Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No April Fools' Joke!

On April 1st, Whoopee Cushions will be pulled out of secret storage cupboards, the lids of glue pots will be loosened and their contents dabbed in the strangest of places, and rubber snakes will make sudden appearances.  All this in the name of prankery!

Also on April 1st, and quite suitably so, I might add, my newest book, Tabloidology, will be unleashed upon the world.  

Why is April Fools' Day a suitable day to release this book, and let it run rampant across the planet? 

Simply because at the heart of this book is a prankster named Trixi Wilder who tries to make the world around her a little more interesting by dressing pigs up as Cupid, organizing softball games with water-filled balloons, and inviting guest speakers to bring their motorbikes down the halls of her school.  And when a photocopier begins to perform in ways that could only be described as magical, Trixi’s pranks are taken to a whole new level.

But that’s not all the book's about, of course.  There’s much more depth, intrigue, suspense, action, slapstick, and other elements that will make reading this book a truly momentous moment in any reader’s life.

If you want to pre-order a copy of Tabloidology– and let me assure you that you will– you can find it at:

Happy April Fools' Day!

World's Smallest Bookstore?

In a recent visit to Hornby Island, British Columbia, I had the privilege of spending some time in what I think just might be the smallest bookstore in the world.  In the words of my late great grandmother, inside there isn't even enough room to swing a cat.  I'm not sure why you would want to "swing a cat."  I just know that it means the place is awfully small.  It's called 32 Books, although I can assure you there are far more than thirty-two books in this store.  This store proves that size is no barrier to quality!

Here's the challenge I'm throwing out to everyone.  Can anyone tell me about a bookstore that's even smaller than this one?  If so, I'd like to hear about it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Top Five Reasons Why I Like Saskatchewan

The Top Five Reasons Why I Like Saskatchewan

1.  On a cross country bicycling trip, my brother and I concluded that Saskatchewan tied one other province as the friendliest place in Canada.

2.  My grandfather homesteaded near Maple Creek in the early 1900s.

3.  My first book, Buddy Concrackle’s Amazing Adventure, was published by Saskatchewan publisher Coteau Books.

4.  It’s the most symmetrical province in Canada.

5.  Klutzhood  was nominated for a 2009 Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Willow Award!

How can you not love such a province!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where Do Ideas Come From? #4

Another event in Klutzhood which was based on a memory of mine was the scene where Arlo had to ride his bike through the school.  When I was in grade six, I went to a small boys’ private school.  The building was one long hallway from end to end with classrooms off this one long hall and doors at both ends.

After school one day, one boy dared another to ride his bike from one end to the school to the other and out the far door.  Unfortunately, he got caught by the janitor.  The next morning, at our regular assembly, the two boys were punished in front of the entire school.  (Let’s just say their punishment was rather painful.)  The incident of that bike ride through the school seemed to fit perfectly with one of the dares X gave Arlo.

So, there you go.  When you’re writing, the memory churns out ideas right when you need them.  The only catch is, I can’t force ideas to come forward.  They have to come forward of their own volition.  All I can do is relax, and keep an open mind.  Then, the ideas will just jump out of nowhere and announce their arrival.  In creative writing, there’s never a dull moment.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where Do Ideas Come From? #3

In my novel, Klutzhood, there are a number of events which are based (very loosely) on my own personal experiences.  Here’s an example:

On my first day at a new school in grade three, I threw up on the way into the school.  In Klutzhood, Arlo throws up at the door of his new classroom, splattering the shoes of the principal.  Throwing up at school is just about one of the worst experiences you can have.  At least, it was for me.  I remember they used to call the janitor to come up from the boiler room in the basement.  He’d bring a bucket of sawdust and a trowel to clean up the mess.  While he cleaned up the mess, you'd be looking around for a rock to hide under.  

So you can see, even some of the more horribly awfully traumatic events in your life can become great material in writing fiction.  As a writer, no experience is wasted!