairly sure of this.  In my novel, Thin Places, Declan is used to having the traditional imaginary male friends that have stayed with him since childhood. But now he is hearing the voice of a girl, an Irish girl. And he is certain it is not coming from his imagination.

Rebecca is real. Soon he not only hears her but he sees her as well — even though no one else can. His life is going nowhere at home and he knows he must solve this riddle of this girl in his head. He must go to Ireland and find her.

Those formulating puns during conversation take pride in believing it an intentional act. Recently, I recognized one shortly before the listener noticed the double meaning. I concluded that the pun arose from the subconscious mind. One doesn’t go through all the words and phrases in one’s vocabulary before speaking; one talks extemporaneously. The words and sentences flow out.

Canyoneering involves roped-up, wetsuited adventurers descending waterfalls and sculpted canyons. It’s a sport so heart-stopping and photogenic that when I saw a spread of it in a magazine, I declared, “This is the topic of my next adventure novel!”

Tracker’s Canyon is my seventeenth young-adult adventure novel, and I still get excited when I discover a new so-called “extreme sport.” It gives me a chance to research it in-depth and meet its athletes, maybe even try it out. Why do all my novels involve outdoor adventure and sports?