News

Forest of Reading Season!

Forest of Reading Season!

I'm so excited to have This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes included on the 2022 Yellow Cedar list. The Ontario Library Association does such an amazing job of this reader's choice award. Having a book on this list means that thousands (!!) of kids are reading it, thinking about it, ...
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Reclaiming the children

Reclaiming the children

Like many this week, I've been gutted by the news of the 215 unmarked graves discovered at a Kamloops residential school. The experts believe that Indigenous children as young as three are buried there. Children who were taken from their families, neglected, abused, and then hidden from history. It must ...
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Getting Mysterious

Getting Mysterious

I was so honoured to have Me and Banksy nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. This morning, I logged on to the virtual awards ceremony in "black tie" — definitely the first time I've worn a dress in many months! While Me and Banksy didn't ...
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Canadian Banksy

Canadian Banksy

Look at the photos I received this weekend! These are by 10-year-old Anton of Vancouver, who just finished reading Me and Banksy with his family. I wholeheartedly agree with his views. I, too, am out of bed and dressed. What more do you want? ...
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Online writing classes... with me!

Online writing classes… with me!

In case you need a pro-active plan for the February blues, I'm teaching two online writing courses for Emily Carr University of Art + Design this spring. Writing for Picture Books is an introduction to children's literature. We'll explore character, conflict, and language, with lots of imaginative word play and ...
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Vancouver Writers Fest: virtual edition

It was a little odd speaking to myself in my family room and assuming — in other rooms in other places around the continent — there were people laughing at my jokes. But it was also fun to talk about my newest book, This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes. And ...
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A book birthday!

A book birthday!

This is Your Brain on Stereotypes is officially on store shelves this week (in real life and virtually). It's all about the ways bias works inside our brains, sometimes without us consciously realizing. The book was illustrated by the talented Drew Shannon. When the printed copies arrived, Violence grabbed one ...
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Away time

Away time

We just returned from a lovely vacation on the Sunshine Coast. We were only an hour from home, but it felt as if we'd flown to Hawaii. (You know, the part of Hawaii where the water turns you blue and shivery.) This is Smuggler's Cove, once a hide-out of prohibition-era ...
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Words from Mom

Words from Mom

I was talking to my mom a while ago about tennis (my favourite) and golf (hers). The games have one similarity: they involve getting intensely frustrated with a small, round, inanimate object. "But I always try to remember that I'm paying for the privilege of chasing a little white ball ...
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Problems at the pickle factory

Problems at the pickle factory

Join me for a free writing workshop on July 14th, hosted by Camp Penguin! You can register here. You can also visit one of Camp Penguin's participating bookstores, pick up the titles from the reading list, and ask how to get your hands on a bookworm tote bag (while supplies ...
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Stung by a bee

Stung by a bee

You might think I'm all about serious issues these days, since I've been posting about Black Lives Matter and stereotypes and pandemics. Well, rest assured, my life is just as ridiculous as ever. About five days ago, we got a puppy. His name is Coby (short for Cobra Kyi, for ...
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Reading for change

Reading for change

As protests continue over systemic racism and the death of George Floyd, there has been a flurry of social media posts listing children's books by diverse authors. It can be easy to give these posts an eye-roll. What good can book lists do in the face of centuries of oppression? ...
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Image

Still reading…

When my social media feeds are full of pandemic news, and my TV reflects a world on fire, and it seems impossible for any one person to make a difference, reading serves as my refuge, gives me windows to new ways of thinking, and allows me hope for the future ...
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Not too sad, not too funny...

Not too sad, not too funny…

Years ago, my running group tried to become a book club. We thought the wine would be more fun than those little water bottles you wear around your waist on long runs. But the whole idea fell apart when we tried to choose a book. "I have to read the ...
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In need of inspiration?

In need of inspiration?

I have two bits of news to share today, both from Ink Well Vancouver, the writing community I run along with fellow children's authors Stacey Matson and Rachelle Delaney. We've launched a newsletter, and our second edition is coming out within the next few days. You can sign up here ...
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Time is a social construct

Time is a social construct

My friend Stacey sent me an email the other day. I know this is late, she wrote, but time is a social construct. So true, especially these days! I always tease my husband for planning his life in eight-minute increments. Suddenly, he's home for hours at a time. (At this ...
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My new writing schedule

My new writing schedule

8:30 amMy daughter is still fast asleep. My son heads off to do his homework. My husband sets up in the family room to work from home. I begin writing. 9:15 amMy son drapes himself around my neck. I tell him to pour himself a water, then read a chapter ...
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The pandemic pause

The pandemic pause

What a strange time. We've all pushed the pause button, and we don't know when we'll be allowed to press play. In some ways, we writers are better prepared than most. I could spend hours a day alone at my desk, researching and scribbling, reading and thinking. Except... I'm not ...
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On virtual tour

On virtual tour

I've been a social butterfly lately, all without leaving my house. In case you're not getting enough of my blathering here on the blog, you can also find me at... Reading with Rendz, musing about accidental inspiration. Fab Book Reviews, chatting with Michelle about rebel characters. PRH Young Readers, searching ...
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Skipping to the end

Skipping to the end

My son cleared his throat and read me his new story. It opened with great drama. A young boy woke to find his city invaded by aliens. He befriended one of the small aliens. He was about to negotiate peace with the bigger ones when… the spaceship shot him. The ...
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New book bonanza

New book bonanza

My new middle-grade novel Me and Banksy came out a couple weeks ago, so I've been visiting bookstores, chatting with book bloggers, and secretly sleeping with copies under my pillow. (Just kidding, but I do feel about new-book smell the same way my husband feels about new-car smell.) This was ...
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Admittedly, I was asleep by 10:45 on New Year's Eve, while my daughter and her friends celebrated downstairs, but I'm now wide awake and ready to celebrate. There's a lot to look forward to in 2020. I've been reading articles like this one, which offer some hope for the future ...
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The Writers Festival

The Writers Festival

I'm presenting at the Vancouver Writers Festival this week, which is entirely unlike what I usually do with my time (ie. sit in front of my computer wearing grubby clothes, eating popcorn, and wondering why I seem to have named all my characters after people's great aunts). Yesterday's presentation was ...
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The audio files

The audio files

Here's some exciting news... Me and Banksy, my novel coming out with Penguin Random House next spring, is going to be an audio book! My kids and I are big audio-book fans, so there were celebrations in my house. Everyone thought I was very glamorous for at least fifteen minutes, ...
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WORD

WORD

I had a wonderful time at Word Vancouver yesterday. I was at the children's stage with the talented Kathryn Shoemaker, Lee Edward Fodi, and Mahtab Norsimhan. Missing in this photo is Norma Charles, who was there both to moderate our Between Worlds panel and to introduce her own new book, ...
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Let's hang out...

Let’s hang out…

Come and join me at these fall book events. They're going to be a blast, and I would love to see friendly faces! Word VancouverSunday, September 29th, 2:50-3:50 pmI'll be on the children's stage with the wonderful Lee Edward Fodi (author of The Secret of Zoone) and Mahtab Narsimhan (Embrace the ...
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Ciao, bella!

Ciao, bella!

Photo by Violence. I'm just back from three weeks in Italy with the family. We started in Rome, where Violence, on the taxi ride from the airport, shouted, "Wait... Rome has RUINS!?" as if we'd been hiding this from him. (Thank you, Rick Riordan, for making ruins interesting to twelve-year-olds.) ...
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Summer thoughts

Summer thoughts

I'm writing this blog post from the deck of Hillcrest Pool, surrounded by a million children. The lifeguards here are the most patient people in existence. A few minutes ago, my son turned up dripping by my side to say he'd lost his friend in the pool during a game ...
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School days

School days

My son goes to an elementary school that's more than a hundred years old. There was an open house this week, and I was helping at a table of memorabilia. We had Parent-Teacher Association notes from 1916, class photos from the 1940s, and — most popular with our visitors — ...
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Under Pressure

Under Pressure

Look what arrived on my doorstep this week! An advance copy of Under Pressure: The Science of Stress. This was absolutely fascinating to write. I had no idea we experience so many chemical and neurological changes related to stress. Plus I got to research obsessive tennis players, fearless base jumpers, ...
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TD Children's Book Week

TD Children’s Book Week

I spent last week winding my way from Ottawa to Toronto as part of TD Children's Book Week. The event is organized each year by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. The centre chooses thirty authors, illustrators, and storytellers from across Canada, shuffles them up, and sends them across the country ...
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Launched!

Launched!

Kallie George and I were at Kidsbooks last night to celebrate the release of our new middle-grade novels, Mya's Strategy to Save the World (Penguin Random House) and Wings of Olympus (Harper Collins). I stole this photo from Lee Edward Fodi, who launched his own new book this month: The ...
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Almost party time

Almost party time

My book launch for Mya's Strategy to Save the World is only a week away. There's a flurry of preparations going on at my house. Because crafting is not my forte, I've subcontracted the paper cutting and cookie baking to my lovely daughter, Silence. She has happily concocted Make Your ...
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Off to Ontario

Off to Ontario

I'm heading to Ontario in May, as part of the annual TD Canadian Children's Book Week tour. Each year, the Canadian Children's Book Centre chooses thirty authors, illustrators, and storytellers and sends them to a province outside their own for a tour of schools and libraries. This year, I'm one ...
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Book launch

Book launch

Hello, friends! Mya's Strategy to Save the World is officially published this month! On April 25th, I'm having a joint book launch with Kallie George, at Kidsbooks on Broadway. I hope you can come! The launch is free, but if you're planning to attend, you should RSVP here. And, before ...
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Desperation reading

Desperation reading

We were eating Yorkshire puddings the other night, which was enough to make me turn to Silence and Violence and ask, "Have either of you read All Creatures Great and Small? James Herriot?" Of course they hadn't, because (a) that collection came out in 1972 and (b) they have a ...
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On the scheduling of bathroom breaks

On the scheduling of bathroom breaks

If you raised your hand to go to the bathroom in my fourth grade class with Mr. Woods, and Mr. Woods thought you had asked to go to the bathroom too many times, he would say, “Do you have a TB?”  TB stood for “tiny bladder.” I’m sure many kids ...
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Embracing winter

Embracing winter

I went cross-country skiing last week for the first time since high school. And I lived, with all bones and joints intact! Photo by the lovely Jacqui Thomas. Friends and I drove up to Cypress in the afternoon, swooshed around in the snow for a while, stopped for dinner at ...
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Under Pressure

Under Pressure

I just received the cover art for my upcoming book Under Pressure: The Science of Stress. It's illustrated by Marie-Ève Tremblay. Her pictures are so quirky and sweet, they make me smile every time I look at the pages. This is one of those books like Eyes and Spies, which I ...
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MYA is almost born...

MYA is almost born…

You know how people compare publishing a book to having a baby? It takes WAY longer to publish a book. If it only took nine months, teenagers everywhere would be pushing out pages. This is all a convoluted way of saying that after several years of writing and waiting and ...
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Kootenay reading

Kootenay reading

My parents sent me a copy of A Bright and Steady Flame, a new memoir by Luanne Armstrong. It's a beautiful story, if harrowing at times. Personally, I loved the book most for its descriptions of life along Kootenay Lake in the 1970s. While Luanne was struggling as a single ...
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My new Pokémon career

My new Pokémon career

My son wasn't wearing the elastics he was supposed to put on his braces, and none of my nagging had helped. So I made him a deal: if I caught him not wearing the elastics, he’d have to give me a Pokémon card. Well, I’m here to announce that I’ve ...
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Plot twist... or not

Plot twist… or not

I went with my son to see Bumblebee over the holidays. As we waited for the movie to start, he said: “Here’s what’s going to happen. It’s going to be a lot like Pete’s Dragon. First, a kid will meet a scary monster. The kid and the monster will become ...
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My year in books

My year in books

I made it to 76 books in 2018, a mere 74 less than my fourteen-year-old daughter. A few of my favourites... In the nonfiction category, I loved Your Heart is the Size of Your Fist, by Martina Scholtens. She's a North Vancouver doctor who worked for ten years in a ...
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New Ink Well workshops

New Ink Well workshops

Stacey, Rachelle, and I are hosting three new writing workshops this season, on Saturday mornings at Kits Neighbourhood House. We'd love company! Saturday, January 26thThe Voice: KitLit Edition Saturday, February 23rdEpistolary in an Emoji World(I promise it will be worth attending this workshop simply to hear me try to say ...
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The happy mistake

The happy mistake

In my defence, I had a cold, I'd just gone skiing for the first time in 25 years (and survived), and I was tired. I was baking a pineapple upside-down cake for our New Year's Eve dinner. I'd already melted the butter in the pan and sprinkled on the brown ...
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It's always good to have goals...

It’s always good to have goals…

In grade nine or ten, in a class called Consumer Education, we all took a computerized aptitude test. About half of us, including me, were told we should pursue careers in air traffic control. I'm terrible in crisis situations, so you should all be happy I didn't take that computer's ...
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Hatching plots

Hatching plots

Stacey Matson and I are teaching an Ink Well Vancouver workshop on plot tomorrow, so my brain is bubbling over with different kinds of outlines. Fichtean Curve, Hero’s Journey, Heroine’s Journey, Blake Snyder’s beat sheet, John Truby's twenty-two steps... Ironically, neither Stacey nor I are outliners. When we were planning ...
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My most helpful editor

My most helpful editor

Me: My editor emailed her suggestions for my book. Silence: What did she say? Me: That the characters of Max and Ivan are hard to keep straight. I should maybe combine them. Silence: So will you call him Mivan or Ivax? ...
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Whirlwinds

Whirlwinds

I spent last weekend with approximately a billion lovely Edmonton relatives, including my 94-year-old grandma. I've been home for just long enough to do laundry and see Rachelle Delaney at the Vancouver Writers Festival, and now I'm off to the Surrey International Writers Conference. It's going to be a whirlwind ...
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The whole existential thing

The whole existential thing

A few weeks ago, my 14-year-old daughter said, "my generation is the most depressed one, because all the other generations until now have at least had hope." Of course I reassured her that there was still hope for the world. "When humanity gets its act in order, things can change quickly," ...
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Breakfast-table Beckett

Breakfast-table Beckett

I went with a friend on Saturday to see a collection of Samuel Beckett plays. I hadn't read any Beckett since university, and I remembered only that he was unintelligible. He remains unintelligible. The first play featured a woman walking nine steps up a board, then nine steps down a ...
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Mya's Strategy to Save the World

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World

Happy first day of school! It seems as if today should be about all things new, so I've decided to post the cover for my upcoming middle-grade novel, Mya's Strategy to Save the World (Penguin Random House). Here's the official write-up: Twelve-year-old Mya Parsons could save the world and organize ...
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The swear police

The swear police

My daughter read part of my work-in-progress today. She said: “It’s really good, but you can’t swear in middle-grade, Mom.” “I didn’t swear!” “Replacing one letter with an asterisk still counts as swearing.” Me, swearing under my breath: “Really?” “Yeah, and you can’t say that other word, either.” She’s talking ...
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Fall writing workshops

Fall writing workshops

I'm teaching workshops with Ink Well Vancouver again this fall, along with my friends Rachelle Delaney and Stacey Matson. Because what could be better than spending a morning talking about writing? Well, three mornings. If you have writers in your life, published or unpublished, send them here to register! Building ...
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Lake daze

Lake daze

We had a lovely week-long vacation in Penticton, with daily lake swims, several rounds of mini-golf, and much ice cream. There was also a visit to the Wibit, a floating obstacle course with a rock wall, a slide, and a trampoline. When the kids did it the first time, it ...
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There's "off one's rocker," and then there's "perched on the edge, clinging to the armrests"

There’s “off one’s rocker,” and then there’s “perched on the edge, clinging to the armrests”

This is how a non-fiction project usually works: I create a proposal, including an outline and sample chapter(s), a publisher accepts the proposal, and then I write the book. This is how a fiction project usually works: I secretly write something which may or may not turn out to be ...
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Perfect picture books

Perfect picture books

I stopped by Kidsbooks last night, where Kallie George and Sara Gillingham were launching their latest picture books. Here's Kallie reading from The Doll Hospital, which Sara illustrated with a limited palate that makes it look both richly saturated and adorably retro. It's a gorgeous book. And here's Sara playing ...
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Silence speaks

Silence speaks

The following is my 13-year-old daughter's review of Rachelle Delaney's Clara Voyant. I've read it, too, and Silence is right. It's brilliant! But I'll let her tell you... Hey all! Silence here! Just finished reading Rachelle Delaney’s newest masterpiece, Clara Voyant. One of my favourites so far this year! The ...
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Clackity clack

Clackity clack

I hereby present my one marketable job skill: At dinner the other night, Silence was bragging about the 50 words a minute she'd logged in business class, while Violence argued that his hunt-and-peck method was impressively fast. Neither of them seemed to believe me when I said I could type ...
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Drama in Real Life

Drama in Real Life

Waiting in the optometrist’s office with my son, I picked up a Reader’s Digest. Drama In Real Life: Buried Alive by a Blizzard! As a kid, I read whatever I could get my hands on. That included trashy romances, dragon adventures from the school library, my grandfather's Time-Life series about ...
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Silence speaks

Silence speaks

The following is my 13-year-old daughter's rave review of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places: When Theodore Finch, a teen struggling with bipolar disorder, meets Violet, a girl who blames herself for her sister’s death, on a rooftop, they’re both thinking the same thing. For Finch, it’s love at first ...
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Recharge

Recharge

Do you think if you lived with a scene like this for long enough, you'd forget it was there? You'd stumble to your coffee maker in the morning and ignore the windows? I spent a few days on the Sunshine Coast last week, recharging and sneaking some writing time. After ...
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Runner: Harry Jerome, World's Fastest Man

Runner: Harry Jerome, World’s Fastest Man

I made the best deal a few months ago. I gave Norma Charles a copy of Prince of Pot. In return, I received a copy of Runner: Harry Jerome, World's Fastest Man, personally delivered to my door last week. I couldn't put it down! As befits a book about a ...
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Quotes and Kleenex

Quotes and Kleenex

My daughter's been home sick for the last two days, so she's been reading up a storm. She's come out with some pithy comments along the way, including: About John Green's The Fault in Our Stars: "Why would you write a romantic novel, and give your character a completely romantic ...
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Ouch

Ouch

Ah, Family Day. When you bond with your offspring and discover what they really think of you. And your career choices. I was sitting at one end of a restaurant table last weekend, happily sipping my drink, while my daughter and her auntie chatted at the other end of the ...
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To Hope and back again

To Hope and back again

I spent the last week on a whirlwind tour of the Fraser Valley, thanks to the Fraser Valley Regional Library, Reading Link Challenge, and a lot of gracious and highly organized teachers and librarians. (If anyone at the United Nations is reading this, you should immediately hire Rachel Burke. She'll ...
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The Perfect Pitch

The Perfect Pitch

Friends Rachelle Delaney, Stacey Matson, and I are giving a class about pitches and submissions, on Saturday, April 21st, as part of Ink Well Vancouver. We've done some brainstorming and we have WAY TOO MUCH information, but we're going to pack it into three fun hours at Kits Neighbourhood House ...
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Going up?

Going up?

For her business class, Silence had to prepare an elevator pitch. "Practice on me," I suggested. She launched into her product description. And she went on. And on. "I think an elevator pitch is supposed to be short," I said. "You imagine you've met a potential investor in an elevator, ...
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Brainstorming detritus

Brainstorming detritus

Sometimes when I'm walking or grocery shopping or waiting in line, I'm struck by a string of book ideas. So either I jot these on scraps of paper which I immediately lose, or I write them in my phone then forget ever to look at them again. Here's a sample ...
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What not to read before bed

What not to read before bed

I've been reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and it's fascinating. I now know all sorts of wacky things about sleep, such as: your muscles are paralyzed during R.E.M. sleep so you don't act out your dreams; early sleep researchers spent months deep in a cave trying to learn ...
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My recessive genes

My recessive genes

My kids and I look nothing alike, which causes some interesting situations. A few weeks ago, I told a sales clerk at Ivivva that I was waiting for my daughter, who was in the change room. The clerk shook her head (because Silence was one of two Asian girls trying ...
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Resolutions

Resolutions

Usually, I write between 9 am, when my kids go to school, and noon, when my brain expires. But I have trouble saying no, and so other things creep into my schedule. When that happens, I shift my writing time to the afternoons. Have you ever noticed that in the ...
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"Best of" lists from Silence and Violence

“Best of” lists from Silence and Violence

Silence (13) sent me an impromptu list of her own top reads of 2017: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas A World Without You by Beth Revis Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu Wonder by R.J. Palacio Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz Aristotle ...
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I made it to 75 books read in 2017, in the nick of time. Thank goodness I was chaperoning a teen sleepover for New Year's Eve or I wouldn't have finished those final chapters. Is it just me, or do middle grade novels encompass more wisdom than all other books ...
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Silence speaks

Silence speaks

You know how I steal books from my children to feed my own reading habit? Well, the tables have turned. I scored a copy of Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu at last month's ALAN workshop. My daughter Silence stole the book from my end table, read it in a single day, ...
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The ALAN workshop

The ALAN workshop

Guys, I've found it. Nirvana for book-lovers. It's called the ALAN Workshop, it was held this year in St. Louis, and I was invited to speak about Prince of Pot on a panel with the shockingly clever and wise Jennifer E. Smith, J.C. Geiger, and Shanetia Clark. I'm quite sure ...
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Introducing Ink Well Vancouver

Introducing Ink Well Vancouver

Today's launch day! I've been working with two of my favourite people, Rachelle Delaney and Stacey Matson, on a new community for children's writers and aspiring writers. It's called Ink Well Vancouver. We have lots more plans for the future, but our very first offering is a six-week workshop. It's ...
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Wildman

Wildman

I've just finished Wildman, by j.c. geiger, and it's excellent. It's about a teenage boy named Lance, who's about to graduate as class valedictorian and head off to business school. Then his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and he finds himself wrapped up in a society of ...
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Reconnecting

Reconnecting

I've discovered the ideal way to reconnect. You write a young adult novel set in your hometown, and then you include situations that your high-school friends recognize. The Creston Valley Advance published an article a few weeks ago about Prince of Pot. Since then, I've received messages from someone who ...
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Hindsight is at least 20/30

Hindsight is at least 20/30

I've been asked a few times how Prince of Pot came to be. Well, it's not autobiographical and I wasn't raised on a grow-op. But the question has made me think about all the connections that do exist between Isaac's life and mine. I'm on the Groundwood blog here, talking ...
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How to be a writer with kids

How to be a writer with kids

My daughter made me a "how to survive being a writer with kids" package for my birthday, and it's brilliant. I think she should patent it and start mass-production immediately. Not only does it have emergency goodies inside, such as a magazine and oatmeal cookies, it has the best coupons ...
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Please join me...

Please join me…

Me, Kallie George, Rachelle Delaney, pyjamas, an awesome craft, and Christianne's Lyceum. Also, free. Need I say more? ...
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Baby days

Baby days

I looked after my two nephews, ages two and four, for the weekend. They are absolutely adorable, funny, and FULL of action. As I collapsed on the bed at the end of Saturday, I said to my husband, "How did I do this for so many years? And how did ...
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Word Vancouver

Word Vancouver

It's almost September! My calendar is a mess of kids' activities and parent meetings and, in a pale yellow colour that seems to disappear amidst the family chaos, my own book events. I'm thinking of changing my colour to fuchsia. In case you'd like to mark your own calendars, in ...
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Uninvited guests

Uninvited guests

I was having an idyllic writers' group meeting in the backyard with Kallie George, Rachelle Delaney, Stacey Matson, and Christy Goerzen. Once the wine was poured and the fruit crisps passed, Rachelle got up to snap this photo. We discussed picture books. All was well in the world. Until I ...
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Book promotion in the language of cookies

Book promotion in the language of cookies

Since I posted about Prince of Pot on Facebook last week, my friend Bettina in Switzerland has ordered a copy, my high-school friend Heather ordered one from Amazon UK, and my cousin Chelsea in Edmonton emailed to ask which method of ordering would have the most impact. (Thank you, Bettina, ...
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Indoctrination successful

Indoctrination successful

My mom's in my kitchen reading Alex Van Tol's BC BookWorld article about Eyes and Spies. "You're mentioned in here!" she tells my daughter. Then, a minute later, a sigh of disappointment. "They don't use your name." My daughter patiently shakes her head. "Because, Grandma, that would be a privacy ...
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In miniature

In miniature

I went last night to the book launch for Kallie George's new Heartwood Hotel series, an infinitely adorable collection of books about a resting place for forest animals. There were masses of kids at the launch, and Kallie entertained them all with stories of her near-death hiking experiences. Then, she ...
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Entirely unrelated things

Entirely unrelated things

Let's see... should I start with the most intellectual and go toward the least? Or the other way around? 1. Bizaardvark video My daughter played this for me this morning and it made my day. I think this song is about me! 2. Eyes and Spies Friends have been emailing ...
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Overheard

Overheard

Conversation between two 12-year-olds: Girl A: Where are you going to be a neurosurgeon? Girl B: Probably Los Angeles. They're well known for pediatrics. Girl A: But then you'll have to charge people. Girl B: What? Girl A: In the United States, people have to pay for health care. Girl ...
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Birthday tales

Birthday tales

Last weekend, we packed the car and headed to Creston for my dad's 70th birthday. He's one of those people who takes one look at his wrapped birthday presents and knows exactly what they are. But this year, thanks to the combined efforts of my family, my sister's family, a ...
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Running away to the circus

Running away to the circus

Why Rachelle Delaney is smarter than me: First, she wrote books set in Moscow and Prague, and therefore had to travel Europe for research purposes. Then, she wrote a book about a circus school, and took trapeze and parkour lessons. Why on earth am I setting my books deep in ...
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The spill-all edition

The spill-all edition

I am terrible at keeping secrets. I tell you this not so you'll keep from me your pregnancy and job interview news (though you probably should), but so you'll understand how painful it was for me to keep THIS a secret for the six years weeks it took to sign ...
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The Red Cedars

The Red Cedars

I went to the Red Cedar Awards Gala on Saturday. This is a student-choice award (the very best kind). About 100 kids from across the province were in attendance, along with their teachers and librarians. Some of my favourite authors were also there. In the photo below, you'll see Linda ...
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My accidental ninja book

My accidental ninja book

I have a book coming out this fall which I wrote completely by accident. About a year ago, I sent Annick a proposal for a companion book to Extreme Battlefields. The new idea was called Alone at War, and featured behind-enemy-lines stories of spies and saboteurs. Annick didn't love the ...
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Silence speaks

Silence speaks

The following is a review contributed by my 12-year-old daughter, who chose her own pen name long ago, but is generally not at all silent. Enjoy! Hi All! Silence here. Just read Calvin by Martine Leavitt. Absolutely fantastic book about a seventeen-year-old boy named Calvin who was coincidentally born on ...
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How children keep one's ego in check

How children keep one’s ego in check

Silence: Did you do a presentation today? Me: Yes. Silence: What did you wear? Me: The same thing I'm wearing now. Silence: Oh. My friend Emma has an umbrella in that exact pattern ...
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Literary tourism and fried bananas

Literary tourism and fried bananas

We went to Disneyland recently. The week before the trip, I bought our park tickets and made a rough daily itinerary. Then I got busy. Silence picked up my list and read: Tuesday—Beach. "What beach are we going to?" "I don't know," I said. "Pick one." I'm not sure if ...
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Prince of Pot cover reveal!

Prince of Pot cover reveal!

My upcoming YA novel, Prince of Pot, is officially up on the Groundwood Books website, complete with cover! I could not be more excited. The book will be released this fall. Feel free to join me in nail-biting until then ...
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The edge of YA

The edge of YA

A friend told me that Millennials are having less sex because their parents are too open about it, and it no longer seems rebellious. This weekend, I started to worry that my children won't have any secret books stuffed under their mattresses because their mother doesn't adequately censor their reading ...
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