RED DUNE ADVENTURES: The series!

Date: Tuesday March 31, 2009
Posted in: Good news!,Red Dune Adventures

I am THRILLED to finally announce my upcoming series with Nimbus Publishing.

RED DUNE ADVENTURES is an illustrated chapter book series for new readers (6-9 year olds). The first volume: KEEP OUT! will be released in the spring of 2010 and the second: WATER HAZARD! will follow in spring 2011.

In KEEP OUT! Lucas and Andre try to solve the mystery of who, or what, has destroyed the endangered piping plover’s nest. And Lucas hatches a plan to get Andre to keep his dirty socks on his side of the room!

In WATER HAZARD! the boys wonder how the best Irish Mossing horse in Prince Edward Island got injured. Was it an accident or sabotage?  And will their classmate, Summer, stop reciting poetry long enough for them to figure it out?

I LOVE that this will be a series for new readers and I’m really looking forward to working with the Nimbus team again on this fun, new project!

Yippee!

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It’s officially official

Date: Thursday March 26, 2009
Posted in: Good news!

It’s officially official: ACADIAN STAR’s nomination for the 2009-2010 Hackmatack Reader’s Choice Award.

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Sweet!



Toying with emotions…

Date: Tuesday March 24, 2009
Posted in: Writer's Toolbox

Had loads of fun with the chicklets in Cape Breton with Meme and Pepe. Lots of walks on the beach, lots of great food. The best part was seeing the ocean, of course. Like pressing a big ‘reset’ button on life.

So, vacation mode/work mode. Ha! As a writer and a mom, does my life really fit into such a tidy arrangement? Pas si tant. 

Which gets me thinking about other things…so off I go on a merry ramble…

There’s a technique used in art, where the artist draws the negative space of a subject. So, when sketching a hand, an artist doesn’t draw the fingers, but the space between the fingers. Shifting perspective like this takes the focus off the literal and forces the brain to see things in a new way, often with stunning results.

How does this apply to writing? Well, imagine a character who is angry. You can tell he is angry. His voice is raised. He speaks through clenched teeth. His arms are stiff at his sides, hands balled up in fists. Those are the literal manifestations of anger. But if his anger was an aura around his body, what would be the emotion at the edge of that anger?

Is it disappointment? Did his son get caught drinking, underage?

Is it fear? Can he imagine what would have happened if his son had been behind the wheel?

Is it hatred? Does he detest his wife for leaving him to deal with the situation?

Is it shame? Has been a bad example with his own past behaviour?

I’ve been working on a young adult novel for a while now.  The dad is tough. Really tough. Hard to please. Hard to read and my main character, Logan, is on the brink, dealing with it all. I’ve been exploring Logan’s father’s anger and realize it’s all of those things. Fear, disappointment, shame, hatred. But mostly shame. Shame that he’s turned out to be the father he never wanted to be.

Human emotion is complex. And like most things in life, it doesn’t fit in a tidy little box.

For example, happiness over getting a college scholarship can mean so many things:

Relief: for easing the financial burden off a single parent.

Pride: for having worked hard to achieve such an honour.

Satisfaction: for having beat out your rival, who’s done nothing but make high school a living hell.

So ‘positive’ emotions can also have an ugly side. And those which are *supposed* to be negative, can have a tender side and be rooted in love.

Care to play? Which other emotions have ‘another side’? Discuss…



What’s that sound?

Date: Saturday March 7, 2009
Posted in: Acadian Star,Good news!

Could that be the whirr of the printing press as ACADIAN STAR goes off for its second printing?

printing_press

Well, yes indeed, it is!

When ACADIAN STAR was first published, I remember thinking ‘Geesh, who’s going to buy all those books? My family is big, but not THAT big’, but somehow Nimbus has gone through the first print run and it’s off to the presses once more.

Yippee!

Thanks so much to all my friends, fans (and family!) who’ve bought ACADIAN STAR. It’s been wonderful, reading your reviews on Chapters/Indigo on Amazon and Goodreads. I also appreciate all your lovely notes on my facebook fan page and here on my website.

I can’t believe it was only one year ago when my Nimbus editor called to tell me they were interested in publishing ACADIAN STAR. Yes, her message got cut off on the answering machine (oops!), but thankfully she persisted and here we are, one year later with an award nomination and a second printing.

What a wild ride!



Hackmatacked!!

Date: Tuesday March 3, 2009
Posted in: Acadian Star,Good news!

I always wanted to say that! And now I can!

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I got a lovely e-mail from my publisher today, congratulating me on ACADIAN STAR’s nomination for the 2009/2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.

From the Hackmatack site:

The Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award is a literary program designed for young readers in Atlantic Canada. Each year, thousands of children aged nine to twelve (grades four to 6) read from the selection of outstanding Canadian books and vote for the winners. The award is designed after similar successful programs in Ontario (The Silver Birch Award) and British Columbia (The Red Cedar Award).

The Hackmatack Award was established with young readers in mind and serves to achieve the following objectives:

  • to promote and advance reading and literacy among school-aged children in Atlantic Canada
  • to participate in and promote a regional program in schools that will encourage young readers
  • to foster the development and appreciation of writing in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, in both official languages, through a reading program
  • to work with public libraries to encourage readers through a developed reading program
  • to encourage a greater official public recognition of the work of Canadian writers

Thank you to the wonderful team at Nimbus and to all my friends, family and fans for your amazing support over the past year.

Can I hear a WOOHOO?!