By Joanna Vander Vlugt
JCVArtStudioFeb 20, 2021
E147 - Yvonne Maximchuk, Mystery Author, Artist, Creative
Multi-published author, Yvonne Maximchuk is with me in the studio. Many readers are familiar with Yvonne's paintings, pottery and books. Yvonne is an artist of the Broughton Archipelago, where her new novel, Murder Rides A Gale Force Wind; an Island Mystery, is situated. Throughout the eight years of writing this book, Yvonne drew on the complex and rich beauty of her home environment, the Broughton Archipelago and used it as the framework on which to hang the story. Tales from neighbour Bill Proctor, plus thirty-six years of small-town life provided plenty of material to set the story in the small coastal community of Echo Bay. The author weaves the past into the present, along with the various social, political and personal issues that demand everyone’s attention, and of course, a mysterious death.
E146 - YA & Children's Authors: D.F. Whibley and Kelly Shuto - 2022 Canadian Book Club Award Winners
Kelly Shuto and D.F. Wibley were the 2022 Canadian Book Club Award Winners. They are the first two authors to kick off my summer series as Official Podcast Host for the 2022 Canadian Book Club Award winners. I've included the link if you want to find more information about the Canadian Book Club Awards, presented by the Self Publishing Agency .
Kelly Shuto is a kindergarten and grade one teacher on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. She has two boys who are active in sports and a cat who is active in sleeping. She loves exploring nature, spending time with friends and family, and morning walks with a coffee. Kelly values big smiles and a good belly laugh. We talk about her award-winning book, What Does It Mean to Be Your Best.
She is passionate about helping children to recognize their self worth, their own bravery and their individual accomplishments by celebrating all successes. One of her favourite ways to share messages with her students is through thought provoking picture books that allow for meaningful connections and introspection. Her goal is to help the children she works with to leave each school day feeling happier and more confident then when they entered the classroom that morning...and, of course, to make them laugh.
D.F. Whibley was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, his career took him around the world several times. His award-winning book, One Arctic Night, is based off several experiences and observations he made while travelling the Canadian Arctic. D.F. Whibley describes village life in a Canadian Arctic town in a way you will feel like you are walking through the town with his characters. Having travelled the world for many years, he brings an in-depth point of view regarding social problems that cross all borders.
E145 - Ling Ge, short story author of She Left as if She Never Came.
Ling Ge is a Pushcart nominee who studies creative writing and works as a statistician in Toronto. In her literary work, she uses a combination of Eastern and Western styles. Her work has appeared in the Spadina Literary Review, Ribbons, the Rising Phoenix Review, and the Wales Haiku Journal. Today, we talked about Ling’s writing life, her short story She Left as if She Never Came, which can be found online at Ricepaper Magazine. Ling wants to write about unrealized beauty, unrealized issues, and unrealized stories.
Podcast art provided by Ricepaper Magazine. Illustration by Anderson Lee.
E144 - Scott Overton, Sci-Fi Author
Scott Overton was a well-known radio morning host for more than 30 years in Ontario, Canada. Scott has now built a second career as an author. His radio-themed debut novel Dead Air was shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award in 2012, and his science fiction/thriller novels The Primus Labyrinth, Naïda, and The Dispossession of Dylan Knox have been well-received too, with readers most often comparing them to the work of Michael Crichton.
Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo award-winning author says about Scott's latest novel, Augment Nation, “Scott Overton is a terrific writer and his vision of tomorrow is both realistic and frightening. Read this book!” Scott's a member of the Canadian Authors Association, SFCanada, and a past President of the Sudbury Writers Guild. Today, we talked about Augment Nation.
E143 - D.C. Gomez, Urban Fantasy Author
D. C. Gomez is an award winner, USA Today Best-selling Author, public speaker, mentor and podcaster. She writes in multiple genres from Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Lit, YA, Children’s Books, and even Devotionals. She has a quirky and at times dark sense of humor that can be seen across her different books.
When she is not creating new stories, D. C. is working on her podcast, Inside the Minds of Authors. The podcast features upcoming and popular authors with new episodes each Friday. These fun and inspiring conversations provide the listeners with an inside look at the creation process of books as well as the charisma of the authors.
D.C. has an undergraduate degree in Film and Television from NYU. After college, she joined the US Army, where she proudly served for four years. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New England, she now calls Texas her new adoptive home. On today's podcast we talked about Kickstarter, her proudest moment as an author, and of course, her latest novel, The Traitor. https://dcgomez-author.com/
E142 - Hannah Mary McKinnon, Thriller author
Prolific author Hannah Mary McKinnon joins me today. Hannah was born in Manchester, UK to British & Swiss parents. Her family moved to Switzerland, and Hannah loved the mountains, chocolate, and cheese…or mountains of chocolate and cheese.
After completing commercial studies in Geneva, she worked as a PA for DuPont. A year later she moved to Neuchâtel and became the Purchasing Manager for a high-tech company that made motors for industrial and space applications. While working, she returned to university, studying part-time for a Bachelor of Science.
Hanna’s writing career began after her family moved to Oakville in Ontario, Canada in 2010. It is noted on her website that maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company, or an early mid-life crisis, but one morning she decided to follow her oldest passion, started writing, and she never looked back. Her first book was a romantic comedy, but then she switched to the dark side of suspense. Today, we talk about her latest thriller, The Revenge List.
E141 - Marian O'Shea Wernicke, Author of Out of Ireland
Author Marian O’Shea Wernicke joins me today. She is the author of the stellar and beautiful novel, Out of Ireland. Marian was born and raised in an Irish Catholic family in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the author of the novel Toward That Which is Beautiful, a finalist in both Literary Fiction and Romance Fiction in the 2021 Independent Book Awards, and a finalist in Multicultural Fiction in the 2021 American Fiction Awards. The 2021 Catholic Press Association awarded the novel an Honorable Mention in Fiction.
A nun for 11 years, Marian worked in Lima, Peru, for 3 years. After leaving the convent, Marian taught English as a second language in Madrid, and later was a professor of English and creative writing at Pensacola State College for 25 years. Out of Ireland is available on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, and can be pre-ordered now.
https://www.marianosheawernicke.com/ A shout out to the talented book designer, Mimi Bark for the beautiful book cover.
E140 - David A. Bowles, Author
David A. Bowles is the fifth generation of his family to be born in Austin Texas. Both parents were from pioneer settlers. His great grandmother, Elnora Van Cleve was the first child born in Austin on April 14, 1841. His award-winning series, the Westward Sagas is based on her family and their one-hundred-year journey from Pennsylvania to Texas. David and his dog Becka, enjoy Texas from October-May. When the last bluebonnet has lost its bloom, they pack up the RV and head for cooler weather telling and writing stories. Today, David talked with me about book 5 in Westward Saga series, Sheriff of Starr County.
E138 - Daniele Cybulskie, How to Live Like a Monk
Danièle Cybulskie has been researching and writing about the Middle Ages for over a decade. She is the author of The Five-Minute Medievalist and is a featured writer at Medievalists.net. A former college professor and specialist in medieval literature and Renaissance drama, her work has been published across international magazines, spanning topics from The Hundred Years’ War to Roman togas. Her mission is to make history fun, entertaining, and engaging, as well as to draw attention to our shared human nature across the centuries.
Today, we talked about her latest book, How to Live Like a Monk. Publishers Weekly gives the book great reviews, saying, “This beautifully illustrated self-help guide . . . reimagines monastic practices to help readers live with greater peace, simplicity and purpose.”
Danièle, thank you for a thought-provoking book and discussion.
E137 - Amy Tector, Author of the Dominion Archives Series
Amy Tector has spent more than 20 years plumbing the secrets squirrelled away in archives — whether it's uncovering a whale's ear (true story) in a box of old photographs, or working in The Hague for the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in the former Yugoslavia, she has been privy to hidden records and extraordinary secrets. Amy’s debut novel, THE HONEYBEE EMERALDS was published in spring 2022. Her second novel, THE FOULEST THINGS, is the first in a loose trilogy centered on murders and mayhem in the archives.
Amy has a PhD in English literature and lives in Ottawa with a daughter named Violet, a husband named Andrew and a dog named Daffodil. We also talked about Leonard Cohen and his song Who by Fire; having the first draft of a novel focusing on the story, then the characters; and of course her latest novel, Speak for the Dead. Thank you very much Amy for a great conversation.
E136 - Mark Everglade, Cyberpunk Author
Mark Everglade has spent his life studying social conflict. He runs the website www.markeverglade.com where he reviews cyberpunk media and interviews other great authors. He also runs Cyberpunk Day, October 10, each year with a group dedicated to bringing dystopian fiction to a new generation. His short stories have been featured beside legendary authors like Cory Doctorow, Walter Jon Williams, and Dr. Rudy Rucker. Today, we talked about his latest novel, Inertia, as well as music, the band Rush, and binary code. Mark also has a link to writing resources https://www.markeverglade.com/writersresources
Thank you Mark for a fascinating interview.
E135 - Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 psychological thrillers, winning the genre's most prestigious awards: five Agathas, five Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She’s also an investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. National book reviewers call her “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her newest is the page-turning standalone THE HOUSE GUEST – a story of psychological manipulation exploring the dark heart of marriage and friendship—it’s Gaslight meets Thelma & Louise! Publishers Weekly says, “Ryan is a master of suspense!” and the Library Journal starred review calls it "Binge-worthy.”
E134 - Stephanie Ellis, horror author
Stephanie Ellis writes dark speculative prose and poetry and has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Her longer work includes the novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel and the novellas, Bottled and Paused. Her short stories can be found in the collections, The Reckoning, and As the Wheel Turns.
Her poetry has been published in the HWA Poetry Showcase Volumes VI, VII and VII, as well as other publications. She has also co-written a collection of found poetry, Foundlings, with Cindy O’Quinn based on the work Alessandro Manzetti and Linda D. Addison. A gathering of her dark twists on traditional nursery rhymes can be found in the collection, One, Two, I See You. She is co-editor of Trembling With Fear, HorrorTree.com’s online magazine and also co-edited the Daughters of Darkness anthologies. She is an active member of the HWA (Horror Writers Association).
She lives in Wrexham, Wales, yes, that Wrexham where Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds purchased the football club, and she loves heavy metal music and poetry. Thank you Stephanie for a fun interview.
Horror Tree site : https://horrortree.com
E133 - Joe Goldberg, Award-winning thriller author
Joe Goldberg has been a CIA covert action officer, corporate intelligence director, international political consultant, and currently he is a college instructor and author.
His work at the CIA garnered 3 Exceptional Performance Awards. In the private sector, as leader of Corporate Intelligence at Motorola, Joe received the Meritorious Award recognizing a single individual who has made significant contributions to the intelligence profession. He has consulted on numerous international presidential, prime minister, and legislative elections. Joe is the best-selling Amazon author of two awarding-winning espionage novels, Secret Wars: An Espionage Story (2014), The Spy Devils (2021) and today I interviewed him about his latest novel, Rebellious Son.
We talked about everything from super secret things, to being a Pantzer, plotter, the avocado wars and cartels. Thank you Joe. I had a great time.
E132 - Eileen Cook, Multi-published, award-winning author, mentor and public speaker
E132 - Eileen Cook is a multi-published, award-winning author. Her novels have been published in nine languages and optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she was someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She’s an instructor/mentor with The Creative Academy and Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program, where she loves helping other writers find their unique story to tell. She was a keynote speaker at the Surrey International Writers' Conference, won the Battle of the Books competition and survived talking in front of a group of over 300 grade one through three students.
Eileen and I had a great talk about her novel, You Owe Me a Murder, and the just released writing resource, Build Better Settings - How To use Setting to Show Character Arc in Your Fiction, co-written with Crystal Hunt. Thank you Eileen for a fantastic interview.
E131 - Kev Harrison, Author of dark fiction
His short fiction has been featured in a number of anthologies and magazines, as well as on podcasts such as Tales to Terrify and The Other Stories from Hawk and Cleaver. When not writing dark tales, Kev can be found running, sampling too many craft beers for his own good, singing bizarre songs to his cats, and travelling to far flung places with his better half, Ana.
Kev and I discussed Below, and venturing into dark caves. Could you? As well as character motivation, be it a thriller novel or horror; religion, inspiration and running. Oh, and Portugal! Kev, thank you for coming on the podcast.
E130 - Debra Purdy Kong, Author of A Gold Satin Murder
E130 - Debra Purdy Kong was a criminology student and spent many hours writing about criminal behaviour for term papers. When she received her diploma from Douglas College, she realized that she’d rather write crime fiction than work for the Criminal Justice System, a decision she’s never regretted.
While learning the craft of writing through courses, conferences, workshops, books, and critique groups, she worked as a secretary for accountants, academics, lawyers, and others. When she left full time employment to raise her children, she used pockets of free time to develop short fiction while she kept working on mystery novels. When her children grew older, she ventured into security work. In today's podcast we talk about 2023 being a year of transition and how transition is occurring in her personal life as well as in her writing life. We also talked about Debra's security work and how she's worked it into her Casey Holland mystery series, in particular, her latest novella, A Gold Satin Murder.
E129 - Jonathan Whitelaw, Author, award-winning journalist and broadcaster
Besides Jonathan's social links, I have links to the writing courses Jonathan also instructs.
E128 - Jennifer Anne Gordon, Author of horror; artist, photographer, creative
E127 - Patti Lee, Author of Women's fiction
E127 - Patti Lee brings women's fiction stories to life, tapping into the hopes and sometimes fears of readers. Her debut novel, Between February and November placed in the top 10 in Notebook Publishing’s #IndieApril contest and took first place in the 2022 Firebird Book Awards fiction category. An award-winning essay writer, her creative non-fiction has been included in Crone Rising by Jazz House Publications. Her short story, The Ward House, was included in the autumn anthology Of Cottages and Cauldrons, also by Jazz House Publications.
We talked about motivation. I re-told the Randy Bachman pizza story and quoted David Bowie. We also discussed challenging ourselves, feeling like a writer and Patti's four cats and my two dogs. A great Season 5 opening podcast. Thank you Patti.
E126 - Christine Milkovic Krauss, Children's Author
E126 - Christine Milkovic Krauss is a children’s author of picture books, which highlight educational points about pet care, support, inclusivity and celebrate being different together. When Christine is not writing picture books, she works as an essential service worker. Her children’s book Teddy Loses His Ear is based on her family’s experience during the pandemic. Teddy Loves Spaghetti, the second book in this adorable series, is also available now. Thank you Christine.
E125 - W.L. Hawkin, Mystery and Romantic Adventures Author
E125 - W.L. (Wendy) Hawkin writes mysteries and romantic adventures, often charged with “myth, magic, and mayhem” from her home near Vancouver, Canada. Her Hollystone Mysteries features a coven of West Coast witches who solve murders using ritual magic and a little help from the gods. Those books are To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, and To Kill a King. Her latest, Lure, of the Lure River Romances, is a small-town romantic suspense series. When Wendy's not writing, she writes book reviews for Opal Magazine. On today's podcast we talk about her novel Lure, Muskoka, Ontario, cottages, cabins and we unpackage her characters.
E124 - Diane Bator, Author of Dead Man's Doll
E124 - Diane Bator is a prolific Canadian mystery writer and the mom of three kids, two cats and a step-dog as well as the author of Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, Glitter Bay Mysteries, and the Audra Clemmings Mysteries from Books We Love Ltd. with many more books and plays to come! Diane was on the show on August 6, 2022 when we talked about her novel Dead Without Honor, a Gilda Wright mystery. Today, we talked about her latest Audra Clemmings' Mystery, Dead Man's Doll, book 2 in her Sugarwood Mysteries as well as the theatre.
E123 - Freddy Cruz, Author, Allow Me To Ruin Your Christmas
E123 - Freddy Cruz is the founder of Freddy Cruz Creative Works, a boutique media company in the Greater Houston area. Freddy’s work spans twenty-six years, three with the iconic KDWB/Minneapolis-Saint Paul and twenty-one with the legendary, two-time Marconi Award winning KRBE/Houston. The Greater Houston area has heard Freddy’s voice for more than seventeen thousand hours via weekday shows, community affairs shows and podcasts. And he has elevated world class brands by means of over fifty-eight thousand hours worth of production elements and traditional ads. When he's not in the lab creating auditory satisfaction, you can find him nose deep in a book, snuggling with his dog Sparrow, or jogging on the trail (trying hard to not sound like a horror movie villain).
Today we talk about his thriller novel, Allow Me To Ruin Your Christmas, which is his third novel. Humor, sarcasm, writing, we talk about it all, and being the author unique to your personality instead of trying to be someone else. Thank you.
E122 - Jule Selbo, Novelist, playwright, screenwriter
E122 - Jule Selbo had just returned from Sweden where she was a speaker at a film conference when she joined me in the studio to talk about her latest novel, 9 Days, A Dee Rommel Mystery. Jule switched gears in her prolific career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, (her work includes Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, animated Disney movies (Hunchback of Notre Dame Part Deux, Ariel’s Beginning), Melrose Place, Hercules, HBO’s Women Behind Bars, to name a few), and now lives in Portland Maine where she is focusing on eating, drinking and writing novels. Four novels have been published so far. Her most recent: 10 DAYS: A Dee Rommel Mystery was a Silver Falchion 2021 Award winner, as well as on the 2021 top-five list of Kirkus’ best crime/mysteries and nominated for a Foreword Review Best Award. The second novel in her series: 9 DAYS, A Dee Rommel Mystery, is out now. We talked about everything from Columbo to the 1934 Production Code which prohibited profanity, nudity, drug use and much more, including women producing and directing their films.
E121 - Tanis Rideout, National bestselling author and 2006 Poet Laureate for Lake Ontario
E121 - Tanis Rideout’s internationally acclaimed first novel, Above All Things, was a national bestseller, named to numerous best books of the year lists, and published in several languages around the world. It was awarded the Premio ITAS del Libro di Montagna and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her new novel is The Sea Between Two Shores. She is also the author of the poetry collection Arguments with the Lake, and, in 2006, she was named the “Poet Laureate for Lake Ontario” by the environmental advocacy group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Born in Belgium, she grew up in Bermuda and in Kingston, Ontario, and now lives in Los Angeles.
We talked about her latest novel out now, The Sea Between Two Shores, which begins in the early 1800s when a Nova Scotian couple arrive on an island in the Oceanic archipelago, now known as Vanuatu, to convert the local Indigenous peoples. Two hundred years later a Toronto family are mourning the loss of their son. The lives of both families connect by their desire for healing and the desire to heal the actions of their ancestors.
We talked about Canada's past, the digital country, disappearing due to climate change, and hopepunk!
E120 - Ann Charles, author of the Deadwood series
E120 - Ann Charles is a USA Today Best-selling author, and she joined me in the studio. Ann enjoys writing spicy mysteries, and has written numerous series, including the Junction Mystery Series, the Dig Site Mystery Series, the Deadwood Undertaker Series (with her husband, Sam Lucky), and the AC Silly Circus Mystery Series. Her Deadwood Mystery Series has won multiple national awards, including the Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Ann has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Western Writers of America. As well, her Deadwood series has been a question on Jeopardy. We had a great conversation about her western supernatural series. Thank you, Ann.
E119 - Susan Jane Wright, author of The Glass Lake
E118 - Meredith Hambrock, Autor of Other People's Secrets
E118 - Meredith Hambrock is a Canadian fiction and television writer who grew up in Toronto and now lives in Vancouver. Her short fiction has appeared in several magazines, including Maisonneuve and Descant. She’s been a finalist for the CBC Short Story Prize and most recently wrote for the sitcom Corner Gas Animated. Today we’ll be talking about her debut novel, Other People’s Secrets, as well as 5 beat story structure, that vomit first draft, messy heroines and the events that occur in small towns. Thank you Meredith for joining me.
E117 - Edward M. Lerner, Sci-Fi Author
E117 - Award-winning sci-fiction author Edward M. Lerner joins me in the studio. On Edward’s website, it is written Edward is the perpetrator of science fiction and techno-thrillers. While you probably know Ed from his SF novels, including the InterstellarNet series and the epic Fleet of Worlds series with Larry Niven, Ed is a prolific author of acclaimed short fiction. The Best of Edward M. Lerner showcases his finest and favorite shorter works.
Edward is a physicist and computer scientist. After thirty years in the industry, working at every level from individual technical contributor to senior vice president, he now writes full-time. In addition to science fiction and technothrillers, he also writes popular science, notably including Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science behind the Fiction. Edward is the recipient of the Canopus Award, a Hugo finalist for best novelette Championship B’tok; Fate of Worlds (with Larry Niven) was a Locus Award finalist, and many more.
E116 - Benny Sims, Author of Mile Marker Zero
E116 - Award-winning author Benny Sims returns to the podcast and we talk about his second novel, Mile Marker Zero. Benny's love of storytelling traces back to reading Jack London’s The Call of The Wild when he was seven years old. He remembers his uncle telling him stories about being an artillery cannoneer in North Africa and Italy during World War II.
Benny grew up in Tennessee but moved to the small town of Benton in southern Illinois when he was 14. After attending college in Murray, Kentucky, he relocated back to Tennessee to work as a journalist. Later he worked for three decades in the aerospace industry in Huntsville, Alabama.
Benny and I talk about Benton, the late George Harrison, and George Harrison's sister. As well as, when is that novel really done? And how many endings do we write, before we write the ending.
E115 - Lawyers as Protagonists Roundtable - PJ Donison and Susan Jane Wright
Susan Jane Wright is a Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence Finalist. Her debut novel Box of Secrets was in Amazon’s top 100 and was at the number 3 spot in the Calgary Herald Best Sellers list then went up to #2 in its second week of release. The second novel in her Evie Valentine series, The Glass Lake is being released on Nov 23, 2022. Susan was a lawyer and an executive in the energy sector before she became a writer. Her legal career took her from the board rooms in Calgary to the streets of Beijing. She’s received the PIA Public Interest Award for Southern Alberta and the Canadian Law Blog Award for her legal blog Susan on the Soapbox. Welcome, Susan.
PJ (Pamela) Donison, has been a writer in one iteration or other her entire life. Currently a practicing attorney, she is a former award-winning military journalist and acquisitions manager for a division of Harcourt Brace. Her work has been published in numerous legal periodicals, as well as chapters in three legal anthologies. Her short fiction has been published by The Dillydoun Review and Drunk Monkeys. Pamela’s first full-length novel, Death Comes for Christmas, is a murder mystery set in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the first in her Camelia Belmont series of 12.
E114 - Zachary Hagen, Fantasy Author
E114 - Zachary Hagen is a Mississippi based fantasy author and editor. When he isn't busy writing his next book or working with an editing client, you can often find him walking around his neighborhood or hiking.
From a young age he was enthralled with the world of story. From the stories his parents read to him from his blue bedtime story books to the first two series that he read, The Chronicles of Narnia and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Zachary's tastes continued to develop throughout his years of reading. The influences for his first series, The Eternal Chronicles, include Christopher Paolini, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis to name a few.
Thank you Zachary for an interesting conversation about faith and using the bible for inspiration for novels.
E113 - J.P. McLean, Award-winning Author
We talked about her paranormal thriller, setting the scene and the Big Island Book Festival in Courtenay! Thank you, JP.
E112 - Natasha Deen, YA author
E112 - Natasha Deen writes for kids, teens, and adults. She believes the world is changed one story at a time, and as a Guyanese-Canadian whose family immigrated to Canada, she’s seen first-hand how stories have the power to shape the world. When she’s not writing, Natasha enjoys visiting schools, libraries and other organizations to help people to find and tell the stories that live inside them. She also spends an inordinate amount of time trying to convince her pets that she’s the boss of the house. Natasha is the author of the Lark & Connor Ba series (CCBC Best Pick for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection) and the Guardian series (Moonbeam Award, Sunburst Award nominee, Alberta Readers’ Choice nominee). Her latest novel, In the Key of Nira Ghani, is a Junior Library Guild selection and a Barnes and Noble Top 25 Most Anticipated Own Voices novel.
Natasha enjoyed "growing up in a country of snow and flannel," but sometimes being the only mixed-race child in the classroom meant being bullied and feeling invisible. There were no reflections of kids like her on TV or in the movies. Natasha and I talked right away about inclusion in the publishing world. Thank you Natasha for a great conversation.
E111 - Shoshona Freedman, Author of Blood Atonement
E111 - International Amazon Bestselling author, Shoshona Freedman’s debut novel, The Faithful, was an International Amazon Bestseller, it reached the Quarter Finals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and was selected by Suspense Magazine as a "Best Debut of 2015.” Shoshona was on my podcast on April 10, 2021, when we discussed her novel, The Day She Died. Her latest novel, Blood Atonement, is out now. Shoshona lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children. She’s a proud member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America.
Shoshona and I talked about cults, being in the sometimes heavy world of our fiction, and how we come up for air, especially with regards to Blood Atonement. As well as being sensitive and respectful to the portrayal of victims. It may be fiction, but our words have impact. Thank you Shoshona. It was a pleasure.
E110 - D.C. Gomez, USA Today Bestselling Author
E110 - D.C. Gomez is a four-year army vet who has a morbid and quirky sense of humor. Her heart thumps for those who serve their country and those who support them. Her love-journey of humanity is ongoing. She is an award winning, USA Today Bestselling author, public speaker, mentor and podcaster. Her podcast is Inside the Minds of Authors. She writes multiple genres from Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Literature, YA, Children’s Books and Devotionals. I believe the current count for her novels and novellas is 18. She has an undergraduate degree in Film and Television from NYU. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New England, she now calls Texas her new adoptive home.
E109 - Edward Willett, Award-winning Science Fiction and Fantasy author
E109 - Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, Edward Willett, joined me on the podcast. Edward (Ed) has written over 60 science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction books for readers of all ages. His science fiction and fantasy novels are published through DAW Books in New York. Under the pseudonym Lee Arthur Chane, he is the author of the steampunk fantasy novel Magebane, and as E.C. Blake, he wrote the Masks of Aygrima fantasy trilogy, Masks, Shadows, and Faces. His novel Marseguro won the 2009 Aurora Award which honours Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy. His novel Terra Insegura was a 2010 Aurora finalist and his YA novel, Star Song, was a 2022 finalist. He has also won a Saskatchewan Book Award for his YA fantasy Spirit Singer, and been shortlisted multiple times. We had a good conversation exploring sci-fi, and I learned about the lunar brewpub.
E108 - K.L. Abrahamson, Author of Phoebe Clay mystery series
K.L. (Karen) Abrahamson and I also talk about writing culturally rich novels as well as character arcs. We discuss the Sisters-in-Crime--CW (Canada West) anthology, Crime Wave, Women of a Certain Age. Thank you Karen for joining me in an excellent discussion.
E107 - Jane Baird Warren - Author of How To Be a Goldfish?
E107 - Jane Baird Warren writes for kids and adults, who, like her, still read Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction—Harry Potter was a game-changer for Jane. Jane has an MFA in creative writing from UBC. Her writing has been featured on CBC radio and in more than a dozen literary magazines in North America and the UK. In her fiction and real life, Jane is fascinated with people, but what she enjoys in both worlds is kindness and courage. She has a ridiculous memory for trivia, which she’d always believed was the most useless superpower a girl could have, until she started writing.
We talked about the issues she expertly wove into the classroom setting, the importance of acceptance, and I learned a little Scottish. Thank you Jane for a great discussion.
E106 - Fern Brady, Fantasy Author and Founder of Inklings Publishing
E105 - JM Landels, Fantasy Author and Publisher of Pulp Literature
We had a great conversation about her magazine Pulp Literature which features shoebox stories from authors Joan MacLeod, Chris Humphreys and Susanna Kearsley. We even talked about the rock bands she played in, such as Stiff Bunnies. Thank you JM Landels.
E104 - Diann Floyd Boehm, Children's Author
E104 - Diann Floyd Boehm is a humanitarian, educator and award-winning author. Diann was responsible for getting computers and technology into Texas classrooms. She lived overseas in many different countries, including Dubai and the The Philippines. But foremost, she's an author, having written picture books and YA novels. She is republishing her books in the dyslexia font and has many more books about to be published.
We talked about her children's books and her YA novel, Rise! A Girl's Struggle for More, which was an Amazon bestseller, and has been compared to Anne of Green Gables. Diann's The Moonling Adventures - The Serengeti, won Best Texas Children's Book 2021. We also talked about Dubai.
Diann, you renewed my faith in mankind and I wish you were my grade 4 teacher. Thank you.
E103 - Sebastien deCastell, Fantasy Author, The Argosi series
E103 - Sebastien deCastell has an interesting story on how he began writing, which involved camping on an island. Sebastien has been nominated for many amazing awards. He was the 2019 finalist in the Sunburst (Canada) Best Young Adult; 2019 Finalist in the Grand Prix D’Imaginaire (France) Best Foreign YA; the 2019 Winner of the Centurion Award (UK) Best Novel, and the list goes on. You can check out Sebastien’s website and see the beautiful Booknest Fantasy Award 2018 he won for Saint’s Blood. Today, we talk about his fantasy novel, Way of the Argosi, Book 1 of The Argosi. Rock music, fencing, and film options, we talk about it all. Thank you Sebastien.
E102 - J. Lynn Else, author of the Awakenings fantasy series
J. Lynn Else loves reading and writing about awesome women from antiquity. She was "... getting frustrated with the way historical women were being portrayed in numerous books which focused more on their sexual escapades than their own self-sustaining strength in overcoming social bonds. I wanted to satisfy both my wants as a reader and a writer.”
J. Lynn is a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek and MST3K (Mystery Science Theatre 3000 – American science fiction comedy). J. Lynn graduated from college with a theatre major and a dance minor. She’s self-published two historical fiction novels set in ancient Egypt, The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen and The Forgotten: Heir of the Heretic and one science fiction novella, Strangely Constructed Souls. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and two kids. Their shelves are overrun with books, her kitchen is overrun with loose-leaf tea, and her workroom is overrun with Funko Pop figures.
We discussed whether King Arthur was a historical character, or mythical? And J. Lynn gave me her take on Lapsang souchong. After this episode, everyone's going to want to be Twig Lady.
Finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY J. LYNN!!
E101 - Amy Tector, The Foulest Things
E101 - Amy Tector loved reading and writing since a child. She grew up in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. When her husband got a job being a NATO archivist, they lived the expat life for almost three years. In Belgium, Amy returned to her PhD and wrote 460 pages about the representation of disability in Canadian novels of the First World War. You may remember Amy from when we talked about her novel, The Honeybee Emeralds, E91.
Her debut novel, which was a 2008 finalist in the Crime Writer’s of Canada Unhanged Arthur Award, has grown and morphed into the book which is available now, and we talk about The Foulest Things today. It is Book 1 in her Dominion Archives Mystery. In reference to Amy's novel, Louise Penny’s writes The Foulest Things, is, “A literary joy ride.”
E100 - Philip Fracassi, Horror Author - Gothic
E100 - Philip Fracassi is the author of the award-winning story collection, Behold the Void, which won “Best Collection of the Year” from This Is Horror and Strange Aeons Magazine.
His newest collection, Beneath a Pale Sky, was published in 2021 by Lethe Press. It received a starred review from Library Journal, and was named “Best Collection of the Year” by Rue Morgue Magazine. It was nominated for a Bram Stoker award. His novels include A Child Alone with Strangers, Gothic, and Boys in the Valley. Philip’s books have been translated into multiple languages and his stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Best Horror of the Year, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Dark Discoveries, and Cemetery Dance. The New York Times calls his work “terrifically scary.” As a screenwriter, his feature films have been distributed by Disney Entertainment and Lifetime Television. He currently has several stories under option for film/TV adaption.
Philip lives in Los Angeles and on today's podcast, we talk about his novel, Gothic. As well as his podcast, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dark-word/id1617331704
Thank you, Philip.
E99 - M.N. Grenside, Author of Fall Out
E99 - M.N. Grenside was born and raised in London. He began his career at Lloyds of London, specializing in Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance. At age twenty-five M.N. Grenside decided it was time for a career change and he started his media career working for Jim Henson and The Muppets. He has been involved in entertainment ever since. He is an award-winning producer, producing television series and mini-series such a Lonesome Dove, Merlin, Treasure Island, Fraggle Rock and much more. Mark appeared at the renowned Oxford Literary Festival, the Malta Book Festival, and he was interviewed by the Crime Writers of Canada author A.J. Devlin There’s a lot more to say about M.N. Grenside which will be revealed in the podcast. Today, we talk about his thriller novel, Fall Out.
E98 - Sarah M. Stephen, Author of The Hanging at the Hollow Tree
E97 - Teoni Spathelfer, Author of Abalone Woman
E97 - Teoni Spathelfer is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from coastal BC. Since childhood she has loved immersing herself in her own culture and learning about other cultures around the world. Teoni has worked as a publicist; a radio journalist, host, and producer; and an arts and music writer. Her documentary Teoni’s Dream, informed by her mother’s residential school experience, has aired nationwide on CBC Radio. Her photography has been featured across various media and sold privately. She has been blessed with three daughters and four grandchildren.
Today, Teoni and I discuss the third book in her Little Wolf series, Abalone Woman. "Stories are medicine," Teoni writes. So true. It has been a great experience watching Teoni's journey. Our first interview was about the first book in the series, Little Wolf, followed up by White Raven, and then capping off with Abalone Woman. Thank you Teoni for sharing your stories and experiences on the podcast. All these books can be purchased from Strong Nations (link below), Indigo, Amazon, Munro bookstore (Victoria)
E96 - Mickey Mikkelson of Creative Edge Publicity
E96 - Mickey Mikkelson is the founder of Creative Edge Publicity.
In 2006, he began his work in the literary and bookseller industry as the Special Events Manager for Chapters/Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, in St. Albert, Alberta. Ten years later, he formed Creative Edge Publicity, an aggressive publicity firm that specializes in advocating for both the traditional and independent artist.
Since founding Creative Edge, Mickey has signed some of the top talents in the literary industry, including multiple award-winning authors, New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, and successful indie authors, many of whom have become international bestselling authors while working within the Creative Edge brand.
Mickey and I have an informative conversation about publicity versus selling books. We talk about the gritty .... money. Mickey's humor makes for a fun podcast, including his story about the National Enquirer, and the red flags authors should be aware of when it comes to finding a publicist. Mickey also shares the touching story of how his daughter came up with the idea for Creative Edge Publicity logo. With over a hundred clients, Mickey explains how a simple, "I can get you a book signing," turned into what has become a boutique publicity firm, Creative Edge Publicity. Thank you so much Mickey.
E9 - Inga Kruse - Lou and the Whale of a Crime (from 2021)
I found out that a few weeks ago, YA author, Inga Kruse, after 8 years battling cancer, passed. To honour Inga's memory, her spirit, her creativity, I'm re-publishing our podcast. Inga was in midst of treatment when we recorded this episode. Inga had amazing strength. Rest in peace, Inga.
E9 - Inga Kruse has been writing since she first drew and wrote political newsletters for her classmates in grade 4. Twenty years ago this Montrealer moved to BC, captivated by its rugged mountainous landscape and the love of her life.
Her young adult mystery novel Lou and the Whale of a Crime features Lou, a fifteen-year-old teenage girl who, with her curious engineering mind, builds her own spy gear. Lou and her huge Great Dane, Rocky are befriended by Oliver, a wheelchair user. He is known for his clever Shakespearean quotes and his determination. The two are thrust into a serious investigation that has international implications. Inga outlines the depths she undertook to authentically represent the Indigenous people of Squamish, and the detailed feedback she received from her 12-year-old beta readers.
Inga has her own amazing backstory. She explains the inspiration behind the exoskeleton, a project she was involved with as executive director of a charitable Veteran's organization, They rallied with others behind Captain Trevor Greene, the man MacLeans magazine captioned the Iron Soldier.
E95 - Diane Bator, Author
E94 - H.S. Burney, Author of The Lake Templeton Murders
E93 - Gordon Mott, Tears of Jurate
E93 - Gordon Mott, the author of Lithuanian Lullaby, The Angels of Klaipeda, and now Tears of Jurate is back and we talk about his latest novel. Gordon is quoted in the Baltic Times, “I have a special place in my heart for the Baltics.” Gordon is a former American-Lithuanian English teacher and he met his wife, Asta, in Lithuania in the early 1990s. Gordon’s first book, Lithuanian Lullaby, was published in early 2021, and immediately took off. The novel has been on the Amazon bestseller list in both the USA and Canada in the Lithuania category – it even achieved the coveted number 1 position in both countries. It has also sold well in Europe and has been purchased by readers as far away as India. Tears of Jurate carries on with Vana and Darius's story as well as the courageous story of Jurate, a market trader. As Gordon writes in his novel, "Welcome to 1997!"
E92 - P.D. Workman, Author, celebrating 86 novels
E91 - Amy Tector, The Honeybee Emeralds
E91 - Amy Tector talked to me about her debut novel, The Honeybee Emeralds which is a fantastic summer read. Amy holds a PhD in English literature from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. She works at Canada’s national archives, Library and Archives Canada. She spent many years as an expat, living in Brussels and in The Hague, where she worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for War Crimes in Yugoslavia.
In The Honeybee Emeralds Amy beautifully weaves fiction and fact, as beautifully as the diamonds and emeralds in the honeybee emerald necklace. This suspenseful mystery is situated in Paris. From French royalty, Josephine Baker to the Mata Hari, this novel has intrigue, suspense, humor and the reader is rooting for the wonderful cast of characters. She even has The Honeybee Emeralds Parisian playlist on her Linktree account. Thank you Amy.
Teoni Spathelfer - Author of White Raven
Teoni Spathelfer, author of Little Wolf, returns to the podcast to talk about her second children's book in this series, White Raven. Through the pages of a children's book, Teoni recounts her mother's experience at a residential school. For so long many residential school survivors were not believed when they recounted their stories. Through reconciliation and reconcili-action, we can be a part of the change. As Teoni suggests, watch a First Nations movie, read a First Nations story.
White Raven can be purchased at Munro Books, Bolen Books, Indigo, the Sooke Museum, Amazon, and Strong Nation.
Teoni Spathelfer | Facebook
Teoni Spathelfer (@teonispathelfer) • Instagram photos and videos
E90 - Steven Raaymakers, Author of The Aria of Steel Book series
All the way from Wanganui, New Zealand, I had the pleasure of interviewing fantasy author and landscape artist Steven Raaymakers. Steven has a love for fantasy art and stories. He has painted concept art for the last 8 years including many commissions. He considers himself a visual storyteller. Steven wrote and created art during his teens, and we discuss the meshing of art and writing when it comes to crafting a series. We also discussed internal and external conflict, hand-in-hand in his novel, A Canticle of Two Souls, book 1, and his impactful words "war children." Steven's latest novel, A Canticle of War, book 3 was just published April 4, 2022. Thank you, Steven for joining me on the podcast.
E89 - Tara Moss, The Ghosts of Paris
E89 - TARA MOSS is an internationally bestselling author, human rights activist, documentary and podcast host, and model. Her crime novels have been published in nineteen countries and thirteen languages, and her memoir, The Fictional Woman, was a #1 international bestseller. Her most recent novel is The War Widow, the first in the Billie Walker mystery series. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she has received the Edna Ryan Award for significant contributions to feminist debate and for speaking out on behalf of women and children. In 2017, Tara Moss was recognized as one of the Global Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life. In 2021, she hosted the Audible Original true-crime podcast The Man in the Balaclava. Tara Moss lives in Vancouver with her family.
Tara and I have a great discussion about her fast-paced, thrilling new novel, The Ghosts of Paris. The dialogue is intense, and the reader feels like they are watching a tennis match. Funny scenes, that noir setting, and an intriguing and secretive plot makes for a dynamite novel. Thank you Tara.
E88 - Laura Ellen Scott, the author of Blue Billy
E88 - Some people thought Laura Ellen Scott's novel Blue Billy was a cozy. She proved them wrong.
Laura and I had a fun and lively discussion about Blue Billy, the third novel in her New Royal Mysteries. Laura is a multi-published author of novels and short stories, as well as a professor at George Mason University. Laura likes writing stories with dark themes and quirky characters. She was born and raised in Northern Ohio and currently lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
We talked about the presentation and contest she had with her students and the naming of a character. I learned what Blue Billy really is--a blue contaminated soil. I also learned about coke ovens. It's not what you think, and creepy statues from dolls to Santa Claus. Thank you Laura.
E87 - Elgon Williams, author of Ninja Bread Castles
We talked about book 2 in the Fried Windows series. The first book being Fried Windows and the newly released second book, Ninja Bread Castles. From how our characters travel in time to onion bagels and science, we covered a lot of ground. Thank you Elgon.
Michelle Fizzard - Children's book author of Amazing Grace, A True Story of a Classroom Cat
E85 - Hannah Mary McKinnon - Never Coming Home
E85 - International bestselling author, Hannah Mary McKinnon, returns to the podcast to talk about her latest novel, Never Coming Home.
Hanna was born in the UK. She grew up in Switzerland and now lives in Canada with her husband and three sons. Before moving to Canada, she had completed commercial studies in Geneva and worked as a PA for DuPont. Later she moved to Neuchatel and became the Purchasing Manager for a high-tech company. Hannah is the author of numerous essays and pieces. Her sixth novel, Never Coming Home is in stores now, and it's receiving great reviews.
“Sly and deliciously clever, Hannah Mary McKinnon captivates with this engrossing tale of a missing wife and the devious husband who hopes to inherit her fortune.”
“Hannah Mary McKinnon is back with another sit up and read until the small hours of the morning thriller.”
Hanna and I discuss Never Coming Home, and writing that evil yet loveable character and so much more. Thank you Hannah.
E84 - L.A. Kessler
E84 - L.A. Kessler returns to the podcast and we discuss her thriller novel, Perfect. After reading her thriller you'll think twice about saying that word ... Perfect. There is humor in her novel which balances the thrilling escapes and the subject matter. As much as I tried to be analytical reading Perfect, I kept being pulled into the story.
Lisa shares a touching story of how her mother was the inspiration for her heroine, Juliette, and which character Lisa relates to the most.
Lisa is the bestselling author of passionate, page-turning fiction. She has written 40 books in over 10 years. She has twice won the San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy Sci-Fi Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved was a finalist in the Bram Stoker Award. Lisa has multiple series, a blog and is the host of the podcast BookLights, which I had the pleasure of being on. If you missed the first interview I had with Lisa about her novel, Sedona Salvation, that podcast was published on March 26, 2021.
E83 - A.G. Flitcher - Boone and Jacque: Saddleton Haunting
E83 - Award-winning author A.G. Flitcher of the Boone and Jacque urban fantasy series is back on the podcast. Today, we talk about book 3 in his series, Boone and Jacque: Saddleton Haunting. We have a thorough discussion about characters, settings and motivations, as well as his pansexual and transgender characters.
A.G. Flitcher reveals the trauma he's recovering from in his personal life. He also talks about the take-away he wants writers and readers to experience after reading his novels.
A.G. Flitcher's first podcast interview when we talk about book one, Boone & Jacque: Saddleton's Secret can be found in season 1, March 6, 2021.
E82 - Deborah Lambert, Fantasy author - Son of No Man series
Specifically Rydan (book 1)
Amazon author page: www.amazon.ca/D-Lambert/e/B08K8HZNXV/
E81 - Mike Martin, Author and The Maple Leaf Mystery Conference Interview
E81 - Today, award-winning mystery author Mike Martin is on the podcast to talk about his latest novel and the first virtual Maple Leaf Mystery Conference which takes place over 5 days from May 24 to 28, 2022.
Mike was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Mike has always been a writer, and during the last 15 years he’s worked as a freelance writer, specializing in workplace and social policy issues. He’s been published in newspapers and magazines across Canada, the US and New Zealand. His first book was Change the Thing You Can: Dealing with Difficult People. The Walker on the Cape was his first published fiction novel. He has also published a number of short stories in periodicals and on-line.
In today's podcast we talk about his 12th Sgt. Windflower novel, Dangerous Waters, the B&B which was constructed using a shipwreck's lumber; St. Pierre, which is part of France, and the virtual Maple Leaf Mystery Conference featuring a great line-up of Canadian authors and International best-selling author, Ian Rankin.
E80 - Alice Bienia - Knight Vision
Alice's readers love her books and want to be her heroine's friend. I enjoy reading about Jorja and also want to warn Jorja to "watch her back". Alice talks about the opening hook in that first chapter to using real crimes as inspiration for her novels. From fat freezing to seances and our own movie analysis, Alice and I have a good time, as always. Thank you, Alice for coming into the studio.
E79 - Karen Dodd - Everybody Knows
E78 - Winona Kent - Ticket to Ride
Winona and I talk about the time she turned down having dinner and drinks with actor Sean Bean of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, as well as scouting locations for our books, creating websites and Instagram accounts for our characters and the various avenues of marketing. I've included the link to the Figgis Green tour website as well as Winona's various social media handles. Winona, welcome back!
E77 - Lisa Kessler, Paranormal Author
E77 - Lisa Kessler's writing career was foretold to her by a fortune teller. When she received writing advice from Ray Bradbury, she knew she was on the right path. Forty books within a 10 year period, Lisa has numerous series under her belt. She writes a blog, and she is a podcast host. Lisa's books have won the PRISM award, she has twice won the San Diego Book Award, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a Bram Stoker finalist.
Lisa and I discuss the writing advice Ray Bradbury shared with her. Great advice that involves short stories and commitment. Using tarot cards to plot your novel, and we even discussed what an author should put on their Tik Tok account! Sunshine pirates and grumpy heroines, it's all in today's electric podcast. Thank you, Lisa.
Opal Writer's Magazine
E76 - Cindy DeJager is a gracious human and an amazing magazine publisher. She is the entrepreneur behind Opal Writer's Magazine and Opal Rising Magazine. Her magazine is packed with great information for writers and authors at various stages of their career. She shares why the magazine is called opal, which is a beautiful and tender story in itself. Opal Writer's Magazine started in Alberta seven years ago, now, it has subscribers from all over Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and just recently Denmark. Each month the magazine showcases an author as well as featuring individuals in the business, such as Mark Leslie Lefebrve, who was the Director of Author Relations and Self-Publishing for Rakuten Kobo. In the May 2019 issue (attached) there is advice from Jenny Hoops about D-I-Y audiobooks. Links to both issues are attached. As well, her cat Sophie, expresses her opinions. Thank you very much Cindy for coming on the podcast.
Alisha Sevigny, Author of The Secret Sands series
E75 - Award-winning YA author, Alisha Sevigny chatted with me about the 2nd and 3rd books in her Secret Sands Series, The Desert Prince and The Oracle of Avaris. The original novel in the series being The Lost Scroll of the Physician. Alisha is a talented author. Her novels can be read by all age groups, and her fierce heroine, Sesha, is an inspiration for all females. Her novels deal with issues relevant today. In fact, we acknowledged what's going on in the world and the connection to her novels. As well, The Oracle of Avaris is a YAdudebooks Award winner. Congratulations Alisha. Thank you for joining me.
Sam Wiebe, Author of Hell and Gone
E74 - Award-winning Vancouver crime writer of the Wakeland novels, Sam Wiebe, and I discuss his latest novel, Hell and Gone, which is the third novel in his Dave Wakeland series. Sam's prose is gritty and authentic. He gives the reader a great sense of living on the streets of Vancouver. We talk about beats, and Sam's not meaning music, conflict, as well as the writing courses he offers, the flagship course being Mystery Writing Mastery. I came away from this interview thinking dig down when it comes to your protagonist's conflict, keep adding layers.
Sam’s work has won the Crime Writers of Canada award and the Kobo Emerging Writer’s prize. He has been shortlisted for the Edgar, Hammet, Shamus and City of Vancouver book prizes. As well, I got a scoop. Small screen. Tune in to find out what's on the horizon for Sam.
The Urban Escapist - Cory Scott, Artist
72 - Artist Cory Scott, moved back to Canada with three suitcases. A creative soul since a child, he's travelled the world and worked various jobs. When he and his fiancée left Australia and were selling their possessions, Cory was pleasantly surprised when Australians wanted to buy his paintings hanging on the walls. Cory knew this was a sign and pursued art fulltime. Cory’s art has won numerous awards, including in 2020, the Award of Excellence at the Sooke Fine Arts Show. On Cory’s website, Cory writes that he, “was born a daydreamer in the prairie city of Brandon, Manitoba, spending his days fishing in the Assiniboine River and melting coins on the railway tracks.” Cory explains the backstory behind the yellow VW bus, the yellow house and the yellow mailbox in his painting, Victoria, The Redfern Nursery, featured in the podcast art.
Celeste Barclay - The Clan Sinclair Legacy
Have you heard the term story bible? Or reading guides? Multi-published, bestselling historical romance author, Celeste Barclay, joins me in the studio. She is the author of 31 historical romances and after 16 years in the classroom where she was a Social Studies and English teacher, she is now a full-time author, entrepreneur, independent publisher and mentor. We talk about her historical romances, writing as a business, and her upcoming new releases. Celeste and I had a great conversation, and two days shy of Valentine's Day, it was great to talk about romance.
Mark Creedon - Caught Between Two Devils
Author Mark Creedon joins me on the podcast and we talk about his historical fiction novel, Caught Between Two Devils, which is based on the real experiences of family members, Antanas Paskevicius, and Antanas's wife Jadwyga and his sister Maria in April 1944, when they, along with other prisoners, escaped from a forced labor camp during WWII. A moving interview, Mark and I discuss favourite scenes, the little Polish car that looks like a small frog, war, romance, humanity and helping your neighbour.
Mark worked in Child Welfare and Family Services agencies for 38 years until he retired in 2013. Caught Between Two Devils is available in paperback and Kindle format through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
DISCLAIMER: this podcast contains a story or two about war crimes which some listeners may find upsetting.
Gordon Mott - The Angels of Klaipeda
Amazon bestselling author Gordon Mott returns to the podcast. Gordon and I previously talked on the podcast about his hugely popular novel, Lithuanian Lullaby and today we talk about Gordon’s second novel, The Angels of Klaipeda.
Gordon and I have an extensive discussion about characters, their strengths, their weaknesses and finding the character to carry a new series or new story. We also talk about the Stockholm syndrome and using life events to fuel a novel, in particular the kidnapping of Terry Waite.
If you live in the Chicago, Illinois area, on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 2:00 PM, Gordon will be speaking about and signing his latest novel, The Angels of Klaipeda at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. Details can be found on Gordon’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100065013460047
Marcelle Dube - The Wronged Woman
Multi-published author Marcelle Dube joins me on the podcast. Marcelle is the author of numerous mystery novels and short stories. Her bibliography is incredible. She is also on the executive of the Sisters in Crime – Chapter West. Marcelle grew up in Montreal, and after trying a few provinces, she set roots in the Yukon for 35 years and she now lives in Alberta, which she says is, “much like the Yukon in all the ways that counts.” Today, we will be talking about her latest novel, The Wronged Woman, the common error novelists make when writing the short story, the "dirty middle" and the "boys in the basement."
Christine Gabriel - Crimson Forest
Christine Gabriel is the author of the Best-Selling, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance novel, Crimson Forest, the first novel in her Crimson Chronicles Series. Her fiction has been nominated for such awards as The People’s Book Award and The Buckeye Book Award. Christine's been in the marketing industry for over 15 years and is in charge of the publicity & graphics department at Pandamoon Publishing, based out of Austin, Texas. Christine and I shared many laughs and writing experiences. In this podcast we discuss the series arc, and spoiler, yes, Christine has another series in the works. I learned about red moss and talked about Whistler's pink snow and why German tourists think Canadians are tough. Christine talked about the tough scenes, and the scene that made her go through two boxes of Kleenex.
Christine Gabriel - Writer, Books, Marketing (christine-gabriel.com)
Christine Gabriel - Home | Facebook
Christine Gabriel (@christinegabriel31) • Instagram photos and videos
Valerie Dunsmore - Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit
Award-winning author Valerie Dunsmore studied creative writing at Kwantlen College and graduated from the journalism program at Grant MacEwan College. She and I discuss her fiction novel, Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit, the sister relationship and her character Lily, and the lessons Lily will learn from hatred to healing. Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit is the winner of the Whistler Independent Book Awards for Best Fiction, the 29th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards and it placed Silver for Fantasy in the Foreword Review's Indie Book of the Year Awards. We have a magical discussion about nature and what we take for granted, and do rabbits really talk to the underworld? Pay particular attention to the podcast art on this podcast.
Authors Across the Border Drinking Coffee
The Joanna and Benny Show. Yes, two authors, myself and Benny Sims, we are fans of each other's novels and writing styles. We talk about everything from writing in the 3rd person point-of-view to the first person point-of-view. Character arcs. What we've learned and what we still want to learn. Book trailers, promotion, and using life experiences in plotting a novel.
Benny joins me from his writing shed in Alabama. We celebrate Benny's novel Code Gray winning Killer Nashville's Silver Falchion Award for best mystery, and Dealer's Child placing #60 and #64 in Amazon's top 100 during it's first week of release. And did Benny really have 70 questions for me to answer? It's a fun conversation across the border.
Benny Sims | Writing, reading, and various other mayhem
Cover art photo courtesy of Jeremy Yap.
Colleen van Niekerk - A Conspiracy of Mothers
Colleen van Niekerk grew up in South Africa as a person of colour in the eighties and nineties. This meant being surrounded by stories and art, an act of expression. Her evocative debut novel, A Conspiracy of Mothers is set during a defining period in South Africa’s history. Colleen's gripping novel tells a story of love and betrayal from multiple perspectives while balancing the painful legacy of apartheid with the trials of motherhood. Colleen thank you for writing a gripping story and coming on my podcast. Listeners can catch Colleen's book launch on December 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. at the Massy Art Society.
HOME | author (colleenvanniekerk.com)
Colleen van Niekerk (@colleenauthor) • Instagram photos and videos
K.L. Abrahamson - Beneath Malabar Nets
Today, multi-published author and Ellery Queen author, K.L. Abrahamson is back in the dressing room. On Karen’s website, the visitor is greeted with these words, “Writing at the dangerous ends of the earth; The various incarnations of Karen L. Abrahamson.” Karen writes, mystery, fantasy, and romance. She is also a prolific short story author and her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Karen has worked as a special constable, a correctional officer, a probation officer and ESL instructor. She has travelled to East and West Africa, Burma, China, Northern India, and Peru. Karen and I talk about Beneath Malabar Nets, the second novel in her Phoebe Clay mystery series.
Writing at the dangerous ends of the earth – The various Incarnations of Author Karen L. Abrahamson (karenlabrahamson.com)
Elgon Williams - Thuper Heroes
Prolific science fiction, fantasy and mystery author Elgon Williams returned to the podcast and we talked about the Thuperman Trilogy, in particular Thuper Heroes, the last novel in his Thuperman trilogy. We talked about books, plotting, life imitating art, and what's next with Elgon now that this trilogy has ended.
Elgon was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio. He grew up on a farm in southeastern Clark County near the town of South Charleston. He’s a graduate of Purdue University, The University of Texas, and the Defense Language Institute.
The One & Only Elgon – Where the Magic Is Real (elgonwilliams.com)
Elgon Williams (@elgonewolf) • Instagram photos and videos
Alice Bienia - Three Dog Knight
Stranger danger. Yes, a lot was discussed on today's podcast with Alice Bienia. Three Dog Knight is the third in her Jorja Knight thriller/mystery series. We talk about writing lessons learned, the integrity of characters, and using humour for those lighter moments. Did I mention tension? Oh, and how about the series' story arc? Check out this podcast and learn about Alice's real life events that were the basis for scenes in Three Dog Knight.
Also, do not forget to complete the poll.
Barbara Fradkin is Back
Multi-published author, Barbara Fradkin is back on the podcast, and we discuss her latest Inspector Green series, The Devil to Pay, which also features Inspector Green's daughter, Hannah, now a rookie patrol officer.
Barbara is a retired psychologist who is fascinated with why people turn bad. She has written numerous short stories and novellas as well as the critically acclaimed Inspector Green novels. She has been nominated 4 times for the Arthur Ellis Award of Excellence in the Best Novel category and she has won twice with her Inspector Green series.
Barbara provides details about her virtual book launch which is happening on October 26, 2021 from 7 to 8 pm EST. The link to her website below has the virtual link details: Barbara Fradkin - Home as well, here is the Eventbrite link: Online Event Page | Eventbrite
Thank you Barbara for stopping by the dressing room and talking with me about characters, changing up the trope and tension.
Judy J. Johnson - Thief of Reason
Judy J. Johnson and I talk about her non-fiction/fiction book, Thief of Reason. Judy is a Professor Emerita, Psychology Department of Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB. Her M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses, and her post doc fellowship at the Ellis Institute in NYC, explored the biological, social, and psychological forces that shaped the 13 characteristics of dogmatism’s rigid profile. Her non-fiction book What’s So Wrong With Being Right: The Dangerous Nature of Dogmatic Belief, and her novel, Thief of Reason, focus on dogmatism. She has taught psychology courses to university students, inmates in 2 correctional institutions and indigenous women on the Sarcee Reserve. In the summers of 1990 and 1991, she also taught students in Gaza, Israel during the intifada. She has given numerous presentations on dogmatism to academics in Canadian and international universities including Cambridge, and she is a recipient of Mount Royal University’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
We had a good discussion about dogmatism and recognizing the three types of dogmatism in individuals and how to deal with dogmatic people.
Cindy Buckshon - Liar, Liar, Gown on Fire
Cindy Buckshon's art has been shown in numerous art exhibitions. She obtained her BFA in Visual Arts at the University of Victoria. Her final project for the honours program was a series of paintings of Vancouver's trolley buses. She is also a graphic designer and author. In 2019 Cindy wrote Liar, Liar, Gown on Fire, a memoir about her lifelong struggle with mental illnesses, specifically bipolar disorder and factitious disorder, commonly known as Munchausen syndrome. Liar, Liar, Gown on Fire is so well written, you'll feel you're riding the buses with Cindy, a pastime that provided Cindy with much-needed peace, and ultimately long-lasting friendships. You witness Cindy's turmoil and hope she can pull through the difficult times, and you rejoice her successes.
Thank you Cindy for coming on the podcast and bringing awareness to mental illness.
About – Cindy Buckshon Creative
Cindy Buckshon (@cbuckshon) • Instagram photos and videos
Liar, Liar, Gown on Fire eBook : Buckshon, Cindy: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store
Susan Jane Wright - author of Box of Secrets
Susan Jane Wright studied anthropology and architecture before settling on law. She worked as a litigator before moving in–house. Her career has taken her from the boardrooms of Calgary to the streets of Beijing. Susan writes legal thrillers. Box of Secrets is her debut novel and the first in the Evie Valentine mystery series. It was a finalist in the 2021 Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence for Best Unpublished Manuscript.
When she’s not writing Susan’s travelling with her husband and two daughters. Her favourite vacation was a trip from Prague to London on the Orient Express.
Susan is celebrating the virtual launch of Box of Secrets. Listeners can register for the launch through Owls Nest Books through this link https://shop.owlsnestbooks.com/events/14540.
Susan Jane Wright (@susanjjwright) • Instagram photos and videos
Writing Humour - Not So Easy
Alice Bienia has a passion for nature, photography, motorcycles, and coffee. She went to university and emerged with a Bachelor of Science in geology. Her work in remote regions of Canada honed her insatiable curiosity, fuelled her imagination and deepened her desire to learn. She writes full time. She approaches her creativity, imagination with the all important, ‘head down, butt in chair,’ skill she’s acquired along the way to creating challenging crimes. The author of Knight Blind, Knight Trials and her recently released Three Dog Knight, Alice Bienia joins the panel in the dressing room to talk about humour. Alice Bienia – Crime Writer
C.J. Papoutsis lives in a crooked old building on a crooked old street near the sea in Victoria, B.C. where she stares out the window waiting for brilliant stories and poems to smack her on the head. Writing is Carolanne’s lifelong passion. From the time she was five, she made little books from cut-up paper and scribbled on the pages. Despite being captive in Civil Service for 35 years and a cancer skirmish, she has kept on writing “because it’s more fun than therapy.” She also designs and makes jewellery. Her essays, short stories, mysteries and poetry have been published in Monday Magazine, Senior Living Magazine and two anthologies; Dropped Threads 2, Blood on the Holly, and on Stories Less Spoken, and Commuterlit.com.
Erik D'Souza is the author of Death in Halfmoon Bay, a Suzanne Rickson mystery. Erik's first book, Straight Men in Gay Bars sold internationally. His novella and short stories have been published in various literary magazines, both in print and online. Like all authors, Erik has many stories to tell. We talk about how important pacing is when it comes to writing humour. Learn about Erik's publishing company Timbercrest Publishing and how it has helped authors reach their publishing dreams. https://timbercrestpublishing.com/ and http://erikdsouza.com/
Photo taken by Photo by Srinivas Bandari on Unsplash
Jule Selbo - 10 Days
Do you know what a mud angel is? You'll find out with this episode's multi-talented author, Jule Selbo.
Jule spent 20+ years working as a screenwriter at major film studios in Los Angeles, including working for industry giant George Lucas on The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Other shows Jule worked on were HBO’s Women Behind Bars, George Romero’s Tales from the Darkside and Monsters, and Aaron Spelling’s Melrose Place. Portland, Maine, Jule calls home, and this multi-published author, playwright, screenwriter, producer and professor, joined me on the podcast and we talked about using screenwriting techniques to plot a novel.
Jule’s short stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Jule shares what she learned about her heroine Dee Rommel in her debut novel, 10 Days. And I also learned that Jule has a clever shot on the pickle ball court.
Trevor Atkins - The Day the Pirates Went Mad
Children’s author Trevor Atkins and I had a blast in this episode. There's a lot of laughter and a GIVEAWAY, so listen closely. Trevor educated me on pirates and the extensive research he did crafting this exciting and intriguing children's novel. The Youtube portion of this podcast will be uploaded in a few days and listeners can see the many drawings and illustrations that Trevor makes reference to.
Trevor lives with his family on the west coast of Canada and has been working with words for much of his life, but he has only recently pursued historical fiction. A storyteller and role player of detailed characters, Trevor finds it natural to weave together many intertwining plot threads when writing.
The Day the Pirates Went Mad is a middle-grade historical fiction, set at the turn of the 18th century. Follow the adventures of orphanage runaway Emma Sharpe as she voyages to the West Indies aboard the New Adventure. This book is not only a children’s book, but also a great resource for teachers. Trevor has created a comprehensive website which includes a teacher’s guide, an author’s log and games.
There is one section near the end of the podcast when Trevor and I are talking about pirate games, and my internet was interrupted, but Trevor does explain if his pirate game is connected to his novel, The Day the Pirates Went Mad.
Now Available – The Day the Pirates Went Mad (emmasharpesadventures.com)
The Take Over - Dealer's Child
Mystery Author, Debra Purdy Kong
Debra Purdy Kong has 40 years of writing experience. A former criminology student, Debra draws upon life experiences, including her security work, to plot her novels. She has two series, the Alex Bellamy series and the Casey Holland series. A prolific author, we talk about writing (of course), language, characters aging and does that impact their dialogue. As well as over-cooked brussels sprouts!
Gordon Mott, Author of Lithuanian Lullaby
Gordon Mott is the author of the historical fiction novels, Lithuanian Lullaby and The Angels of Klaipeda. He has lived and worked in the UK, Australia, Canada and Lithuania. With a degree in politics from Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, he holds an interest in East European development and has taught and travelled extensively in the region. We had a good discussion about the writing of his first novel, Lithuanian Lullaby, an epic historical fiction novel which is also a love story. The novel highlights western and eastern cultures between 1987 and 1997 following Lithuania's Independence and has been number one on Amazon in Canada and the U.S.
Gordon has been interviewed extensively overseas, and his novel has been featured in numerous publications worldwide. I was honoured to be his first Canadian interview.
Josh Kully - Author, poet, illustrator
Have you heard the JAWS-approach of storytelling? Josh talks about using the JAWS-approach when it came to writing his short story The Stork, which is not only story, but also poem, which Josh also illustrated. Author, illustrator, creative, Josh and I discuss what success means to us, writing fiction that has weight, and sharing experiences through writing and art. Which came first? Art or writing?
Illustrator | Josh Kully | British Columbia
Josh (@joshkully) • Instagram photos and videos
Stella Harvey, Creative Director of the Whistler Writers Festival and Author
And, Happy 50th episode JCVArtStudio from the Dressing Room.
Penni Jones, Author of the Suicide Souls
Penni Jones’s website is titled, Scapegoats and Sacred Cows, and under that title is written This is my existential crises, get your own. She has a sharp, refreshing voice. Penni is also an editor, screenwriter & t-shirt wearer. Her novels are Suicide Souls, Kricket and On the Bricks. Penni and I talked about writing, imaginations and how in her dedication she writes about the grief following suicide. As we talked about Suicide Souls, we agreed that her novel has many layers, it's part thriller, part mystery and has humour. As much as this is a work of fiction, Penni respectfully writes about the topic of suicide. We have a good conversation including her inspiration behind some of her scenes. Would you believe the Detroit airport? And ghosts. Scapegoats and Sacred Cows – This is my existential crisis. Get your own. Penni Jones author (@pennijonesauthor) • Instagram photos and videos
Kemeasha Brown, Children's Author
Kemeasha Brown (@meashawritebooks) • Instagram photos and videos
Thank you to Vitriol for the new music.
Sue Stoney - Zero Waste
Sue joins me on the podcast and we talk about zero waste as well as kick around the idea of Sue writing a fictional novel.
fadanista – For indulging my fads
Sue Stoney (@suestoney) • Instagram photos and videos
2021 British Columbia Fires - Canadian Red Cross
Indie Filmmaker and Author Ashley Good
Ashley Good is an author, podcaster and indie filmmaker. She joins me on the podcast and we discuss everything from her YA novel, Mary & the Alien, filmmaking, and being the creative behind the Foggy Isle Film Festival. We discover we are both fans of The Umbrella Academy, and we agree that creative expression is not about following the rules but creating and putting your creation out there, be it novel or film.
Mary & the Alien — Ashley Good
Foggy Isle Film Festival – Foggy Isle Film Festival (foggyislefilms.com)
Moonlight and Misadventure
Six amazing authors join me in the dressing room and we talk about their short stories in the Moonlight and Misadventure anthology, which is the third short story anthology from Judy Penz Sheluk’s Superior Shores Press. Award-winning short story authors from the US and Canada are featured in this anthology, as well as talented new authors, who are breaking into Canada's mystery writing scene with their unique voices. These individual stories flow so nicely together. They are notes in a phrase of music. And to tap into your moonlight theme, when I read the stories of these authors, I thought of Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. This anthology was a pleasure to read.
Candas Jane Dorsey - writing on the edge
Candas Jane Dorsey's writing style defies convention. As I said to Candas during our interview, she's in the driver's seat of a Bugatti and she's just told me to "buckle up."
Candas is a prolific internationally known award-winning author. In 2005 she was awarded the Province of Alberta Centennial Gold Medal for her artistic achievement and community work, and in 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. In 2019 she was inducted into the City of Edmonton's Arts and Cultural Hall of Fame.
Candas and I share favorite story lines and discuss her nameless protagonist in her book The Adventures of Isabel, the first in her Epitome Apartments Mystery series. Candas can be found on the socials at Candas Jane Dorsey at art - Home | Facebook and Candas Jane Dorsey (@CJDwriter) / Twitter
Photo taken by PJ Groeneveldt
Bill Morrison - Lions in the Grass
"What are you that Random House is not?" "Be nimble. Be quick." Today, I have award-winning author and consultant, Bill Morrison on the podcast. Bill is the author of Lions in the Grass, a #1 Amazon Bestseller as well as the 2020 Canadian Book Club Award winner in the 2020 Business/Self-Help category. He has appeared on the CTV Morning Show talking about “the tricks of professional persuaders” and is a consultant in the field of emotional positioning and consumer behaviour. He has spent the last 25 years uncovering the elements of influence and persuasion that impact human motivation. After two decades of unprecedented success in condominium tower marketing, he now consults with corporations, brands and individuals on how to emotionally connect their audience with their offerings.
In the beginning of the podcast you will hear about Bill's 2 book giveaway. The first two listeners to email me the correct answer to the question: What is the title of the "great great book" written by Sun Tzu that Bill refers to in the podcast? will win a free copy of Bill's book Lions in the Grass.
Bill Morrison Author of Lions in the Grass (morrisonwrites.com)
Bill Morrison (@billmorrisonwrites) • Instagram photos and videos
Bill Morrison - President - Newterra Marketing Consulting | LinkedIn
Teoni Spathelfer - Author of Little Wolf
Today I'm excited to share my discussion with creative Teoni Spathelfer. Because the recording is a little difficult to hear in some sections, we had horrible weather during the recording, I wanted to note the names mentioned. Teoni shared the sound effects of the waves for her documentary, Teoni's Dream, with Elder Gilbert Joe. Teoni mentions Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, who is part of Reconciliation Canada. Heritage House is the publisher of Little Wolf, which we discuss on today's podcast.
Teoni's Dream can be listened to at the 4:40 mark here February 26, 2010 - Part 1 | CBC.ca. Teoni felt her ancestors were bringing her a message through her dreams. Little Wolf is the first in a trilogy, and it tackles topics such as racism, isolation and overcoming challenges. The second book in this trilogy is White Raven. Teoni blends three generations of women to create her character, Little Wolf. A beautiful children's book which is appropriate for children and adults. Tune in and learn about Fire Woman who came to Teoni in her dreams.
Teoni Spathelfer (@teonispathelfer) • Instagram photos and videos
65 Canadian picture books to check out in spring 2021 | CBC Books
Wild Wood Creative - She's a Scroll Saw Artist
Wild Wood Creative - Home | Facebook
Wild Wood Creative (@wild.wood.creative) • Instagram photos and videos
Hannah Mary McKinnon - You Will Remember Me
Hanna and I discuss using “sweet” similes to describe a voice, how Hanna went from writing a rom-com to suspense, writing in multiple first-person points-of-view, and breaking rules to produce the best novel possible.
Home - hannahmarymckinnon.com
Hannah Mary McKinnon Author 📚 (@hannahmarymckinnon) • Instagram photos and videos
Hannah Mary McKinnon - Home | Facebook
Lila Harrison King - Love Like a Mama
Lila Harrison King has been on her own motherhood journey. She is a writer, and a podcaster, who wanted to reach out to mothers all over the world. She created a beautiful, one of a kind keepsake book, Love Like a Mama. This book is for moms in any stage of motherhood. Its daily dose of encouragement reminds us that being a mom comes in all shapes and stories. There isn't a right way to mother. Just a loving way. Her hardcover book is filled with daily encouraging thoughts, wide margins for doodles, and a journaling section.
Lila joins me on the podcast and we share stories of motherhood, not wanting to disappoint our children, wishing we could offer more, lots of laughs and love. You'll feel like you've had a virtual hug. Lila's podcast, Love Like a Mama can be heard on any listening platform.
Love Like A Mama | Lila Harrison King
Lila Harrison King (@lovelikeamama_) • Instagram photos and videos
Love Like A Mama (facebook.com)
Ana Warner - Twin Flames
We have a good conversation about self-respect, toxic reality and expectations in a relationships. I also learn about the twin-flames journey. Ana can be found at Ana Warner 🇱🇷🇷🇴 (@anico28) • Instagram photos and videos
Coffee with Brian
Benny Sims - Code Gray
Benny Sims is a fan of Lee Child's, Jack Reacher series. He's worked with the aerospace industry making windows for the President's Air Force One. Benny has always liked storytelling. He can trace that fondness to reading Jack London’s The Call of the Wild when he was in second grade and listening to his great uncle tell war stories from his time as an artillery cannoneer in North Africa and Italy during WW II.
Benny was born and grew up in middle Tennessee, but his family moved to Benton, Illinois. It was there that his teachers noticed his aptitude for writing and encouraged him to pursue it. He attended college at Murray State University in Kentucky where he studied journalism. After college, he landed a job as sports writer and editor with a small newspaper near his hometown.
Benny and I have a great conversation. We talk about his really good prologue which didn't make it into the book and why (YouTube link below), as well as Lee Child's writing style of two steps forward and one step back. I learned about the Fairness Doctrine. Have you heard of a pitch party on Twitter? You will today. And Benny surprised me when I found out when he wrote Code Gray, his debut novel. Benny writes like a seasoned author with multiple novels under his belt.
Prologue for CODE GRAY Book Reading with Author Benny Sims - YouTube
Code Gray Book Trailer - YouTube
Benny Sims, Author | Books | Series | Interview | Deals | Newsletter | Contact | Site | AllAuthor
Elgon Williams - Becoming Thuperman
K.L. Abrahamson - Through Dark Water
Multi-published author and Ellery Queen author, K.L. Abrahamson is in the dressing room. On Karen’s website, the visitor is greeted with these words, “Writing at the dangerous ends of the earth; The various incarnations of Karen L. Abrahamson.” Karen writes, mystery, fantasy, and romance. She is also a prolific short story author and her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Karen has worked as a special constable, a correctional officer, a probation officer and ESL instructor. She has travelled to East and West Africa, Burma, China, Northern India, and Peru. We talk about stepping out onto the ledge when writing, real camping, and her thrilling and breath-taking novel, Through Dark Water. We had a great discussion even after being podcast-bombed by Shiva and Ozzy.
Writing at the dangerous ends of the earth – The various Incarnations of Author Karen L. Abrahamson (karenlabrahamson.com)
Alisha Sevigny - The Lost Scroll of the Physician
Alisha Sevigny is an author of Young Adult, Middle Grade and Children’s Books. She is a literary consultant for those seeking assistance in writing and publishing their novel. She holds a degree in Professional Writing and Sociology from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and yoga teacher. She is passionate about Ancient Civilizations and her new middle-grade series Secrets of the Sands launched in 2020 with The Lost Scroll of the Physician and is followed by The Desert Prince. No matter what your age, this is a thrilling series for any lover of Ancient Egypt, mystery and adventure. Alisha Sevigny
alisha sevigny (@alishasevigny) / Twitter
(2) Alisha Sevigny, Author | Facebook
Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga - Forget-me-not Forever
Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga leads the Digital and Content portfolio, weaving in the contractual sponsorship assets from the sports and entertainment properties in the Rakuten portfolio. Prior to Rakuten, she worked for ASICS in Sponsorship Activation, Sports Marketing, and PR roles at the Global Headquarter (Kobe, Japan) and Scandinavian office in Stockholm, Sweden. She also worked as a Tokyo based BBC World Service freelance reporter. Vanessa holds a Master’s Degree in "Olympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events" from the International Olympic Academy and a BA Journalism from City University, London. She has run 6 marathons.
Vanessa is also an author. She published her debut novel in Swedish on International Women’s Day 2020, and had it translated into English. Forget-me-not Forever is available on Kobo as an eBook. Join Vanessa and I as we talk about translations, Frankensteining-sections of text, using the New York marathon as a metaphor for life and why Vanessa is constantly receiving pancake emojis.
Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga - Senior Manager | Global Sports Digital Strategy - Rakuten | LinkedIn
Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga | Facebook
Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga (@vanessaaselltsuruga) • Instagram photos and videos
Forget-me-not Forever eBook by Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga - 1230003979167 | Rakuten Kobo Canada Förgätmigej för alltid eBook by Vanessa Åsell Tsuruga - 1230003700594 | Rakuten Kobo Canada
S.M. Freedman - writing what she fears
International Amazon Bestselling author, S.M. (Shoshona) Freedman, joins me in the dressing room. Her debut novel The Faithful was selected by Suspense Magazine as a "Best Debut of 2015." The sequel, Impact Winter, was published in 2016. Shoshona and I talk about writing what we fear, nightmares, keeping the intensity and keeping the story human. Shoshona acknowledges "working" to write the perfect narrative paragraph, and she jokes about the original title for her standalone thriller The Day She Died, a novel I could not put down. We delve into Judaism and Catholicism.
Shoshona is currently working on the third and final instalment in The Faithful Series. Her standalone psychological thriller novel, The Day She Died, published by Dundurn Press, is being released April 27. Signed copies of The Day She Died is available through Book Warehouse. Shoshona is a proud member of the Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. At my urging, Shoshona shares what it was like to watch the sun set on a rooftop in New York City during Thrillerfest. S.M.F (smfreedman.com)
S.M. Freedman - Home | Facebook
S.M. Freedman (@smfreedmanauthor) • Instagram photos and videos
S.M. Freedman - Pre-order The Day She Died Now (@SMFreedman) / Twitter
Judy Toews - Lucky Jack Road
As a child Judy Toews published the neighbourhood news at $0.25 a pop, then she was the editor of two school newspapers. Her first novel, Give Out Creek, was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished Crime Novel and the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery novel. Her protagonist, Stella Mosconi, is a newspaper reporter, and we discuss Judy's second novel in the Stella Mosconi series, Lucky Jack Road.
Judy used to work as a nutritionist. She has a love for science and forensic work. Judy shares a few good resources, such as Howdunit Forensics: A Guide for Writers, written by D.P. Lyle. To learn more about Judy check out her website https://www.jgtoews.com She can be found on Instagram at JG Toews (@jgtoews) • Instagram photos and videos Twitter JG Toews (@JudyToews) / Twitter and on Facebook JG Toews | Facebook.
Sisters in Crime - Canada West - the Crime Wave anthology
I learned a lot such as retro-fitting a story, skiing 10 kilometres in -20 degrees in the Yukon, working from a 3-act structure, the snowflake method of plotting and there's even some Shakespeare. As much as these authors are dedicated and serious about their craft, they are also incredibly funny.
Thank you Sisters in Crime - CW for joining me in the dressing room. We have to do this again in person. Cheers.
Jennifer Kaddoura, Editor
Editor Jennifer Kaddoura is an artist who has found her perfect creative space. Her devotion to critical thinking, creative writing and empathy is obvious in her editing approach. Jennifer is intensely curious about insights gained through lived experience and finds joy in helping her clients achieve their publishing goals. She encourages her clients to courageously share their insights, helping them to present their vision clearly and, often, compellingly.
“What matters in this complex and crowded world is the authenticity and clarity of your voice — freeze-framing your kaleidoscope so that others may benefit from your insights.”
She has extensive experience in both customer service and editing. She began her career at an innovative, fast-growing software company. Her client service skills and commitment to meeting every deadline propelled her into positions requiring steadfast dependability. She became the primary relationship contact for numerous large companies in both Canada and the US, as well as the primary contact for white-glove executive services across all clients.
When the company sought to better their education materials, her talents in clear communication and document design were put to use in the position of comprehensive editor.
She has since moved to Victoria, B.C., where she is employed as a Legislative Editor for the B.C. Attorney General Ministry. Additional Victoria editing experiences include Senior Editor at Hansard Services, with the Legislative Assembly of B.C., as well as editing various projects through her freelance platform — historical fiction, creative non-fiction, online material, professional content for small businesses and local-area artists and academic theses (Master's level), with projects in Canadian and American English. Jennifer Kaddoura Editorial Services (editmebrilliant.com)
Andre Gress - Urban Fantasy Author
Andre Gress is the author of Boone and Jacque Saddleton's Secret, the first novel in his urban fantasy series. In this novel readers are introduced to the great friendship between Boone and Jacque as they discover there's more going on in Saddleton. Why do the teachers only teach history from grades to 3 to 5? Who is Shammy, the girl who, "smells like cotton candy and cookies," and should Boone and Jacque join the Saddleton Truth Seekers? Andre discusses drawing upon real life events to shape Boone and Jacque's journey and the underlying themes.
Andre is writing book 3 and when he's not involved with Boone and Jacque's adventures, he writes poetry which can be found on his website agflitcher – writing is truly powerful when someone says thank you for what you created. (wordpress.com)
Jenn Ashton - Creativity Unleashed
Jenn Ashton considered herself a writer at age 6 and she was first published at age 14. She writes in many genres and forms from children's books, newspaper editorials, music magazine columns to training materials and literary fiction. In 2015 she began working as a virtual artist in North Vancouver. Her work has the nuances of Picasso. In 2020 she was long listed for the Kanturk Arts Festivals' Flash Fiction, in 2019 she was the recipient of the Muriel's Journey Prize for Poetry as well as the Jericho Writer's Flash Contest. She searched for her First Nation's family history. Her fiction novel, People Like Frank: And Other Stories from the Edge of Normal, will have you laughing and reflecting, as you follow the stories of life's real heroes--the people on the edge. Author Jenn Ashton (jenniferashton.ca) Jenn Ashton Art (jenniferashton.ca)
Helen Garlick - No Place to Lie
Erik D'Souza - Indie Author and Publisher
Point of view such as 3rd person fixed, back stories for all characters, creating tension in a cozy, check out today's podcast with multi-published author Erik D'Souza as we discuss his latest novel Death in Halfmoon Bay, a Suzanne Rickson mystery. Erik's first book, Straight Men in Gay Bars sold internationally. His novella and short stories have been published in various literary magazines, both in print and online. Like all authors, Erik has many stories to tell. We talk about the characters in Death in Halfmoon Bay, finding humour at the kitchen table and paying homage to writing greats Agatha Christie and L.R. Wright. Learn which Canadian authors are Erik's favourite, 3 out of 4 who have stopped in the dressing room. Get the scoop on his publishing company Timbercrest Publishing and how it has helped authors reach their publishing dreams. As well as, find out what everyone keeps asking Erik to write about. https://timbercrestpublishing.com/ and http://erikdsouza.com/
Multi-Series Mystery Author Brenda Chapman
The Barbara Fradkin Interview
Barbara Fradkin's latest Amanda Doucette novel is being launched January 28, 2021, and you have an invite to her free launch. Listen to our informative podcast and how Barbara is paying homage to Canada and its beautiful scenery through her writing. Learn about a braided story and how each chapter should have conflict. And, MacKenzie and Ozzy did not steal the show, although they tried. Grad a coffee, tea or glass of wine and enjoy writing wisdom from Barbara. Barbara Fradkin - Home
Linda Maki, the creative behind Lanyos Handmade
The Self Publishing Agency
Tarneet Kaur - escaping into Abstract
Alice Bienia of Calgary discusses characters and plotting
Judy Penz Sheluk
Tara Moss - International bestselling author
Tony Ollivier, thriller author of The Amsterdam Deception
Mamma Marzia's Kitchen
Seamus Heffernan author of the Thaddeus Grayle series
Seamus Heffernan says, "...if you want a fun story..." join Seamus and I as we talk about writing expectations, balancing fatherhood with writing a novel, and the highs and lows of being an author. Seamus Heffernan
PART 2 - Dave Butler - eco mystery author
Tune in for part 2 as Dave talks about the 3 "p's" in writing, hearing his first night hunt and sharing many insights in the writer's journey. The Author – Dave Butler Writing
Dave Butler, eco mystery author
Learn about the new mystery genre gaining momentum involving a new type of heroine. Tune in for Part 1 of this fun and engaging interview with award-winning and multi-published author, Dave Butler. The Author – Dave Butler Writing
Blue Devil Books - Brian Richmond
This is the episode every indie author needs to hear. Blue Devil Books in the U.K. wants to promote you. Brian Richmond joined me and explained the process and the desire to support indie authors from around the world. Check it out. Home (bluedevilbooks.com)
Setting the scene
ART tag - a talk across the Canada/US border
A captivating discussion with author J.E. (Jayne) Barnard about her latest novel Why The Rock Falls.
The Falls is more than a mystery series. It takes on issues such as PTSD and M.A.I.D. Listen to this intimate discussion with Jayne Barnard as she talks about drawing upon personal experiences to bring these issues to light. Author Talk (jaynebarnard.ca)
An interview with multi-published author Winona Kent.
A fun heartfelt interview with author Winona Kent, discussing everything from book covers, a G-String, writing, publishing, characters and locations. Winona Kent