Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

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Favourite books of 2014

Well, I went MIA. First I got the flu. Then my baby got it. Then we proceeded to pass it on to everyone in our entire extended family by travelling to their home for the holiday, leaving them down for the count. Everyone except my husband, who is apparently, made of steel.

So anyway! Because I only have three days left of my WIR I'm going to focus on rounding out this blog series, and the year, with best of lists. I LOVE a best-of list and there's nothing that puts me in a better mood at the end of the year than hearing all the best of lists, especially books.

My favourite is the New York Times Top 10 - they split the list into 5 Fiction and 5 Non-Fiction. Here's the list of Fiction:

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
The Dept of Speculation - Jenny Offill

Saying yes or saying no

Today I'm starting to answer questions people have left in the comments and on Facebook. Have a question? Leave it in the comments!

What can an author can say no to during the editing process?

This is a great question. For this one, I'm not going to an editor, I'm going to give you my own experience. I do so because in this case, it's all about the context. What are you saying no to? Here's how I learned when I could say no. It happened with my debut novel, Stuck in Downward Dog.

How many pages do you give a book?

Tonight, my husband turned to me as we were reading and asked, "How many pages do you give a book before you give up?"

Good question. I wish I had a set number. Why DON'T I have a set number? I've read many books for far too many pages only to stop reading 3/4 of the way through, wishing i'd just stopped and moved on weeks earlier, when i was still in the opening pages.

My husband was at page 50 of the book he was reading. It was an award winner, and he'd been looking forward to reading it. But he was bored by it.

In the (Scholastic Book) club

When I want a good book recommendation in the world of YA and middle grade, I always ask one of my best friends, Sarah Hartley. As Senior Manager of Book Clubs at Scholastic Canada (she started as Editorial Assistant 13 years ago), she's chosen more than 15,000 books for the book club catalogues that go out to grade schools across the country every month. So she knows more than a thing or two about what makes a good book.

What makes a good book?

What an agent wants

One of the key components in getting published is getting an agent. It can be the most difficult part of your career as a writer. Today I'm talking to SAMANTHA HAYWOOD, who's been an agent for over ten years. She works with the Transatlantic Agency in Toronto.

What was your career path to getting to where you are now?

Part 3 of Indie Author Love, featuring Heather Wardell

Today I'm talking to indie author Heather Wardell, author of 16 self-published novels.


What was your first book?

HW: "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo", which is still a free ebook (and has had over 385,000 copies downloaded!)

When did it come out?

HW: December 31, 2008, at about 5:30pm. (I'd promised myself I'd do it by the end of 2008.

Did you try to go the traditional route first - agent, publisher - or did you prefer to self-publish?

Indie author love Part 2

Today I'm featuring Part 2 of 3 parts on indie authors.


Samantha Stroh Bailey is the author of Finding Lucas, which she self-published in 2012. Unlike Lydia Laceby, who I talked to yesterday, and many self-published authors who love the freedom and control self-publishing offers, Samantha has experienced the self-pub route and come out on the other side preferring to have a traditional publisher. Here's why.

Indie author love

Today I'm featuring Part 1 of a 3-part series where I ask the same questions to three indie authors -- Lydia Laceby, Samantha Stroh Bailey and Heather Wardell. These three ladies are all self-publishing success stories, but their stories are quite different. Here's Part 1.

Lydia Laceby is the author of Redesigning Rose, which she self-published in June 2013.

Indie author love

Today I'm featuring Part 1 of a 3-part series where I ask the same questions to three indie authors -- Lydia Laceby, Samantha Stroh and Heather Wardell. These three ladies are all self-publishing success stories, but their stories are quite different. Here's Part 1.

Lydia Laceby is the author of Redesigning Rose, which she self-published in June 2013.

Part 2 - Q&A with bestselling author Kate Hilton

Yesterday I featured Part 1 of a 2-part Q&A with Kate Hilton, best-selling author of The Hole in the Middle. Originally Kate self-published the book. Then an agent contacted her, and six days later sold the book to HarperCollins. Penguin Random House has since bought the book and will publish it in January 2016 in the US.

Q. If you had known what you know now, would you have self-published or done something different?

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