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!)

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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

A good book launch party should be about the guests as much as it should be about your personal achievement. Your guests are there in support of you, so make sure you greet them with food, drink, entertainment, free swag, and the chance to win prizes.

The preparations are a lot of work, but this step-by-step checklist should help reduce that feeling of floundering aimlessly as your launch day approaches. Start planning 3-4 months in advance, and don’t be afraid to accept help from those who offer.

Book launch party checklist
Click the image to see the graphic, or click here to download the PDF. Read on to see my thoughts and recommendations for each list item.

Read More

Finding beta readers and hiring a structural/substantial editor is a vital part of writing a book. Yes, a copyeditor is necessary too, but don’t overlook the importance of getting input on the broader aspects of your story. Even if you’re an expert storyteller, other people will see places for improvement that you won’t. So after you’ve finished your manuscript, take those extra steps of hiring a professional structural editor and seeking out a few beta readers to make your book the best it can be.

Of course, having people tell you everything that’s wrong with your story is painful.

advice on editor feedback

Here’s my advice on accepting feedback from editors and beta readers…

Read More

This writing prompt was part of the Indie Fall Fest—several weeks of author interviews, giveaways, fun questions, guest posts, and more. The challenge was to write about a character who has one of your bad habits, and in which that bad habit gets out of hand.

Read More