writing

Category: writing

“Where did you get the idea for your book?” It’s a question authors are asked all the time. Sometimes the conception is so vague and evolutionary that it is difficult to put into words, even for a writer. However, in the case of my new novel, Bury Your Horses, there really was a single, seminal “a-ha” moment. The book’s spark came while I was working on a project for the Hockey Hall of Fame researching North American hockey.

Closing Time is the seventh and final instalment in the Stonechild and Rouleau police procedural series, and the feeling is akin to sending my last child off to university. Naturally, I’m asked how it feels to finish writing about Officer Kala Stonechild, Staff Sergeant Jacques Rouleau and the rest of the gang, and I always respond, “bittersweet”.

Throw them a challenge! That simple piece of advice remains one of the best I’ve received from other mystery writers in whose skilled footsteps I follow. It’s a variation on the ‘ask-the-what-if-questions’ approach to characters and plot. More importantly, it’s an incredibly useful way to develop your protagonists and antagonists. Put them outside their comfort zones (and even better, put yourself outside your comfort zone as a writer), and you’ll watch fascinating and quite unexpected things happen as a result.

How could I have written and seen the publication of 99 books? I ask myself that question and it does seem odd. After all, I didn’t have a book published until I was, um, 29. So, if my math is correct, all were written in the brief space of 39 years. That’s an average of 2.5384615 per year according to my calculator.

Just for the record, I believe I have at least six or seven that I wrote but (perhaps for the best) never found a publisher. And, of course, I have a few more upcoming projects in the works, as should any writer who loves the job of sitting down and writing.

Hello Canada, Publishing a first book takes a long time. It was over a year ago that Dundurn accepted Evie of the Deepthorn for publication, a figure that doesn’t include years of writing, revising, and submitting, and we still aren’t quite there yet. As I write this, the upcoming release seems both too soon and too far away, like getting there requires a leap of incredible faith. In some ways I feel as if I’m Achilles shooting an arrow towards a target in one of Zeno’s famous paradoxes, watching the arrow halve the distance endlessly, never quite advancing. But I know that one day—and soon—the arrow will inevitably hit its mark, the book will be released, it will find its audience, and I’ll feel that strange mixture of excitement, relief, and disappointment that comes with hitting a major milestone and inevitably wondering—when you’re allowed a minute to breathe—what comes next.

Dear Canada,

 

My journey to publication of my first book was a journey that took over forty years...probably not an unusual statement for a memoir. However, believe me, I tried to write my story many, many times before it finally flowed effortlessly into the final form which will be published in February. I can see now that the story wasn't ready to be told until just this moment in time, because my motivation had to align with the purpose of the book in order for it to enter reality.

Hello Canada,

 

I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce myself and my series of novels featuring Victor Lessard, a detective sergeant at the Major Crimes Unit of the Montreal police. With Never Forget, the first release, you will follow Victor and his partner Jacinthe Taillon as they track down a ruthless killer. As you will see, it is a dark, twisted, action-packed, emotionally dense, heart-pounding thriller…

Hello Canada,

 

It’s the year 2020. How lucky am I to be ringing in a new decade with the launch of my debut book? Finally, the gruelling work has paid off—the late nights, the early mornings, the countless hours spent toiling in solitude.

See that red blinking arrow pointing at me? It says: “This way to Easy Street. You’ve made it, baby!”

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