13 Canadian Books

Thirteen Canadian Booksimages

In June 2017 I was issued a challenge: can you read thirteen Canadian books in one year? But, of course, I scoffed. What kind of lame-ass challenge is this? Canadian-written books are available everywhere, and I usually read a lot more than thirteen books every 365 days. I was confident that I'd be finished in a couple of months.

Well, I was wrong. For the first time in my life. It was a lot more difficult to find Canadian books in Ireland than I'd realised. Even going through Kindle and Amazon didn't get me the results I wanted; if there was no American publishing deal for a Canadian book, generally, there was no book available for downloading. So I found most of these titles in Canada, and as a random group. ('Is this Canadian?' I'd ask. 'Great. I'm reading it.') The only thing that unites them are the postal codes of the authors involved, and the fact that all but two are by women. (Why? I have no idea.) Anyhoo, here they are, in the order that I read them:

Not Exactly News

Not Exactly News!doublerainbow

Just because most of this happened months ago…

To start off with, I’m beyond happy to say that Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World has been picked as a top ten choice for the American Library Association’s 2015 Rainbow List. This is a “a bibliography of books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content, and which are aimed at youth, birth through age 18” chosen by the Rainbow Books List Committee. I found out several weeks after the announcement had been made.

YA? Why?

YA? Why?

Last year my first novel hit the bookstores, a story about a boy in his final year of high school dealing with small town life, his crazy parents, and a painful crush on his homophobic best friend. I thought there might be a few wrinkles involved in marketing it, but I assumed it would be the gay content that would cause the confusion. I was so wrong. Nobody seemed to care if my main character was gay or straight. The problem was that he was young. 'Is this really general fiction?' people would ask me. 'Isn't it YA?'

'No way!' I'd answer, and my reasons for this were fairly simple.


Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin'19177 254425906046 269034 n

What have I done? What have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE???

Okay, here's what I've done.

Notes from the Procrastination Hell Swamp

(Note: this article also appeared on the wonderful writing resource site writing.ie. Read on...)

Hey! Why aren't you writing?Faut-se-grouiller LG

The most common response to this question seems to be 'I have no time.' And often we don't. But suppose you do manage get hold of some free hours. You've cleared away the day-job obligations, said no to friends, cut yourself off from the chaos of home life, and now you've got your morning, your evening, your afternoon. It's blank and beautiful, and it belongs only to you. You might be visualising whole chapters taking shape under your hands, a major plotline cleared up, some badly-needed edits set in place. This is going to be fantastic.

Then four hours pass in a haze. What happened, exactly?


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