writing

Category: writing

2017 marks not only Canada's 150th year as a country but Dundurn's 45th year as a publisher. In honour of this, we asked our authors to describe how the Canadian identity or history influenced their work. Some went into great detail, some kept it simple. Here's what they said.

Unless you’ve spent the past few weeks living in an internet-free cave in Afghanistan, you are probably aware of the “cultural appropriation prize” fiasco. In short, attempting to explain the expansive creativity of contemporary indigenous writers, Write magazine editor Hal Niedzviecki suggested a learned ability to appropriate. “Buffeted by history and circumstance,” he wrote, indigenous writers must borrow and engage with cultures not their own, and “so often must write from what they don’t know.” As a joke, he suggested a “cultural appropriation prize.”

Bringing the Funny

Posted on May 30 by Mark Sampson in Fiction

Being an author almost always means being a reader first. Before I set out on any new writing project — whether it’s the lengthy drudge of a novel, or the more abbreviated jaunt into a short story or poem — I become very cognizant of, and even go back and reread, major works written in a similar vein that came before.

Writing a non-fiction book, for me, begins with developing a clear focus on the subject and creating an outline that describes in detail the progression of the argument. But that is just the beginning. Once I finish the research and begin to write, the book takes on a life of its own. The months of immersion in a project helps to bring it alive, deepen my understanding of the subject, and breathe life into the book.

 

Every crime novel begins with a disquieting event, whether in the news or observed, that ferments in the author’s imagination, sometimes, for years before appearing on the pages. The germ of the idea for Shallow End, fourth in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, came from my earlier years working as a special education teacher.

For some time now, I’ve been learning to juggle. I’ve pretty much mastered the principle of throwing objects up in the air at different times; it’s just catching them on the way down I’m still having trouble with. Regardless of how high I throw things, they always seem to come back to me at the same time. The same is true of writing a series. I have written one Birder Murder Mystery per year for the last four years and sent them out into the public arena. This is the equivalent of throwing them in the air.

The Gift of Reading

Posted on February 21 by Kristine Scarrow in Teens

As the author of young adult novels that tackle gritty and difficult subject matter, I am often asked why I write what I do. What I think fuels my desire to write about these topics more than anything is the idea that life can be challenging, and reading about real issues is important. We need to know that we are not alone in our struggles, and that no matter how dire things may seem, there will be brighter days ahead.  I hope that when the characters in my novels dream beyond their current circumstance, it inspires the reader to do the same.

The concept for Missing Piece, the final book of my Spell Crossed trilogy, wound up radiating through not only the plot and the characters but the form the novel took and the process of writing it.

Two of the main characters, Xemion and Tharfen, have previously had a collision in the frictionless borough of Shissilill. As a result, they have each come away with a piece of the other magically embedded in them. Much of the action of the book tells the tale of how Tharfen goes about trying to recover her missing piece.

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