On my tenth birthday, my parents bought me a Maltipoo puppy. My sister, who turned eight that year, got a Sheltie. We gave them the most logical names that sisters living in the 90s would give two puppies. We named them Mary-Kate and Ashley. Read More

Halloween is possibly my favourite time of year. First of all, I never miss a chance to dress in costume. Second, pumpkin everything. Third, while I’m a complete wimp when it comes to horror movies, I love a good thriller.

To celebrate this excellent month, here’s a list of 6 creeptastic YA thriller novels I’ve come across recently. Theme: they’re all about serial killers. (Most of them teenagers — because what’s more disturbing than a murderer? A juvenile murderer! Oh what fun!) Read More

A few things YA author Maggie Stiefvater taught me THROUGH THE POWER OF LITERATURE. (Also posted on Tumblr, where, incidentally, it got reblogged by Maggie Stiefvater! Yay!)

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Ultimate self-publishing checklistThis guide to self publishing a book is based on my own experience as a Canadian author. The general process applies everywhere, but I have included steps for those of us living outside the USA. (If you’re American, sorry eh, just skip those parts.) My hope is that this checklist will save other writers time, stress, and needless trial and error.

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Inventing fictional worlds! It’s so much fun! Until you get halfway through your novel and realize you’ve forgotten to take into account something vital to society like an education system. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list to consult before you start writing?

This Worldbuilding Checklist is the combined knowledge of about a dozen panelists at Norwescon 39, plus my own notes for my Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. I’m endeavouring to make this list as complete as possible. Let’s collaborate on it! If you have suggestions, please add them in the comments.

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1. Fitness

Your legs and feet are the only advantage you have over a mermaid. A mermaid cannot jump, kick, or run. Train hard, build strength, be nimble.
1 Fitness

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I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by fellow YA author, Kelly Charron. Click the image below to head over and read my thoughts on the writing process, advice for aspiring writers, and more.

KellyCharron website

The Frankfurt book fair released an annual report of international book market trends, The Business of Books 2015. It contains publishing industry statistics and observations from the past few years. Here are my key takeaways and thoughts on what this all means for indie authors.

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On his way to his goal, your protagonist will likely come to a time when he needs to get information out of someone. How do I sneak into the fortress? What do you know about the dognapping? Where have you hidden my MacGuffin?

First of all, don’t make this easy for your protagonist. That’s conflict. That’s the heart of a story. The more valuable the information, the harder he should have to work for it.

To write this scene, exploit your protagonist’s strengths and the opponent’s weaknesses. This can manifest in a variety of ways. Let’s look at a few examples.

Continue reading my guest post at Writers Helping Writers


Header image via flickr